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Creating a More Sustainable Elephant

Heygate Objectors to Be Heard at Public Inquiry

Remaining residents on the Heygate estate have submitted their objections to the Compulsory Purchase Order ahead of the forthcoming public inquiry.

The public inquiry has been called in order for the Secretary of State to establish whether the public benefits of the development proposals sufficiently outweigh remaining residents’ rights to their homes.

On Tuesday 5th Feb the Heygate objectors are due to appear at a public inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Order, which will take place at 10am at Southwark council headquarters - 160 Tooley Street, London Bridge.

The Heygate Leaseholders Group has issued the following statement:

We are glad to have been able to exercise our right to object and be heard at a public inquiry. However, it is a shame that tenants on the estate were not given the same opportunity: those who did object were simply evicted under the 1985 Housing Act.

Our objection is that the core public benefits of the scheme originally proposed have been dropped from the current scheme, which now resembles a purely commercial development and therefore the Compulsory Purchase Order is not valid.

We will be outlining the shortcomings of the current proposals, which include:

  • the replacement of 1,100 structurally-sound social housing units with 2,300 new homes of which only 71 will be social housing;
  • the lack of any firm guarantees that any of the 400 mature trees on site will be retained;
  • the lack of any renewable energy in the proposed development;
  • the high number of parking spaces (678) and increased provision for road traffic proposed, in what is supposed to be a car-free development;
  • proposals for the new development to be controlled and managed by a private company.

We will also argue that the scheme has failed to deliver its promise to Heygate residents that they would be rehoused in the new development.

Tim Tinker, the original Heygate estate architect will be speaking in support of our objection. He will be arguing against the council’s claim that the estate was a design failure. There will also be other local residents and professionals speaking in support of our objection.

We will be quoting an opinion poll which showed that despite years of underinvestment, only 29% of residents were unhappy living on the estate and a majority were in favour of its refurbishment, along with crime statistics showing that the Heygate estate’s crime rate was nearly half the borough average.

You can download a full copy of the Heygate objectors’ Statement of Case from here..

And a copy of Better Elephant’s submission from here..