On 5th April 2018, as a direct consequence of the Aylesbury Leaseholders Group’s (ALAG) representations to the January 2018 public inquiry, Southwark Council changed its policy to introduce an ‘equity loan’ scheme for leaseholders on regeneration estates.
This scheme meets most, if not all of the policy requirements that ALAG maintained at the public inquiry were necessary to mitigate the effects of gentrification and displacement of leaseholders in regeneration schemes. This is done by way of a council-funded interest-free loan, enabling leaseholders to purchase full title of a new home with a minimum 25% equity share and removing the small print restrictions contained within the previous policy.
As a result of Southwark’s welcome change of policy, the ALAG and Southwark have settled the dispute between them on terms which are based on the new policy decision. The effect of ALAG’s representations to the public inquiry has produced a favourable outcome for the Aylesbury leaseholders and it is hoped that the new policy change represents the beginning of local authorities recognising that the rights of leaseholders must be properly addressed in regeneration schemes both London and nation-wide.
ALAG will be submitting the new equity loan policy to the Mayor of London for inclusion in his Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration. Beverley Robinson one of the statutory objectors said ‘We are satisfied with the outcome. It has been a long, hard struggle and we are pleased to have secured a settlement that will help leaseholders across the Aylesbury and Southwark and hopefully across London.’
The regeneration of the Aylesbury estate is a one of the most high-profile and controversial of the many council estate regeneration schemes taking place in London.
The current compulsory purchase order (CPO) is for the latest phase of the development and involves the demolition of 566 homes. In September 2016 the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, refused to confirm the CPO following a public inquiry.
This decision was appealed by the Council and quashed. The Secretary of State ordered a fresh public inquiry, which is currently adjourned after over-running its 3-week alloted time in January. The Aylesbury estate was built in the 1960’s and 70’s and was originally home to 2700 council tenants and their families. Demolition began in 2009 and about 2000 homes remain, including around 230 leaseholders.
LINK to new ‘Equity Loan’ policy - http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=50016624&Opt
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POSTSCRIPT ARTICLE: www.southwarknews.co.uk - 19 April 2018