Thursday, 16 August 2018

Tidemill campaigners seek funds for judicial review

Deptford's Save Reginald! Save Tidemill! campaign is trying to raise funds on Crowd Justice to challenge Lewisham Council's decision to demolish the council homes of Reginald House and the community-run Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden.

The demolition is scheduled as part of a regeneration scheme of the Old Tidemill site in Deptford, London, and the community group wants to mount a judicial review against the Council's approval of the plans.

They want the council and its partners to redraw the plans in partnership with the community, so Reginald House and Old Tidemill Garden are kept, and as many social homes as possible are built on the land.

Alternative plans have been produced by the campaigners

Campaigners claim it is possible, and that they have produced alternative architectural plans to show it, however the Council have so far not pursued the alternatives.

They say: We need your support to expose how the Council is going against it's own environmental, housing, human rights, equality and air pollution policies, how they have abused the planning process to push the plans through, and the sham nature of their consultation process. And to force them to redraw these plans in partnership with the community, via a transparent and collaborative process.

The campaign's solicitor is Richard Buxton, an environmental and public law lawyer who is also concerned about social housing and social justice.

The group is trying to raise £10,600 by September 9th in order to pay for legal advice and explore the possibility of a judicial review.

For more information, or to make a pledge, visit https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-reginald-save-tidemill

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"They want the council and its partners to redraw the plans in partnership with the community, so Reginald House and Old Tidemill Garden are kept, and as many social homes as possible are built on the land."

What's the point? Until London councils including Lewisham start allocating social housing more fairly, to low paid and key workers who work in the local area then it just gets swallowed up by the endless list of long term unemployed, single parents with kids they can't support, and problem families in accordance with the 1977 Housing Act. According to the latest London Housing Report nearly half the people in social housing are not working - they have no need to be housed in an expensive, well connected area where so many cleaners, nurses, bus drivers, support workers etc. have to pay large portions of their low wages to commute long distances in. The support for more and more social housing is dwindling - people are not willing take out large mortgages or huge rents for houses and flats next door to anti-social elements of society getting them for free (actually at the expense on those having to pay for them). London boroughs are a special case due to the housing crisis and should be able to set their own rules on social housing allocation. Until this housing is reserved for the people that need to be in the area - and by that I mean people that work there, not nebulous and vague concepts like "support networks", myself and many others will not support campaigns like this one.

P.S. Obviously this is not the key to solving the housing crisis but an important point that will ease the burden in London and increase public support for social housing development.

guy smiley said...

I've read the report off the back of this comment. Thanks for the provocation to do so.

Surely, regardless of the CURRENT deployment of social housing (I note that of the 50% you mention, a fair number are retirees) the principle that some housing in 'Central' London is maintained for social needs is to be supported. If the failing of policies of apportioning this housing are your (valid) issue, then this can change over time.. but not if the houses no longer exist. I agree that key workers accommodation is a priority, and that 'inactive' social tenants need not be in locations so centrally necessarily. But if all housing is privately owned (through developments such as this) then there will be little that can be done. The opportunity to change will have been lost.

The real issue and challenge here is with the seemingly misguided destruction of perfectly adequate housing in order for developers to create new 'luxury' (certainly high priced) flats and profit from doing so. The council in their constant pursuit of funds, green lit this in the face of all of their publicly stated objectives (on which they were elected democratically)

..And the real kicker is that in order for the developer to maximise this profit and margin they expand the footprint of the development beyond the existing accommodation to destroy the foliage along the current pleasant tree lined street, and create yet another street of bland anonymously clad facades at Ground level. You only have to walk down Creek Road (at the end of the road) to see what an appalling impact this can have on a street / area.

The developers are just following the strictures of a free market economy. That's their prerogative. It's the council which has an obligation here, which it is ignoring in the short term pursuit of funds which goes against the will of the elected.