Monday 5 August 2013 12.04am
Floodplain, I also think that more Council Houses are needed.
And I would like to see this as policy; i.e. not a vague press release from our council leader saying he would love to build 10,000 council houses [here
] released at a time when the scandal of the Heygate is being widely documented, but actual hard policy, including detail on how and where.
But meanwhile I wouldn't like to think that people who bought flats from the council, or more likely people who bought flats from people who bought from the council, should have their basic rights removed. That seems to be what you imply?
At present, forcing anyone to give up their home against their will needs a policy justification, set out as part of a Compulsory Purchase Order.
And the policy justification of our Council and its leader appears to be that they are doing this so that they can spend £45m of our money to demolish 1,000 council flats so that Lend Lease can use the land to build a development of 2,000 private flats, of which 71 will be council.
Our Council and its leader have had since 2010 to develop a policy to support Council Housing, but appear to have seen the light too late to stop the Elephant being turned into a haven for overseas buy-to-let property dealers.
At the Elephant the council even developed its own bespoke Supplementary Planning Document to set the policy framework for Lend Lease's development, and even that required 35% so-called "affordable" housing. Our elected officers have since ignored even this and allowed Lend Lease and all other developers to provide even less because the developers themselves say so - saying it would not be "viable". Not difficult when you can get a "viability assessment" as easy as this blog shows here
and then be allowed to keep it a secret during your planning application.
I would like our council now to take heed of the Information Commissioner's recent conclusion that Lend Lease's "viability report" should be public [here]
, which reads:
“in relation to the general public interest in transparency and accountability, the Commissioner’s general view is that, where this relates to planning matters, there is a strong weighting in favour of encouraging public participation and disclosure is a means of promoting this."
and see they now have the arguments to stand up not just to Lend Lease but to all developers on our behalf and not fight against their own policy, and the public interest, using our money.