Entering the Aylesbury

Published Date: May 2018

Now working on the Aylesbury Estate

We are now representing homeowners on the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, possibly the most hotly contested estate regeneration scheme in history.

The various residents group active on the estate have between them done some sterling work in helping to support leaseholders. With some residents opposed to regeneration and some focused on securing fair settlements in order to be able to sell, the estate will be challenging. Our clients will face the biggest challenge though as living through Compulsory Purchase is far from easy.

We hope to guide our clients through a stressful Compulsory Purchase process and negotiate settlements for those who are willing to consider offers. We would always recommend to any leaseholder that negotiations should be encouraged to protect their position for if they do need to sell.

On 16th September 2016, the then Secretary of State at the Department for Communities & Local Government (now Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) decided not to confirm a Compulsory Purchase Order which had been made by London Borough of Southwark over a number of blocks on the estate. This decision sent shockwaves through the industry due to the 96% confirmation rate Orders typically achieve (on average) each year. Normally, the 4% which are not confirmed are far smaller and fail on technicalities. In the Secretary of States report, the Council were roundly criticized.

Southwark Council challenged the Secretary of States decision and at first it appeared that it would be settled in court. However, on 21st April 2017, the Secretary of State agreed to quash the decision and to hold a further Public Inquiry. This Inquiry was completed in April 2018, with a judgment awaited at the time of publication of this information.

For a number of years, Sawyer Fielding were unable to get involved with the Aylesbury estate, despite requests by a number of leaseholders. This was partly because we were aware that fee levels recoverable from the Council were lower than we achieve elsewhere. However, in spring 2018, the Council lifted their fee cap and we decided to get involved.

We are now representing a number of leaseholders on the Estate and would like to represent more.

Negotiations will not be easy. They may take time. Some of the settlements we have heard about over a number of years have been worryingly low and below our opinions of Market Value. We are there though to ensure that all of our clients receive a fair settlement for their homes if they sell and that they are guided through what will undoubtedly be a stressful Compulsory Purchase process.