Thursday, 27 November 2014

Remaining Ferrier tenants told to leave

Greenwich Council is to issue possession notices to the remaining tenants of the Ferrier estate after resolving the last outstanding legal challenge.

It wants to move the remaining 190 tenants off the south London estate by October this year to clear the way for developers working on the £1 billion regeneration programme.

The council issued possession notices to 78 tenants last year, asking them to leave by 4 October.

Thirty one tenants said they were prepared to challenge the orders, but only a handful of cases ended up in court. All 78 eventually accepted the council offers with the final case coming to court on 9 February.

In this case David Bowie gave up his fight when his legal aid ran out and the judge in Woolwich County Court pointed out he could have to pay further costs if he continued.

He has lived in Lebrun Square on the estate for more than 25 years and did not want to accept the council’s offer of alternative accommodation because he said it was not suitable for his disabled stepson, for whom he is a carer.

Nick Russell, chair of the Ferrier Residents’ Action Group, said the council has sent out letters saying more possession notices will be issued this week.

The council’s aim is to have all the notices to the 190 tenants sent out by the end of February, Mr Russell said. They will then have 28 days to vacate their properties or face court.

He claimed the council has not yet offered these tenants alternative accommodation.

He also pointed out they were not living on the patch of land where the council must start work before April to secure £21.5 million of Homes and Communities Agency funding, which is the case for the 78 residents previously given notices.  

Mr Russell said: ‘It’s totally unnecessary. What it means is people will accept offers more readily. Most of them will try to avoid court. Most people don’t want to pay legal costs. They are frightened of court.’

He estimated about 25 per cent of the 190 tenants would still be prepared to go to court. 

Social housing regulator the Tenant Services Authority last year criticised Greenwich for putting unnecessary stress on residents of the estate.

Greenwich Council declined to comment.

See pictures and profiles of David Bowie and other remaining Ferrier tenants

Readers' comments (3)

  • abner arrow

    Who designed this master piece?
    Doesn't council want to keep this example for the next generation, as to how things should not be done?
    Who is in charge?
    is Denise there?

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  • Jack Daniels

    I always thought David Bowie lived on Mars.

    It just goes to show you how progressive and far reaching the British housing transfer system is...

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  • The treatment of the tenants, particularly former owner occupiers who were paid well below the market rate for similar properties, was appalling. Many owner occupiers were bought out and became tenants and went to the bottom of the housing transfer list. Every time they came near the top a new phase of rehousing began and they went back to the bottom. These former owner occupiers who were never offered suitable alternative accommodation are now receiving possession notices.

    Three former owner occupiers, including an elderly lady with severe health and breathing problems, had all the buildings around them demolished - that is three blocks to the four storey quadrangle and two tower blocks.

    The layout of the flats was very good and the size of rooms exceeded the Parker Morris standards by miles. The new "social housing" is appalling and all sorts of tricks are used to make the rooms seem large.

    I went round the show house with Nick Russell and laid down on the double bed - my legs stuck off the end by 6". The wardrobes and drawer units were all children size. If the double bedroom were a garage I do not think you could park a decent size family car in it.

    Many of those on the Ferrier had large families. The new housing is tiny.

    Promises made to tenants have been broken. There is far less social housing than originally promised.

    Nick Russell has done an excellent job caring for the disenfranchised and ignored. If only there were more people like Nick.

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