Saturday, 05 September 2015

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

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