At a residents meeting called by Ledbury Action Group through the Ledbury Tenants & Residents Association held on 30th May, low rise residents of the Ledbury Estate voted unanimously on a motion that Southwark should have asked them before adding their homes into the Options Appraisal for potential development, and a second motion that the appraisal process must be paused in order for a vote on this to take place.
At the same meeting, the residents asked Ledbury Action Group to write to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to express concerns that his Good Practice Guide on Regeneration is not being followed by Southwark Council, in particular, the numerous points regarding full, genuine and transparent consultation from the outset.
After previously adding the homes of the low rise residents into the plan for potential redevelopment without any permission, Southwark reluctantly accepted the motions from residents and, on Monday 4th June, presented the estate's Resident Project Board with a draft questionnaire that was due to go out to ascertain views.
In a bizarre turn of events, just three days later, we received news that the Cabinet Member for Housing would be writing to all low rise residents informing them that their homes will not be part of the Options Appraisal after all, and that they should no longer expect a questionnaire asking for their views.
Quite what led to this sudden change of direction from Southwark Council is, at this stage unclear.
It is not yet known whether our correspondence with Mayor Sadiq Khan regarding this issue and his Good Practice Guidance had any bearing, or whether Southwark simply changed their minds given the earlier motion from low rise residents and chose not to hear their views after all.
The removal of their homes from the scope of potential development will come as good news for many low rise residents. What is still unsettling, is that these residents themselves have still not had an opportunity to have their voices heard by the council through this process so far, and, after being opted-in and then opted-out by Southwark Council, are probably feeling rather bewildered and confused.