London wildlife garden in danger


This 25 September 2018 from London, England video says about itself:

Save Reginald House and the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden campaign

Lewisham Council and Peabody are planning to destroy the Old Tidemill Garden in Deptford, and Reginald House, and 16 structurally sound council flats next door, as part of a housing development. Campaigners occupied the garden on August 29th 2018 to prevent the council from boarding up the garden prior to its destruction.

By Ceren Sagir in London, England:

Saturday, October 20, 2018

‘Our community’s wildlife garden is under threat’

LONDON’S Lewisham Council and housing association Peabody have refused campaigners’ pleas against their plans to destroy the local environmental asset Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford to make space for a new housing project.

But action group Save Reginald Save Tidemill is determined to continue its battle to protect the much-needed community space and the 16 “structurally sound” council flats next door.

Save Reginald Save Tidemill wants the council and Peabody to drop their current plans of properties for private sale and go back to the drawing board to work with the community in creating new plans for the site of the old Tidemill Primary School, which the garden used to be a part of, with homes for social rent instead.

The campaigners are also speaking out against shared ownership of the mixed properties in the current plan and the “London affordable rent”, which in Lewisham is 63 per cent higher than rent for social housing.

On August 29, Save Reginald Save Tidemill occupied the garden when the council ended the community’s “meanwhile use” lease in order to prevent it from being boarded up before to its destruction.

Campaigners say the action was able to get media attention through their proactiveness on social media and their attempts to engage with the community as much as possible, including regularly opening up the garden for events.

Andy Worthington of Save Reginald Save Tidemill said the group had received support from Green Party co-leader Sian Berry, who visited the garden a few weeks ago and published an article on her website endorsing the campaign.

“It seems pretty clear that we are winning the PR battle, but the council still owns the land and still wants to get rid of us”, Worthington said.

“The only thing that has stopped them to date is that we’ve crowdfunded money for a judicial review of the legality of the council’s plans.

“When the council took us to county court to evict us, the judge ruled that they had to wait until a week after we have an oral hearing in the High Court to see if the judicial review can proceed.”

The application was turned down by the judge on Wednesday, but Worthington says they will be appealing the decision especially with Wednesday October 24 being the earliest date of possible eviction for the residents.

Pollution in the area is so high”, said Worthington. “Particular levels have been measured nearby Deptford at six times higher than recommend safety limits by the World Health Organisation.

“As it stands now, the garden mitigates some of the worst effects of the pollution. By knocking down the garden and by turning the area into a building site the pollution levels will increase.”

Worthington said they were also in disagreement with the council about replacing existing council housing with new housing, which he criticised for often being described as “social homes” and “affordable.”

He said: “Local council figures demonstrate that new homes built across London won’t be a social rent but ‘London affordable rent’, created by Sadiq Khan.

“It will mean that hard-working families are looking at £3,000 more rent costs a year.

“When it comes to regular housing, Lewisham Council and Peabody are trying to assure residents a like-for-like deal by guaranteeing paying the same in rent. Then question is why are they knocking down the housing and creating pollution?”

Worthington added that the residents had not been given a ballot on the destruction even though 80 per cent of them were against it.

“It’s a pretty crucial thing across the country. Council housing is being knocked down as way of irradiating social rent.

“Only businesses and companies involved in regeneration can make money by knocking down the buildings. We are not seeing any financial benefits for the councils.”

1 thought on “London wildlife garden in danger

  1. Pingback: London wildlife garden in danger — Dear Kitty. Some blog | Spiritandanimal – spiritandanimal.wordpress.com

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