Pressing housing need justifies compulsory acquisition

The secretary of state has confirmed the compulsory acquisition of 1ha of land in east London, concluding that it would assist the council in delivering much needed open market and affordable housing. Two related compulsory purchase orders were also confirmed (DCS Nos. 200-000-969 and 200-000-971).

The site contained a series of residential blocks built after the second world war and the council stated that the area was run down and in need of regeneration. It highlighted the borough’s status as the second most deprived area in England, suffering from low levels of home ownership and over-crowding. Two of the buildings had significant structural defects, with plumbing and electrical circuits at the end of their useful lives, and planning permission for redeveloping the site had been granted which would include a range of open market and affordable dwellings.

In having regard to concerns by some objectors who wished to remain living on the site an inspector was satisfied that the council had offered financial compensation in accordance with expert valuations. A two phased development would deliver a sustainable, mixed and balanced community and there was no financial or viability impediment to development proceeding. There appeared to be no alternative for the council in its aim of adding to the housing stock, and the secretary of state agreed.

Inspector: Gloria McFarlane; Inquiry

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