Lewisham garden campaigners’ delight as judge rebuffs town hall attempt to evict them

BY CALUM FRASER
calum@slpmedia.co.uk

Campaigners who are occupying a community garden are delighted after judges rebuffed town hall chiefs in their attempt to evict them.

Lewisham residents have been camping out at the Old Tidemill Garden for more than a month as part of a long- running dispute with the council on plans to demolish a section of the garden to build tower blocks.

The council delivered an eviction notice and the campaigners were summoned to Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. The council’s eviction notice was suspended until the campaign group’s judicial review appeal was heard, which is due at on October 17.

Andrea Carey, who has represented the group Save Tidemill since 2016, said: “We are very happy with the result and relieved.

We want to say in the garden to protect it for as long as possible. “The council ended up with egg on their face.

What’s the point in them wasting so much public money on legal fees and challenging the communities they’re supposed to represent?

“Clearly they want to put pressure on the campaign, but we’re not having any of it.”

The group are calling on the council to reconsider the plans, led by Family Mosaic housing association and developers Sherrygreen Homes, which would see the loss of 80 per cent of the Old Tidemill community garden in Deptford.

They have raised almost £18,000 of the £25,000 required for a judicial review.

But the original application for the review was rejected in XX. Ms Carey, 52, said: “This result proves we’re not just a bunch of hippies standing up to the establishment.

“We’ve got core values that are vital to the community. “It’s council land agreed, but the council should be holding it in the interest of the community, instead of selling it off to the highest bidder.”

Residents started running events and maintaining the garden in 2012. Since 2015, they have been calling for a community-led collaborative design process to redraw plans for the site.

But planning permission for the Family Mosaic and Sherrygreen Homes scheme was passed in September 2017.

The current scheme would see and to the north of Reginald Road and south of Frankham Street used for 209 flats – including 80 one bedroomed, 95 two, 26 three and eight four bedroomed flats, with 100 let for social rent.

A council spokeswoman said: “We remain committed to building more than 100 new social rented homes on the Tidemill site. “These new homes will be for local people in desperate housing need and we want to build them as quickly as we can.

“The court has ruled that the Tidemill site is being illegally occupied and granted our order of repossession, which we will enforce in due course.”


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