Unique housing development under threat as the games come to town

Irwin Mitchell represent residents in Public Law enquiry

19.06.2006

The residents of Clays Lane Estate at Stratford, East London will be making representations at a public inquiry after being threatened with eviction to make way for the Olympic Village, which is planned to be built on the site of their social housing estate.

The Clays Lane development was Europe's second largest purpose built housing cooperative. The residents, many of whom are vulnerable members of society, have instructed Irwin Mitchell solicitors to oppose the inclusion of their site in a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) issued by the London Development Agency (LDA) to make way for the Olympics development.

Public Law enquiry

The Public Inquiry is now underway at the Excel Centre, Docklands, to determine how much land should be allocated for the Olympics. Irwin Mitchell Solicitors are representing the residents at the inquiry, and has instructed specialist barrister Richard Wald to be the residents advocate. The Clays Lane issues will be covered by the Inquiry over a week beginning August 2. Clays Lane was set up in the early 1980s to address the lack of housing for young single people in the east of London. It was initially funded by organisations including Newham Council and the University of East London. The site is large enough to house approximately 450 people.

An elected Management Committee represents the residents who have been extremely vocal in their opposition of the CPO.

The Chair of the Committee, Ian Sanderson, said: The estate is a unique environment for its residents, many of who rely on the community for support and have lived in the community for many years. The site is arranged in ten courtyards, and each of these has a monthly meeting to discuss issues that may have arisen, hear back from committee representatives, find out the latest news and generally catch up with each other. It is this unique style of living that the residents fear they will no longer be able to contribute to and benefit from should they have to find alternative accommodation.

 

Public law solicitors

Andrew Lockley, Head of Public Law at Irwin Mitchell solicitors said: Many of the residents are extremely worried about how to find equivalent housing elsewhere in London. Whilst the huge financial costs of finding accommodation in London are bad enough, many of the residents rely upon the support a community such as this gives to every resident. Despite public assurances from the Mayor of London, the LDA and others, nothing equivalent has been offered.

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