Southwark Council is in the midst of an ambitious and wide-reaching regeneration programme. It’s also had its fair share of controversy, with hostility towards what is seen as gentrification at the expense of the local community and long-standing local residents.  

Given the central London location of much of the borough, there is a lot of interest from private partners in the regeneration work. Indeed, these private partners are what makes a lot of the work possible, but their involvement is often criticised, especially where it’s perceived to have had a negative impact on the availability of social or affordable housing.

A large proportion of Southwark’s regeneration is of existing housing estates, so effective community engagement is of vital importance. In the era of social media and online campaigns, opposition to plans makes itself very clearly heard in a way not just limited to the local community. Developers need to find new ways to react to and handle this opposition, and indeed the same social and community channels can be used to engage stakeholders during the consultation process.

At Central Law Training’s Urban Regeneration Conference 2018, Cllr Peter John OBE, the Leader of Southwark Council will talk about estate regeneration and community engagement, along with Lucy Thomas, a Partner at law firm Ashurst. They will discuss when, how and by whom the community should be consulted about estate regeneration, and the role that social media and community action play in this consultation process. They will also discuss how developers handle opposition.

One of the most highly publicised aspects of Southwark’s regeneration programme has been the use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). The Aylesbury Estate CPO was initially blocked by Sajid Javid (at the time Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, now Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) on human rights grounds, and this decision was hailed as a victory by campaigners. A challenge by Southwark Council led to this decision being reversed in 2017. By the time of the conference it will have been a year since this new decision was announced, and Richard Ford, Partner at Pinsent Masons, will review the changing face of CPOs in the last 12 months, including the impact of the Aylesbury decision.

At the Urban Regeneration Conference 2018, our panel of leading experts will debate the key issues at stake, including estate regeneration, the future of the Green Belt, and how to deliver affordable housing. Bringing together attendees from stakeholders across the private and public sectors, this is a must-attend event for all those involved in planning law including lawyers, developers, local authorities, architects and planners.

To find out more and explore the full agenda, visit http://www.clt.co.uk/urban-regeneration. Special discounts are available for public sector attendees.