Thomas Bridge 01 April 2015

Council spends £140k on ‘Berlin wall-style’ barrier around estate

A south London council spent £140,000 constructing a ‘Berlin Wall-style’ spiked fence around a housing estate.

Southwark Council constructed the 8ft-high, 700 metre-long barrier around four blocks of a local estate to protect residents from protests about the site’s demolition.

However residents told the Standard they were unhappy with being contained in the barrier, claiming they had only one access point that was manned by private security.

Housing campaigner and spokesman for campaigners opposing the estate’s £1.5bn regeneration, Piers Corbyn, told the paper: ‘It's an utter scandal. The whole of that section of the Aylesbury estate is fenced off, tenants and leaseholders are living in a kind of Berlin Wall situation.’

The cost of the barrier was revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

Southwark said residents had requested increased security after just 18 of 560 flats were left occupied. It is understood squatters are occupying a number of the empty properties in protest against the developments.

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport, said the fence was installed ‘as a direct response to those remaining residents who expressed concerns about security on the site and anti-social behaviour from non-residents passing through’ and represented the ‘right thing to do for the safety of the remaining residents’.

‘We understand this has caused some problems for the remaining residents, we will review whether any changes to access points are possible.’

Town hall lawyers will tomorrow appear at Lambeth County Court to apply for powers to evict the squatters, marking the third time they have bid for the possession order.

Photo: @southwarknotes

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