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Council's attempt to seize man's home thwarted

Keith Parkins | 23.12.2006 12:11 | Repression | Social Struggles

Attempts by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor to seize a bungalow that a local man was renovating have suffered a temporary setback.

Local man, 68-year-old David Stevens, who suffers from poor-ish health and a bad heart, has over a period of several years been renovating a bungalow which he wishes to retire to. At least that was his intention, until the local council the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor tipped off by an ex-councillor that his bungalow was empty, decided to seize his bungalow by means of a CPO.

No attempt has been made by the council to arrange a site visit in order that a proper assessment of the work carried out may be made or advice given on how to progress further.

Based on little more than a pack of lies, the head of housing Alison Whiteley asked the Rushmoor cabinet to authorise the serving of a CPO (compulsory purchase order) to seize his home. She led them to believe that no work had been done on the property, there was no intention to do work on the property.

The cabinet rubber-stamped what was put before them, no questions were asked. David Stevens learnt of the cabinet meeting one day before. He was not permitted to speak.

We have learnt since that a press release was drawn up ten days before the cabinet met, with an attributable comment to the portfolio member for housing.

We have also learnt that the council was offering the property to a local housing association, were in discussion with developers and others on the sale of the property.

We have learnt from the minutes of an empty property committee, that there was no intention to notify David Stevens of the intention to serve the CPO until after the cabinet had made its decision.

An exchange of letters that has come to light in the last few days, shows asst Borough Solicitor Kiki Bosi has been in discussion with interested third parties regarding the sale of the property.

David Stevens has appealed the CPO and there was due to be a Public Inquiry on 9 January 2007. He has had difficulty obtaining documents on the case from the council to enable him to fight the case. His lawyer Susan Ring of Richard Buxton has successfully, despite objections of Kiki Bois, managed to get the Public Inquiry cancelled. The date of the new inquiry is as yet unknown.

David Stevens and his legal team now have the time to properly prepare their case. David Stevens could not have wished for a better Christmas present.

The hypocrisy of the council beggars belief. In Farnborough town centre there are more than 70 properties lying empty, many have been empty for years, but the council turns a blind eye.



Council moves to bring empty bungalow back into use, press release, Rushmoor Borough Council, 11 July 2006

Homes to stay empty until town centre redevelopment, Farnborough Mail, 5 December 2006

Mike Lane, The Regeneration Game, November 2006 {DVD}

Marcus Mabberley, Council seeks to force owner of derelict home to sell, Farnborough Mail, 18 July 2006

Keith Parkins, Empty property in Farnborough town centre, Indymedia UK, 27 November 2006

Keith Parkins, Dodgy land deals in Farnborough town centre?, Indymedia UK, 18 December 2006

Keith Parkins, Council attempts to seize retirement home, Indymedia UK, 19 December 2006

Alison Whiteley, Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO): 12 Chingford Avenue, Farnborough, Rushmoor Borough Council, 11 July 2006

Keith Parkins


Display the following 4 comments

  1. sounds — mmmm
  2. CPO? — Jo
  3. CPO — Keith
  4. EDMO v CPO — Keith