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Marian Court: Block told to move out for bulldozers as Hackney Council serves Compulsory Purchase Order

PUBLISHED: 08:12 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 October 2017

Brenda Christy on the balcony of her flat in Marian Court where she has lived for 54 years. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Brenda Christy on the balcony of her flat in Marian Court where she has lived for 54 years. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew

Demolition plans will force a pensioner out of the only home she has known for 54 years – even though the new flat she was promised isn’t built yet.

Compulsory purchase order notices have been attached to the fence outside Marian Court in Homerton. Picture: Emma Bartholomew Compulsory purchase order notices have been attached to the fence outside Marian Court in Homerton. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Bulldozing 136 flats at Marian Court and Bridge House next door is part of the council’s plan to build 275 new homes there. Eighty will be for social rent, compared with 66 at the moment.

But Brenda Christy, 73, fears she could be “dead and buried” by the time she has moved into the new home that will be built for her. In the meantime, she is being asked to move into a different flat nearby, and she doesn’t want to live there – away from the estate she’s known all her adult life – any longer than she has to.

And she’s finding it “too stressful to think about”.

The council still owns the freehold to the 1960s Ponsford Street block that houses flats 1 to 45, but there are five leaseholders – all of whom have been served with compulsory purchase orders (CPOs).

Brenda Christy on the balcony of her flat in Marian Court where she has lived for 54 years. Picture: Emma Bartholomew Brenda Christy on the balcony of her flat in Marian Court where she has lived for 54 years. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Mrs Christy, one of three permanent tenants in the block, was promised last year she could move straight into Bridge House opposite. But work that should have begun in March has yet to start.

“I don’t want to be moving twice,” she told the Gazette. “It’s too traumatic. I reckon I will be dead and buried by then anyway. It’s distressing.

“They are just playing about with us. They said then they wanted us out to rebuild 15 years ago, and every time it falls through. Now they want us out by April.”

As the freeholder, Hackney Council has come to a deal with two of the five leaseholders living there. But if it cannot come to an agreement with the remaining three the council will enact the CPO and force them to sell.

Marian Court in Ponsford Street, Homerton. Picture: Emma Bartholomew Marian Court in Ponsford Street, Homerton. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

A council spokesman said: “Every social tenant at Marian Court has already been offered the opportunity to move directly into a brand new home on the estate, or to another new-build council property nearby, at the same rent and under the same tenancy conditions as their original home.”

Estate plans signed off in 2012 would have seen a net loss of two socially rented flats, but they were redrawn this year to tip the balance.

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