Man whose Woodberry Down home was flattened taking council to tribunal in valuation row

Woodberry Down

Woodberry Down - Credit: RICS

A man whose home was bulldozed in the Woodberry Down regeneration is taking Hackney Council to a tribunal after rejecting their valuation of it.

Selim Buyukdogan lived in a three-bed, end of terrace house in Burtley Close with his family but when the estate’s makeover began he was told it was to be flattened.

The council made a compulsory purchase order (CPO) of the property, but its surveyors valued it at £300,000 less than Selim’s own surveyors.

“They started with an offer of £210,000,” Selim told the Gazette. “It was a three-bed house with a large front and rear garden.”

Selim hired two surveyors who both valued the property at £525,000. He says the council has changed its offer six times since the initial one in 2012, and the latest offer was for £440,000.

“It therefore transpires the first valuation was unreasonably low,” he has written in his witness statement ahead of the tribunal. “This caused considerable worry and stress. That has continued throughout and I have struggled with severe depression and anxiety and needed professional help and treatment to be able to function on day-to-day basis.”

Selim, who now lives in Friern Barnet, says the samples used to determine the original offer were chosen from homes in Haringey, a different travel zone and more than half-a-mile away.

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In emails from council surveyor Deloitte, seen by the Gazette, he is told: “At the time of preparing our report, the only comparable evidence we could find relative to yours, in our opinion, was in Haringey.”

But Selim says he found numerous properties of the same type that were both closer, and in Hackney.

The town hall said CPOs are a last resort but have been used hundreds of times during the Woodberry Down regeneration, and Selim’s is the only tribunal case.

A spokesman said: “All leaseholders are offered market value for their property, compensation, and the option to move into a modern, high-quality new home on a shared equity basis if they wish to. Mr Buyukdogan has chosen not to accept this offer, as he is entitled to do. It will now be settled at a tribunal, and we will accept its decision.”