Couples told to quit new Regent’s Canal complex before 2012 Olympics

Young professional couples including teachers and civil servants are being told to quit their new homes next to the Regent’s Canal by their housing association.

They have been served notices to leave Bethnal Green’s prestigious Sutton’s Wharf complex—despite each having what they believe to be three-year rental agreements with options to buy.

They launched a campaign on Monday with letters protesting to One Housing Group after several couples received notices to be out by next Tuesday, others by June 30.

“We all believe we had three-year options—we couldn’t all get it wrong,” said Donella Fox, who teaches drama workshops.

“Housing associations are public social bodies that have to adhere to Human Rights.

“We have a right to enjoy our properties without interruption—but we’ve been through hell the last two months.”

She joined neighbour Darryl Butcher and organised a meeting with other couples who all moved into the new complex in Palmer’s Road, off Roman Road, in 2009.

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They had 12 months to go on their agreements to decide if they want to buy the flats when the Section 1 notices slipped under the door, believed to be the first time in 23 years the orders have been served by a social landlord under the 1988 Housing Act.

Darryl, a PR consultant, said: “I returned from holiday and found my notice on the doormat.

“Most people who believe their have a three-year option to buy can suddenly be served a Section 21 Notice for landlords to take the property back.

“None of us expected to be served notices to go as we still have more than a year to go.

“We had no prior warning—it’s unacceptable.”

The couples believe the properties are being put on the market between �450,000 and �625,000 in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics being staged next summer just a mile away.

They have identified at least eight flats in the nine-storey Sutton’s Wharf South being empty—with two other blocks currently under construction in the canalside complex.

The campaigners are appealing for anyone facing Section 21 notices to email them at:

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