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Crown Estate tenants lobby MPs over sell-off plans

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:34 05 October 2010

KEY workers living in Crown estate rented properties in London working in essential public services are meeting MPs at Westminster today in the fight to stop their homes being sold off. They are also organising a protest on Saturday after receiving letters about plans to sell the freehold and management owned by the Crown Estate

By Mike Brooke

KEY workers living in Crown estate rented properties in London working in essential public services are meeting MPs at Westminster today in the fight to stop their homes being sold off.

They are also organising a protest on Saturday after receiving letters about plans to sell the freehold and management of the properties owned by the Crown Estate next to Victoria Park at Bethnal Green and South Hackney, and properties at Cumberland Market near Regent’s Park, Millbank in Westminster and Lee Green in south-east London.

“People are really shocked and worried for their future,” said Victoria Park Crown Residents Association chair Joannie Andrews. “A real sense of community has been built up in these streets, a nice social mix which is increasingly rare to find.”

The tenants include teachers, health and transport workers, firefighters and police officers who say they would not be able to afford to live in Inner London. Some elderly residents have lived in them for 40 years or more, like 94-year-old Joan Bird who is registered blind, who moved in when she worked for Hackney social services.

School teacher Jamie Duff said: “We thought we had some security because of the key worker’ policy. Now there’s no guarantee what any new landlord will do.”

The campaigners are meeting MPs and Crown Estate representatives at the House of Commons this-morning.

They hold their demo outside the Crown Estates’ Victoria Park housing office at Gore Road in South Hackney at 11am tomorrow (Saturday).

The Crown Estate Board cites “duty to maintain and enhance the value of the estate and the income it generates for UK taxpayers’ in its sell off’ consultation.


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