The Kidbrooke Hallucination?
The "Kidbrooke Vision" as it is commonly called regards the timely demise of the hellhole that is the Ferrier Estate. In a recent press release by the Council much play is made of the new partnership the council has with Berkeley Homes (tiny cardboard houses r us) to transform the Ferrier Estate into a veritable oasis. The release says,
"If everything goes to plan, public consultation on the development options could start on the Ferrier Estate in the summer, followed by a planning application later this financial year. Building work on the estate could begin the following year."
That all sounds lovely but may we offer an alternative translation. Instead of "if everything goes to plan" try it with, "if we can successfully bully the owner occupiers into accepting a derisory offer for their homes". That is fair more realistic view of the situation.
For anyone who doesn't know, the Council has been trying to get the last few owner occupiers in the Ferrier to sell up. In fairness to them they don't mind the idea of moving, the problem is what the Council is offering. According to a comment by Chris Roberts in the News Shopper, the Council have offered "the market value of their home plus 10 per cent". That offer was - on a three bedroom flat - £65,000. Market value plus 10% for where? Hartlepool?
The Council have now started to threaten compulsory purchase orders, but by their own admission that will cause about three years of delay. It all puts the hubris of the Kidbrooke Vision press release in perspective. Perhaps hallucination would be a better term than vision?