Court halts Tidemill Garden eviction notice

The camp next to Tidemill Garden. Pic: Save Reginald Save Tidemill

Lewisham Council’s eviction notice to end protests next to Tidemill Garden in Deptford was halted by Bromley County Court last Friday.

The hearing only lasted several minutes and the judge ruled to adjourn the council’s order and give the protestors 10 days to put together their case.

The judge also said that the protestors’ human rights were not being considered by the Council.

Lewisham Council put forward a full possession order on the Tidemill site on Friday to evict the protest group.

Tidemill Garden has been at the centre of protests since August last year due to Lewisham Council’s decision to redevelop the area.

The plan, known as the Deptford Housing Scheme, is to build 209 homes, including 104 social housing units.

After Tidemill Garden was demolished earlier this month, campaigners have continued to camp next to the garden to prevent further construction on the land and near Reginald House.

Councillor Paul Bell, Representative of Telegraph Hill and Cabinet Member for Housing, told ELL: “We need that site cleared so that the plans can continue because at the moment we can’t due to it being a safety hazard for those protesting next to the destroyed area.”

“We are a Labour Council, so we absolutely agree with their right to protest and their human rights, but this is getting beyond what is reasonable. At a time of budget cuts its very harmful, as the protests have cost us over £1 million.”

This message was put up after the garden was destroyed. Pic: Save Reginald Save Tidemill

“We are doing this scheme, for good, for those who don’t have a home, and yes, of course, we are concerned with air quality and the environment people live in, which is why we have planted more trees than what been cut down, and that itself hasn’t been talked about.”

“We have given them every chance to legally fight the plans, and they’ve lost at every hurdle, and now they turn to the basis of human rights being violated, which I find to be quite unacceptable.”

Harriet Vickers, a campaigner for Save Reginald, Save Tidemill, told ELL in response: “The protest camp set up right next to the site is to ensure our presence is felt and that the campaign is very much still fighting.”

“We will continue to protest and campaign, unfortunately, they have destroyed the garden, but yet to destroy Reginald House, in which they didn’t give the Council tenants a ballot which is legally required. We are going to continue fighting to save their homes as well.”

“There were 74 trees in Tidemill Garden, and with the air pollution being really bad, as seen with the Council calling for climate emergency, it made no sense to destroy the garden.”

Lewisham Council declared climate emergency on the same day that the demolition of Tidemill Garden began.

Vickers continued: “Lewisham Council has treated the local people and the campaign with contempt, so it is satisfying that they have to face that we are legitimately protesting against what is going on.”

Leave a Reply