Aysen Dennis, a fierce advocate for council London housing, has left behind her council flat after three decades. Her fight against Southwark council’s redevelopment plans, which she call “social cleansing,” didn’t stop her eviction. Now, she’s in a posh new flat bought back by the council, but she’s not staying quiet.
Moving On, But Not Backing Down
At 65, Dennis has relocate to a fancy ninth-floor apartment overlooking a park. But she firmly believes the move was a tactic by the council to silence her before she could challenge them legally. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work.
The Fight Goes On
Despite her relocation, Dennis won’t give up the battle. She’s heading to court on Tuesday, still taking on Southwark council and Notting Hill Genesis over their redevelopment plans for the Aylesbury estate.
A Bigger Picture
For Dennis, this legal battle isn’t just about her home—it’s about stopping councils and developers from making it tough for council tenants in central London. The focus now is on the second phase of the estate’s redevelopment, which aims to cut down on social-rent homes and increase share ownership and private properties.
The Legal Challenge
The argument is that the council change the wording of the original planning permission without consulting those affected. This tweak could allow for new projects that differ from the original plan, jeopardizing gains residents fought for, like limiting building heights for more light.
Fighting for the Community
Dennis sees this as a political move to push out working-class minority ethnic council tenants. She feels they’re being treat as disposable, with their voices ignore in the development of their neighborhood.
New Home, Old Fights
In her new place, Dennis keeps a red flag with the slogan “Social housing, not social cleansing.” She’s unhappy with the neighborhood’s changing landscape, feeling the loss of the original community from Aylesbury estate.
A Personal Loss
Leaving her two-bedroom flat, where she made 30 years of memories and mourned her sister’s passing, was tough. Packing up brought tears and heartache, a stark reminder of what she left behind.
A Voice for Justice
Dennis’s legal team hopes this case shows it’s worth fighting against big developers to hold them accountable for the impact of their projects. They believe that those affected by regeneration should have a say in multimillion-pound developments.
Originally from Turkey, Dennis moved to the UK as a young woman. Political troubles in Turkey as an outspoken socialist led her to settle in London after marrying a British man. She’s seen a lot and isn’t backing down now.
A Personal Struggle
For Dennis, leaving her longtime home wasn’t just a physical move; it was an emotional upheaval, leaving behind a piece of her life and history. The memories packed away in boxes are a reminder of the battles fought and the losses endured.
The fight continues for Dennis, challenging powerful forces in her quest for fairness and justice for council tenants in London.