Anyone reading Andrew Adonis’s report so highly praised by Wandsworth Council leader, Ravi Govindia, should take note of the section that states, “It is important to understand that local authority development rights are unaffected by 30 years of ‘right to buy’.

“They do not undermine the power of local authorities to redevelop estates, although leaseholders need to be fairly treated.”

What this means, in practice, is that all those council tenants who “did the right thing” and bought their council flats, thereby relieving the public purse of the ongoing liabilities of subsidised public housing, have served their purpose.

Now, it would appear, councils are being given carte blanche to take back these properties in order that they can make more money out of them.

Here in the Alton estate, where a sizeable chunk of low-rise, brickbuilt family-size accommodation barely more than 50 years old is being demolished and sold off to private developers, the reality of this concept is becoming apparent.

Overlooking the fact that compensation offers are unlikely to be enough for displaced residents to purchase a similar property in the borough, residents who decline any offer are promised the threat of a compulsory purchase order being issued, at whatever value the council thinks appropriate.

Any reader who considers that none of this applies to them should ponder the full implications of this situation if they live in a former council estate property.

It only belongs to you for as long as the council thinks fit.

And if you are presently contemplating buying a council newbuild, remember this; regardless of what the property deed says, it is a home you will never actually “own”.

Alton Regeneration Watch