Source of funding for homes on Willow Walk

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Monday 21 April 2014 10.08am
The news article could give the impression that the developers of Neo-Bankside generously gave money to the council for them to build council housing, when really they gave the money to the council because they didn't want any council tenants in their building. A simple view but that's what it boils down to.

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CJG
Thursday 24 April 2014 10.18am
I suspect the developers will have had to pay the council more than the cost of incorporating social housing into their scheme, and in doing so will have facilitated a greater number of net social units. It might be socioeconomically divisive, but on balance I don't have a problem with the idea of developers paying over the odds to not have social housing in their more exclusive schemes.
Thursday 24 April 2014 5.01pm
CJG wrote:
I suspect the developers will have had to pay the council more than the cost of incorporating social housing into their scheme, and in doing so will have facilitated a greater number of net social units. It might be socioeconomically divisive, but on balance I don't have a problem with the idea of developers paying over the odds to not have social housing in their more exclusive schemes.

The problem I have with this is that the argument for demolishing the Heygate Estate and other large social housing blocks is the allegaed aim to create 'a more mixed community'. The real result of this re-mixing though is the huge loss of badly needed cheap public housing. At the same time, developers want to create more and more 'exclusive' (and not mixed) parts of London full of luxury flats. That's a poor recipe indeed but one the Council is happy to cook.
Thursday 24 April 2014 6.33pm
I'm with Merlin Rouge on this one and the topic has been discussed on other posts. (No reason why it shouldn't continue on this post though.) I just wouldn't want anyone to read the article and think that a developer had given money to the council on a charitable basis; they were just complying with the law - as I see it.
Thursday 24 April 2014 10.49pm
With my cynic hat on I'd agree that the money was paid to ensure exclusivity and therefore marketability of the Neo Bankside development. However, as I recall, the 9m payment to LBS in lieu of on site social housing had a lot to do with the type of construction and cost of ongoing maintenance - considerable costs which couldn't be borne by tenants of social housing organisations. For example, maintenance and after 50 years (I think) complete replacement of all glass panels. It was perhaps the first development which moved away from the previously successful attainment of 50% social housing on site. Now of course there are companies who are paid to write viability assessments which 'prove' that developers can't afford to provide on site social housing, or even 'affordable housing' which of course is not affordable for people in social housing in London. At least Neo Bankside paid up, and indeed were very approachable sponsors of community activities at one time. How times change.

Quite why planning consent is granted for non-sustainable buildings is another question. As is the nature of the Willow Walk development v mixed communities. The plans seem to be for some social housing along with hostel style accommodation for those in more desperate need. More ghetto than mixed IMHO, and plenty far enough away from any private owners who want to avoid the poors.
CJG
Friday 25 April 2014 10.10am
I appreciate the argument, but I disagree. Pulling down the Heygate and replacing it with a much denser mix of Private and Social (the ratio of which is very debatable, but will be the result of professional negotiations between Southwark and the developer it desperately needs to kickstart the whole thing). Alternatively, you can have exclusive schemes like NEO, that also fund solely social housing schemes like Willow Walk. If both sources of new Social housing are objectionable then I have sympathy with the council.

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