Heygate Estate

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Wednesday 20 January 2010 5.24pm
Hi, I'm a student currently researching the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle area, particularly focusing on the Heygate Estate and the effects this is currently having on the local residents and community and the future plans for affordable housing (whether the proposals are accounting for this).

I've only just started out and am trying to look for as much information as possible at the moment, does anyone know of any links, local resident meetings held, articles, contacts etc..

Anything at all would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Thursday 28 October 2010 4.41pm

There is a blog kept by one of the remaining residents on the Heygate: http://heygate.heroku.com

There is also the Elephant Amenity Group: http://elephantamenity.wordpress.com

and the Heygate Leaseholders Action Group: http://halag.wordpress.com
Friday 4 March 2011 1.22pm
Long article about the Heygate and similar estates from the Grauniad today:
Saturday 5 March 2011 9.42am
The reference to the 'Stigma of living on a housing estate' is so true, yet so offensive - an unchallenged prejudice?
Saturday 5 March 2011 11.33am

BBC report on the slow progress & doubts over E&C & Heygate
Thursday 13 October 2011 10.56pm
LendLease unveil some plans from themselves and DRMM architects for Phase One of Heygate Estate'regeneration', the smaller Rodney Rd site.

E+C Urban Foresters not happy:

This link contains the detailed plans that were shown very quickly for the site at a meeting the other week.

Southwark Notes not happy either:
Friday 14 October 2011 1.05pm
I went to see this Rodney Road exhibition.

Not only is the courtyard private, but it's also 3 meters higher than the pavement level which in my opinion a complete no - no. Underneath courtyard is parking.

Asking the developer why not have parking below ground as is most common on the continent I get answer that it is too expensive. LL are trying to build and price flats according to the going rate in the area. I think this statement as such shows that the developer doesn't seem to have too much aspiration to provide a good housing scheme, and interpret it as let's build something cheap for a cheap area. But why bother with this? Only winner with that approach is the current developer getting some profit from the scheme, and the next developer in 30 years time when the new buildings are deemed as unsatisfactory for then current times.

As for courtyard being private, obviously LL think it would be a nice marketing gimmick for selling flats. However, personally I think the reality of an open courtyard accessible to public at street level may not sounds as exclusive when selling but wear much better in future as if it's a private garden only not many residents will even end up going down there. Segregation isn't good long term and prevents community building.

LL also tries to use the public park in the next phase as a good excuse why courtyards can be private. I disagree however and used Regents park as a comparison where you have a large area with a variety of small gardens dotted about. The rose garden for an example. So what about having a large public park and many small public accessible courtyards each with a special and specific feel to it? I think this approach would be far more attractive not only to existing local residents but also to new residents as the offer is greater, more varied and far more interesting. Therefore I feel a selection of public accessible courtyards in the area will actually be more valuable and attractive for everyone than that pseudo 'luxury' ghetto approach.

Developers arguments that people will pull out trees and stuff I find simply not good enough an argument. Preventing access that no one can harm the plants doesn't deal with the issue in the first place. This needs to be tackled on the root because surely it's the minority that would vandalise a garden and not the majority. Why exclusively design for the minority and deprave the majority of local people and residents alike from a bit of green space?

I suggested having all entrances off the courtyard. Not only would this bring that space to life but also people in various blocks would have a common place they can meet and build a community. If entrances are on three different streets you'll only ever get to meet people living in your block only. I think a lot of current new build schemes completely design community out of their projects. Surely, this is not good for anyone either long term.

As for the flats. What about something inexpensive but aspirational for a change? What about providing a few flats bigger than average - not everyone wants to live in a 46 sqm 1 bed or 65sqm 2 bed. We can only attract the crowd we make provisions for. If provision isn't varied then we will not get a mixed crowd of residents and for a long term success I feel a mix is absolutely essential. We also should have some 3 and 4 bedroom flats, and maybe some houses. If we only provide 1 and 2 beds it will most likely attract a more transitional crowd than a permanent one staying for decades and building up some sort of community.

I sincerely do wonder what's the point in doing regeneration but only half hearted? Surely then it would have been possible to re-use the existing structures and make something interesting out of that. But I guess less profit would be in that. Look what they have doen in east germany out of some of their 'plattenbauten'.
Friday 14 October 2011 6.42pm
this was my response (i never made it to the exhibition)
(in two parts really, there's first impressions then full response a bit further down) x
Monday 17 October 2011 1.50pm
I am willing to discuss private inner courtyards, it (to my mind) depends on the what the frontages are being used for - a semi private arrangement like at empire square would seem better, but no one complains that I can't go in people private gardens if it's a house - not sure why flats makes that different.

What is utterly unacceptable is the unnecessary parking provision in what was supposed to be a car-free low carbon development. I had my doubts before, but Strata has shown that you can fill 400 flats with barely any parking (we have about 20 places for the whole building). There is no need for such a large parking provision, and certainly having it at ground level is totally contrary to the principles espoused by the regen.

I'll be at the new exhibition on Thursday to see what they have come up with.
Tuesday 18 October 2011 12.33pm
I'm not convinced I understand why people who need vehicles for work (or indeed pleasure) should be excluded from living in particular developments.
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