Founders Place Development - Appeal

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Sunday 5 November 2006 7.23pm
It all seemed to have gone very quiet. However the developers of Foundres Place the large proposed development to the north of Archbishops Park have now decided to appeal.

There are lots of very strange things about this. First it appears that it took Lambeth Planning almost two months to send out the decision to refuse, thereby extending the time the developers had to make up their minds. Now the notices are coming from the developers solicitors telling the hospital tenants that they have unitl 22 November to make representations to the Planning Inspectorate. A quick phone call to a helpful person in Lambeth Planning on Friday confirmed that, though they had heard rumours, noone seems to have told them. (Both our local Councillor and the very supportive Kate Hoey MP have been told the same.)

The proposals remain unchanged. The key word is greedy. Despite it being a conservation, the developers plan to take down all the existing structures and trees, including a lovely Victorian school building. More worrying for most local people the south facing private flats will look directly onto the crowns of the lovely avenue of mature plane trees on the northern border of Archbishops Park. New residents will get no light, so are bound to lobby for the trees to be removed. If they are the lovely private playground, in what is SE1s largest park, will be overlooked by 8 storeys of balconies. It is very depressing.

I would be very grateful for advice, immediately on the bizarre method that is being used to inform us of the Planning Inspectorate's deadline for representations. Though a very visible objector I have not heard anything directly. Given this appeal is quite complex - the site is huge - it seems bizarre that both the local authority and objectors should be given less than two weeks to respond.

I would also welcome any offers of help. Do you know anything about conservaiton, heritage, green space or planning. Do you use Archbishops and would hate to lose the green and privacy we enjoy at the moment. I understand that the GLA are in favour of the development, and believe that only a small minority of locals are opposed. If we are to preserve some green and clam in the middle of all the development we all need to add our voice. It worked with Lambeth. Given the proposed development is poor, and out of sympathy with the very historic area around Lambeth Palace, we can win. But we need help.

Thanks,

Sarah
Monday 6 November 2006 2.57pm
Appeal now confirmed by the charity:
http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/2430

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Wednesday 29 November 2006 10.29pm
Do a search of “Founder's Place” on this discussion forum and you will find that nearly all the messages have been posted by one person, who is drawn to Founder's Place like a cluster bomb to an enemy airfield. Yet the votes taken at the recent Friends of Archbishops Park AGM would suggest that many and probably most people in SE1 support the development. The arguments in favour are persuasive:

* much of the land is currently derelict,
* the architecture is impressive & appropriate for the setting,
* the 636 homes (231 for key workers) are necessary,
* there will be accommodation for the families of sick children,
* many environmental improvements will result.

Not surprisingly the GLA, Lambeth officers and ward councillors supported the plans when they went to the Lambeth Planning Committee in April. So why did the Planning Committee turn it down and why is Lambeth likely to oppose the appeal? This is not a game: Lambeth's actions will have caused the land to stay largely derelict for another year or two whilst substantial resources are invested in a public inquiry that is likely to have only one outcome.

In years gone by we elected councillors and MPs because they had a positive vision of a better future. What we now seem to have is politicians who are so out of touch with what people want that they spend too much time reading fan mail from the Serial Complainers of SE1 in order to try and find out. Sadly, this will merely serve to increase their alienation from the majority.

I wish the Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital Charity good luck with its appeal and would be particularly interested to see a response from the politicians who this message is aimed at.
Wednesday 29 November 2006 11.27pm
Founders Place is a project that is all about big business sticking the boot into the little guy. The NHS is a business along with the developers who want to relocate the remaining (mainly elderly) tenants into sub-standard housing.
The developers and the Trust thought they could just ‘consult' with the tenants and then get on with their vision of how the area should be developed.
The derelict look has been artificially created by the Trust.
They harp on about the 40 odd flats they are creating for ‘keyworkers' forgetting to mention they are destroying a 150 to create them.
You know what old people are like, they just will just not die and allow the developers to get on with it.
So, the reason that Lambeth, Kate Hooey and many others have (so far) successfully opposed this scheme is that is plain old unfair.
In regard to the people involved not making themselves heard on forums, simple, the majority of them do not use the net.
Wednesday 29 November 2006 11.34pm
In the other thread James created he asked:

Please:

- try to keep the discussion as civil and constructive as possible.

- try to concentrate on facts rather than speculation, and issues rather than personalities.

- declare any interests in/affiliations to organisations you write about. This is required by the forum rules.

In particular anyone who is a FoAP committee member (past or present) should say so when they post here - even if they choose not to post under their own name, which is fine.


Should this not apply here, as well? I'd like to know, in particular, what is Fred's interest in/ affiliation to the organisations associated with this whole issue.
Thursday 30 November 2006 12.43am
Fred wrote:
Yet the votes taken at the recent Friends of Archbishops Park AGM would suggest that many and probably most people in SE1 support the development. The arguments in favour are persuasive:
* much of the land is currently derelict,
* the architecture is impressive & appropriate for the setting,
* the 636 homes (231 for key workers) are necessary,
* there will be accommodation for the families of sick children,
* many environmental improvements will result.

IMHO, any undergraduate philosopher would tell you that such a mendacious combination of partial truths and argument from false propositions is not very persuasive at all.
Thursday 30 November 2006 8.48am
The Lady Miss Jo Jo wrote:
I'd like to know, in particular, what is Fred's interest in/ affiliation to the organisations associated with this whole issue.

I forgot to mention that:
* I've been receiving backhanders from the Charity in brown paper bags.
* I'm having an affair with the Charity's secretary & cleaner (sequentially, rather than simultaneously).
* When the development is built I plan to buy-up the whole tower and rent it out to 'little guys' (to use westofbank's expression).

Seriously though, my only interest in Founder's Place is that of a resident of SE1 who likes:
* good architecture,
* beneficial housing schemes, and
* environmental improvements.

With regard to the 5 bullet points in my previous post Lang Rabbie accuses me of being 'mendacious' but she fails to say which of those bullet points she disagrees with. She also says that my argument was not persuasive - at least I posted one.
Thursday 30 November 2006 9.56am
Fred wrote:
So why did the Planning Committee turn it down and why is Lambeth likely to oppose the appeal?

There were two major reasons given - you can read them on Lambeth's website if you like. One of them was that the proposed development would "harm the setting of [Archbishops] Park".

As you well know the vote at the AGM proved not very much about public opinion on the development. It proved that 21 people who attended the meeting wanted to oppose the appeal there and then and that 26 people there either wanted to wait before making a decision or did not want to be tied to a decision or supported the appeal.

It is true that Sarah has been the most vocal person on this site about this issue. For that I, and a lot of other people, very much thank her. She speaks for a point of view that many people I know share (even if we don't always post to say this). Without her tireless commitment I doubt whether the development would have been turned down by the planning committee. As a direct result of that the Charity will almost certainly have to negotiate on their plans and make them more sensitive to the Park. What a result - well done to all involved.

You mention all the benefits from developing this site. Can I ask which of these you think will be missing from a different design for the site - one which was also more sensitive to the park?
Thursday 30 November 2006 5.16pm
Good architecture is subjective by its very nature.

Who is benefiting from the housing scheme? The present tenants are opposed to the scheme and are being treated in a shoddy fashion. I think if you take the trouble to look (which I haven't) that the developers have little or no track record of social housing. I would also be interested to know what a ‘key worker' is. I would be even more interested to what the new ‘key worker' tenants will be expected to pay in rents.

The environmental improvements are proving to be a bit on the ironic side. The derelict air is the sole creation of the trust.

The more I look at this development, the more I start to see parallels with the early days of Coin Street.
Thursday 30 November 2006 11.01pm
westofbank wrote:
Who is benefiting from the housing scheme?

The following will benefit:
* over 400 NHS staff who will use the key worker housing
* 45 new households who will rent affordable flats
* 39 existing tenants who will be rehoused in new flats with a view of the Park
* over 300 households who will buy flats
* 102 children who will be in the nursery & their parents who work in the hospital
* the families of sick children who will use the 22 rooms for staying visits
* members of the community who will use the new health care facility
* patients from the hospital who will use the patient hotel
* local businesses that will benefit from the increased trade
* Park users as the Charity will pay a considerable sum to the Council for the Park
* the whole community due to the environmental improvements
* everyone in Waterloo due to the vibrant community that the development will enhance.

westofbank wrote:
The present tenants are ... being treated in a shoddy fashion.

The landlord will only be able to develop the site if it can rehouse its tenants. To do this it will probably have to offer suitable alternative accommodation. The key word being suitable, which is not the same as comparable. Despite the fact that many of the tenants have lived in their flats for many years it is the law that an offer of a flat some distance from the Park could be considered suitable. I am not suggesting the Charity should have acted in this way but the fact that it is proposing to rehouse its tenants into the new development with a Park view hardly indicates a shoddy attitude.

westofbank wrote:
The present tenants are opposed to the scheme.

I have heard some tenants say they support the scheme. Others support it but are concerned about light levels in their proposed new flats. The Council fully considered this issue and found that the lack of light in three habitable rooms could be cured with some revisions to the plans, hence this was not considered a reason for refusing planning permission. I would also suggest that if there were such a strong sense of opposition to the scheme from the Charity's 39 existing tenants then Sarah ‘the most vocal person on this site about this issue' (to quote Neil) would have faired much better in the recent FoAP AGM (where she got 22 out of the 98 votes that were cast for the 2 candidates who stood to be chair) and the motion that she supported calling for FoAP ‘to oppose' the Charity's planning appeal would have received more than 21 votes and would have been carried. This is not a dig at Sarah it is merely to make the point that her views do not carry majority support.

Neil wrote:
the proposed development would "harm the setting of [Archbishops] Park".

Thanks for drawing my attention to the Lambeth website Neil & you are right that this was one of the two reasons given by Lambeth for turning the scheme down. I would urge readers to look at the plans and form their own view. To me the development would enhance the appearance of the Park. The buildings nearest to the Park are not tall and there are large gaps between them unlike, for example, the York House block of Peabody flats on another side of the Park which is tall, solid and close to the Park. I accept that there are other differences but the fact that the Peabody flats provide a welcome boundary on one side of the Park shows how people can soon grow to accept and welcome buildings close to a park. I suspect that many have used the highly subjective argument of ‘harming the setting of the Park' as a means of attacking the development for reasons that have little to do with proper planning criteria. Consider for example:

- “a project that is all about big business sticking the boot into the little guy” (westofbank, 29/11/06)
- “The key word is greedy” (sarah2, 5/11/06)

I look forward to hearing what others have to say.

Fred the thread
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