Sunday 8 April 2007 9.37am
This is the site of Clement & Foster printers. The printing company went into receivership last summer, but the property belonged to the Directors of the Company. They are currently running a small printing business there - I think they have a single photocopier... I do not know whether the site is being sold with planning permission, or whether the Company Directors will continue to own it.
They have indeed applied for permission for 106 student units. These are studio 'flats' - a kitchen and shower room attached to a bedroom. Additional retail units will be at street level.
The architecture is bland to say the least. On 1st May the south side of Grange Road
at that point is scheduled to become a part of the Bermondsey Street
Why student accommodation? I have two thoughts: Firstly there seems to be no requirement for affordable housing, which would otherwise be a requirement for (10%? 25%? - I'm not sure) of the housing on a site that large. That I can only see as a bonus.
Secondly may be tax driven. I understand that certain student accommodation may be the only sort of property to qualify for inclusion in a SIPP. Whether this would, I don't know. Alternatively, running student accommodation may qualify as a 'trade' rather than a property 'investment', thus allowing the Directors to continue to benefit from 10% CGT on the site.
Any other ideas?
On balance, I think there could be worse things put up there; however the architecture was very uninspiring.