Residents at Styles House in The Cut are at risk of losing their homes because Development Securities has bought Algarve House on Joan Street and want to extend right down to the pavement on The Cut. See SE1 News and the previous posts at the the squatters in Algarve House. We are devastated and urge your support over the coming months. I'm sure we are not the only ones who would hate to see the lovely low rise, and green space to be replaced by a 25 storey office block.
So Richard Livingstone has laid down the council's attitude that is so secret that he doesn't even know it. No , of course he doesn't. Why on earth would the finance officer know and admit that he doess know ? That would let the cat out of the bag and so would warrant the use of smoke and mirrors, and the old favourite of paid officials obfuscation, so that their ill-perceived plans that enable developers to make ill-gotten gains can remain hidden from their employers, the ratepayers, and their future victims the tenants.
Whilst writing this I've just realised that the council's plan, under Mr. Livingstone, is probably not to sell the property but to give it away as they did with the Heygate ( a virtual give-away in all but name) and thus the architects of the plan can deny all knowledge of a sell-off.
I am of the opinion that Mr. Livingstone took up the cudgels in this battle too quickly to be entirely innocent and unaware. Snuff out the story at the earliest opportunity and hide the ugly truth until it is too late for those affected to do anything.
No not this time.
This is an under-developed central London site, next to a zone 1 tube station, shoe-horned between a busy railway line and a main road - surely if this is not a natural site for commercial property, then what is?
What we see unfolding is the return of SE1 to what it always was and before the Docks closed - a commercial area - first and foremost.
I tend to agree with Floodplain too & its not Styles House itself we are talking about, but the low rise studio flats? A successful commercial building there will also help preserve and revitalise The Cut and Lower Marsh - as important as anything to the surrounding area.
Floodplain and Shaggy we are discussing a particular site, not the whole of SE1, which has not been shoe-horned in but exists because of the Jubilee Line extension. I am old enough to know what existed on the site until Hitler bombed it and it was not commercial buildings but residential housing, much like Roupell Street, with The Mitre PH on the corner of Hatfields and Isabella Street and housing filling the rest of Isabella Street and Colombo Street(now Joan Street) on the return to The Cut and Eccles Place. Perkins, or the cork factory, was the incongruity. So it is not a scheme to preserve the area but rather change it for purely commercial purposes to the detriment of the residents of Styles House.
Why should a commercial property developer be allowed to absorb property beyond what they originally buy in order to make their plans viable and decant council tenants in the process unless they were promised such a deal by council officials before purchase. The whole deal stinks.
Because cities change & evolve. I agree there has to be a practical solution to the issue (and I too like in the gardens at Styles house), but there is no reason why Styles House and a new Commercial building over the tube cannot co-exist. Just opposing it isn't the answer - better to work with the developers to get benefit for all. But thats probably naive....