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Developers have approached the council to buy another block of flats

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Tuesday 15 October 2013 11.56pm
Floodplain wrote:
I really fail to understand what it is you are trying to say. Do you actually think that I want people to starve in the dark? How absurd.

Wow. Let's try it even simpler. People don't refuse job offers or training because if they did they would have their benefits stopped THAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION
Wednesday 16 October 2013 8.13am
I just want to take the opportunity to confirm the current situation at Styles House. We have tried to work with developers over the last 14 years about the Algarve House site. Our line has never just been to say no, but to recognise that the immediate proximity of Algarve House would mean that any development would have a major impact on us, so have sought to work with any potential developers to try to find a solution agreeable to all.

Because of this we had an early meeting with Development Securities and were genuinely shocked at their plans, which would have a major negative impact upon us. We were particularly distressed at their plan to replace the current eight council flats by putting them at the back of the estate next to the railway line and providing 'a few extra flats'. We really couldn't see the point of Southwark Council agreeing a deal that would have such a major impact on everyone for just a few extra flats.

We have written to Southwark to say we don't want this plan to go ahead and the officers appear to be receptive to our feelings on this. However, Development Securities are saying they are moving ahead and have bought Algarve House and are expecting to acquire other land (which could only be at Styles House). Our concern therefore is that Southwark is saying one thing to us and another to the developers, but who knows if you can actually believe what developers say. Currently Richard Livingstone and Fiona Colley are saying nothing will happen without discussion with us, and I sincerely hope this is actually true. However, it's not about discussion with us, it's about agreement with us. We all know the Council consults but does what it wants.

We have no objection to Southwark building council flats, if the current residents of the affected flats want this (as long as they are rehoused back on the estate, which is usually what happens but let's not mention the Heygate). However we underwent major works a couple of years ago, that cost leaseholders 30k and the Council 2M and part of that was an understanding that Southwark would not seek to knock us down once major works were carried out. Yes we are again being chased by developers. It is making life particualrly difficult for those in the smaller blocks, as they have had years of this, thought it was finally settled and now have it again. Please don't underestimate the uncertainty of development, it's very stressful for people.

I just want to add that our ward councillors have been incredibly supportive. It's a shame it becomes a political issue, as the two parties are so set against each other. For us it's not about politics it's about our homes. However, Adele Morris and David Noakes have really been excellent.
Wednesday 16 October 2013 9.35am
A bit of a climbdown - Cllr Colley has tweeted "it shouldn't be on forward plan and won't be going to cabinet" on 19 November - looks like there will be further consultation before anything else happens.

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Wednesday 16 October 2013 11.26am
Thanks for your info Zoe - so I was correct? Out of interest how many is 'a few extra flats'

I dont dispute disruption is unavoidable and hell for those living there, but its a rather different argument now....
Wednesday 16 October 2013 12.16pm
Floodplain wrote:
In chronological order:


Here's a link to the GLA data I referred to on levels of economic (in)activity amongst Social Housing Tenants in London.

Next time baseless claims are made about Southwark Council wanting to make people homeless - I will make a mental note to ask for evidence on this also.

The soi disant 'question' at the end of your post is completely un-related to the points I have been making. I am interested in a critical look at the way Council Houses are currently allocated and to expose the manifestly wrong priority system which is currently operated by the powers that be.

But consider this for one moment - if it transpires that an able-bodied Council Tenant of working age has been unemployed for more than 5 years in a high employment area such as Greater London and has not accepted any job offers nor any training programmes made available to them, then there is a case for their Zone 1 publically-funded apartment to be exchanged for one in, say, Stoke-on-Trent, to allow a London worker to live closer to where they work rather than commuting 2 hours each way, every day.

That might be enough of a nudge to get people back into work.

Thanks for the link Floodplain,I only asked for this as I felt there was an inconsistancy in what you said before,fair enough.
I don't think my question was irrelevant at all and nor did you by the looks of it.
I agree with much of what you say but,again,you missed the bit where everyone had a job,council housing was intended for working people,everyone was,they are not now,things change and don't we know it.
Your 5 years does seem fair enough to me,well it did until I read Beetroots posts,I do agree a bit of tough love is required but today I hear that a forther 4k people are now unemployed in London,spongers?
You have mentioned on here time and again about diversity and socio economic groups blah blah,do you mean in social housing or the wider community?I really don't get this,untold council housing has been sold off and just about every development is of a private nature,what do you want?AS i've said to you before,we have different ideas on diversity.

As for Stoke on Trent,well that's just plain trolling.
Wednesday 16 October 2013 2.02pm
Just spotted this in next week's cabinet papers re the council house building programme:

Styles House, SE1: Initial discussions have taken place with a private developer, Development Securities, who have an option to acquire a derelict building adjacent to the estate. Development Securities are proposing a jointly delivered scheme with the council that could be of mutual benefit. If it was possible to agree a scheme that had the support of residents, any new affordable housing developed as part of it should be council stock and therefore would need to be identified for inclusion in this programme.

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Wednesday 16 October 2013 4.51pm
Shaggy, just stop point scoring please and start your own thread on Chatter. We are trying to stick to the facts on this thread rather than have a political debate. Thank you James for your usual 'quick as a flash' input. Now we have to insist on proper consultation. Regarding the statement 'any new affordable housing developed as part of it should be council stock and therefore would need to be identified for inclusion in this programme', can affordable housing also be council stock? I thought there was affordable housing (for sale) and/or social housing (affordable rent).
Wednesday 16 October 2013 5.17pm
Karen - the term "affordable housing" essentially covers everything that's not open market housing for sale or rent.

That would include council homes, housing association homes, shared ownership etc.

Not to be confused with "affordable rent" which is a specific tenure introduced by the coalition which allows landlords to charge up to 80 per cent of market rent.

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Wednesday 16 October 2013 6.57pm
for goodness Karen I'm not point scoring. When I said I thought the intention was to replace the lower rise units with extra council housing on site you and others said I was wrong. I happen to think providing extra council housing, as well as a new commercial building, on an under developed site like this is a good thing, and I urged negotiation.

Anyway I agree its your fight, not mine, and I sincerely hope you all find a settlement that benefits everyone. I'm pretty sure red vs blue, nasty developer vs poor resident isn't the answer rarely works.
Wednesday 16 October 2013 8.50pm
Well, now I've digested the latest, and had a think, I wonder where we will go from here. Can we trust the council to start fresh negotiations with us since we have already met with the developers and told the council 'no thank you'? The developers had only 'put a deposit' on Algarve House when they came to show us their plans, and even though we made it clear that we were not interested in their land-grabbing scheme, they still went ahead and bought it. And then the council put the land up for sale (or didn't). So; the developers are greedy, and the council is untrustworthy. Doesn't bode well for a fair and open discussion does it, especially as we have to find things out by Twitter (thanks Cllr Noakes). Has a deal already been done; the developers have already said they are working on plans ready for Q3 2014? Will the council put money before tenants because they don't seem to give two hoots about us? Let's see how this one develops .....
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