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Homes & Pub to be knocked down on Blackfriars Road

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Monday 27 January 2014 8.39pm
Boroughonian,

Just for practical purposes, are you able to use quotation marks please when quoting what I write? Otherwise it is (almost) impossible for others to distinguish between my words and yours.

Although of course they will never admit it, I think that some of the other posters will be deeply uncomfortable your rather strident views on the topic of people wanting to come to live in London from other countries.

Can you try to put yourself, just for a moment, in the shoes of the (currently excellent team) who run this Council?

Southwark have the largest stock of social rent housing in the country. Much of it is in need of modernisation and repair. Many of their estates do not properly utilise land in a central location like other european capitals such as Paris. There is a very large welfare-population totally dependent upon them for housing benefit.

They know that they have to increase their Council tax-base in order to pay for all of the above. They also know, that further cuts will be made in their budgets by the current Government and the next one - even if Labour get in with a working majority (unlikely).

They have to explain to taxpayers on low-pay, why others earning over 100,000 are currently have the privilege of living in subsidised housing in our Borough. Not an easy thing to explain.

They also know that there is a stream of investment coming in for new development - mainly in SE1. The pragmatic approach would be to utilise this investment to pay for improved or more social housing and public amenities. This is the only way they are going to obtain funding for capital investment and simultaneously increase the number of working, council tax-paying residents - a double-win.

Those people coming to London who want to invest in our city, set-up businesses, spend money in our shops & restaurants and employ Londoners all need somewhere to live.

Best of all, they aren't going to ask the Council (or taxpayers) for a penny towards their living costs - they are net contributors - who will pay towards the upkeep of Southwark's subsidised housing.

I'd say we would be insane not to welcome them.
Monday 27 January 2014 10.41pm
Floodplain seems to be attempting to divert the arguments in this thread towards the issue of immigration. For the record, as someone who has moved into the area within the past year I welcome the cultural mix here and definitely want to see that continued and combined with a social and economic mix too. I'll bet most posters on SE1 would share this view. This thread is concentrating on the social and economic aspect.

Yes,Floodplain, the borough does of course contain much property that needs improvement and/or replacement. I cannot imagine that anyone posting here thinks the borough should be preserved in aspic and all development shunned. It is also understood that the Council needs money that developers can provide. But this must not be extrapolated to become a licence to justify a degree and type of development which is anathema to the objective of a mixed and settled community living in juxtaposition with the commercial developments that are also necessary and desirable.

You say "Many of their estates do not properly utilise land in a central location like other european capitals such as Paris.". All I would say about Paris is that for many years it has acted to make city centre residential property affordable only to the rich and to banish the less well off to the dreadful "banlieues" around its fringe. For this reason it lacks much of the vibrancy and community mix of London. It seems to me that the approach evident in the Blackfriars plan which has sparked off this thread will inevitably head us down the road that Paris has taken. Is that what we want?
Monday 27 January 2014 11.51pm
denis loretto wrote:
Is that what we want?

Definitely not what I want, I agree with Denis that this is exactly the point at stake.

Floodplain, I think the issue of sales to newcomers who want to live in Southwark, from wherever, is being confused in your post with sales to overseas buyers, or their agents, who want an investment but have no intention of living in Southwark. I believe that this latter category massively dominates current new-build housing sales in London - this is the point, not immigration.

There is no way of guaranteeing owner occupation, but we know that sales of One the Elephant, for example, have largely gone to investors in Singapore and the far east. So the bottom line appears to be that you are happy to see residents of blocks that you believe do not "properly utilise land" kicked out, without any plan at all for new affordable homes on the table.

Can you try to put yourself, just for a moment, in the shoes of the people who live in housing threatened by developers, people who really do contribute to existing local businesses, now?
Monday 27 January 2014 11.58pm
It is hard not to see this as the second wave of slum clearance in Southwark, but now with the added difference of actually relocating the costly and non-productive slum dwellers to less attractive areas.

What will happen when "regeneration" has arrived in Peckham in a few decades? Will the social housing built there be again cleared and moved further away to release the land for more profitable development?
Tuesday 28 January 2014 9.35am
"Can you try to put yourself, just for a moment, in the shoes of the people who live in housing threatened by developers, people who really do contribute to existing local businesses, now?"

Thank you Luke for the above comment and to the other posters who have understood how upsetting this is for those residents affected by the latest redevelopment plans.
Tuesday 28 January 2014 8.12pm
nelson_ wrote:
It is hard not to see this as the second wave of slum clearance in Southwark, but now with the added difference of actually relocating the costly and non-productive slum dwellers to less attractive areas.
What will happen when "regeneration" has arrived in Peckham in a few decades? Will the social housing built there be again cleared and moved further away to release the land for more profitable development?

Regeneration in Peckham has already arrived years ago with lots of estates demolished and with only some social housing replacing them. The current plans for Wood Dene estate sees those 100% social rents replaced with Housing Association mix of private, shared ownership and 'affordable rent' that being a cheaper rent set though in a percentage relation to private market rents.

The plans for the redevelopment of Peckham Rye station seek to remove dozens of local businesses, older and newer, to build private housing on instead. That's not what anyone in the local community wanted and have been vocal on for ages, however profit rules and that's the likely outcome:

http://peckhamresidents.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/1181/
Wednesday 29 January 2014 12.27am
Floodplain,

Blackfriars rd presents the perfect opportunity for you to,for once,hold the existing residents in some regard.None of the residential blocks earmarked in that map are in a state of disrepair and there is plenty of development space along Blackfriars rd to have satisfied the developers and their cheerleaders,and you in your (stated)desire for diversity.

By the way,many of those existing residents will be from other lands.

"Although of course they will never admit it, I think that some of the other posters will be deeply uncomfortable your rather strident views on the topic of people wanting to come to live in London from other countries."

Haha so I was right then.
Maybe other posters are uncomfortable with my views on immigration,for the record I haven't scratched the surface,don't see why though,it makes perfect sense to me to be concerned about it,I think other posters might be better served to concern themselves with those that will stifle (or try to) debate on the issue.
To expand a little on my concerns,I wonder where you see the big new hospital being located.

and who are these people on excess of 100k living in social housing? Leave off,if they do exist how many are there?This reeks of "woman with 12 kids claiming benefits" shocker,bit mailesque.
Wednesday 29 January 2014 1.25pm
I thought this was an interesting but worrying comment in the Guardian on how the Mayor is over-riding council policies across London:
The mayoral planning process is based entirely on achieving the maximum number of housing units on any given site, aimed at selling to an international market. The London-wide target of building 42,000 new units per year is predicated on a lot of very high density developments that don't even comply with the mayor's own policies on density.

Meanwhile, whilst Southwark is one of the authorities taking the Mayor to court about his ruling preventing boroughs from supporting rented accommodation at rates appropriate to local needs, they are at the same time spending our money on behalf of the Heygate developer to keep the Viability Assessment (which we are told justifies the below-SPD-policy volume of "affordable" housing) for the Heygate site secret from the electorate and local councillors, in defiance of the Information Commissioner's clear ruling - the tribunal is taking place next week, 3-7th February.
Wednesday 29 January 2014 7.45pm
If SE1 was the world London would be a flat on Guiness South.
Wednesday 29 January 2014 7.55pm
Boroughonian,

One high-profile individual earning more than 100,000 currently residing in subsidised public housing is Bob Crowe, the Tube Drivers' Union Leader. (Salaries of all Union representatives are paid for by taxpayers, not by the Union).

Newspaper Article

Attached above is an article from the Indepdendent about Mr. Crowe's huge salary and his access to publically-subsidised housing.

There are also numerous illegal sub-lets in every Council Estate to people on high-incomes who should not be living there.

The top-end 4x4 Porsche Cayennes etc. I see parked inside several Estates in SE1 with Southwark Estate permits are clearly evidence of such abuses of the subsidised housing system.

One of the reforms which will be coming from the coalition government will be placing a limit on earnings for anyone already in Council Housing - don't tell me you would disagree with such a long-overdue reform?
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