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Update on Blackfriars Road SPD

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Thursday 20 February 2014 6.09pm
Can't help getting the feeling that we are reading the Southwark Labour manifesto on planning in some of the posts here.. ;)
Thursday 20 February 2014 8.49pm
Was that directed at me, nelson? If so, you're WAY off (I don't have any political affiliation per se: being a fiscal conservative and social libertarian there don't seem to be any mainstream parties for me...). I'm just someone who has found this site very insightful over the years, with lots of great info and local views, and has decided to stick in my two pence.

I find the biggest misconception is that the alternative to some of the higher end redevelopment in the prime areas of SE1 is to build truly affordable housing. The real alternative is that NOTHING is built! That has been exactly the situation that we've seen for many many years. Another misconception is that high-end developments are done by greedy developers, whereas cheaper developments are done by more kind-hearted developers. London is a highly competitive marketplace, and anything more than a 20% profit built into forecasts will mean that you'll get outbid when trying to acquire new sites (and considering the risks - developers can and do lose vast sums of money - 20% profit is not unreasonable). There are many developers interested in lower cost housing, but it's not going to happen where land costs are extremely high.

I also think that overseas investors get a bad rap that's unfair. The Neo Bankside example that Karen brought up is a great example. The developers contributed a 22MM piece of land for public use and 9MM in cash for new homes (so 31MM in total) as part of the planning granted at the site. That 9MM on its own will allow the construction of about 50 good quality council homes and, given that the majority of purchasers at Neo are from overseas, this cash is a gift from abroad. No taxes, no cuts, no debt for Southwark council, but cash that has effectively been donated from foreigners!

I understand local people trying to protect their homes and resisting a move from an area we all love, but I'm just trying to bring a little Balance to the discussion.
Thursday 20 February 2014 10.02pm
I have been following these posts closely,as this SPD affects residents at Quadrant House adversely.
I understand from speaking to someone the BARD meeting this evening that much of the land was bought many years ago by developers very cheaply. People who came to the area years ago will remember that is was not a sought after area then.Now it feels like the wild west gold rush is upon us, and the pistoleros at Southwark council are selling their residents down the river.
Friday 21 February 2014 11.22am
Well how long have SC been selling land off for now?

Could someone point me in the direction of all the new council housing in the borough?

Cheers in advance.
Friday 21 February 2014 12.11pm
sjac, you state a lot of facts such as the sum of money 'contributed' by the developers of Neo Bankside, there is no arguing with this, there is however, a big BUT, and that is the pointlessness of a huge piece of land with empty buildings. It's not all about money. Having said that I look forward to someone answering boroughonian's questions.
Friday 21 February 2014 2.57pm
I'll answer Boroughonian - the answer is no one can point you in the direction of the new council housing in Southwark. Why you might ask? Because there isn't any that I'm aware of. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm right, but if new council properties were popping up all over the place I think one of our SE1-ers would have noticed by now!
Friday 21 February 2014 10.19pm
Boroughonian wrote:
Well how long have SC been selling land off for now?
Could someone point me in the direction of all the new council housing in the borough?

Cheers in advance.

Alright Boroughonian (and Karen I and suziq), I'll take the bait. ;-)

Not sure of the status of current builds, but according to this, the council is planning on building 10,000 new council houses over the next 30 years:

Southwark already has the most council housing in London (according to the above article and other sources). Despite that, the council appears committed to building even more. So it does seem that they are trying to Balance the private development with the social needs of the community.

That's probably not the instant gratification that some might be looking for, but these things take time as presumably the monies that the council will be getting from the private developers will be coming in over time and then they'll have to go through their own planning process, so it makes some sense that there's a lag effect between the private developments and then the council builds.

And in the meantime, the council is in the middle of a 5-year, 326 million program to update council housing, which doesn't seem insignificant.
Saturday 22 February 2014 2.31am
Thanks RobB, this information is well known on this forum and I for one, have given positive comments about these plans. There's lots of threads related to these issues and sometimes the arguments cross over and lines become blurred. I think it is fantastic that LBS has plans to build council houses and I know there's millions of pounds in the kitty. However, they have identified a 'shortage' of available spaces and then sold land and property that they own. They give good reasons for selling the land ie its in a prime site and worth a fortune and would allow more to be built elsewhere in the borough. True; but at a cost. On top of this, they 'entertain' developers who approach them about buying sites that are currently occupied by council property and tenants (we were very nearly victims of this last year). The arguments on this site depend on peoples' 'bug bears' and interests. My particular bug bears are that the council seem happy to split up whole communities in order to make an easy buck, and WE are the people they work for. The E&C is a prime example. They owned the land and if they thought the Haygate was beyond major works then they could have just rebuilt. But of course they didn't, they sold the land and a whole community was split apart. My other bug bear is the underlying message that people living in subsidised housing shouldn't live in 'nice' areas.
Saturday 22 February 2014 4.48pm
Apologies for linking another article from the Guardian to this debate, but it amplifies so much of what is under discussion in ways which i'd be somewhat inept at agreeing with, but would appear to be a theme developing throughout the capital; see further the recent statement that housing on the Battersea Power Station development was being restricted to UK buyers.
Saturday 22 February 2014 5.42pm
Thank you so much Tolstoy for posting this.
I cannot believe what is happening to our city, and how the developers are having such an easy ride, wrecking the place, and wrecking lives and communities.
Those in a position to do something about it do nothing.
Their silence indicates complicity to me.
The residents at Quadrant House are definitely going to fight for their homes in North Southwark.
Funny how the area was renamed "BANK side"
We do seem to be a glorified high return savings account zone for those who cannot stash their cash in their own banks for some reason?? I did not see this coming.
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