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Is Southwark Council moving out Londoners with new luxury housing developments?

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Friday 11 April 2014 6.57pm
boroughpaul wrote:
but if right to buy tenants have since sold and moved on and the property has been sold and sold again since, there is nothing that can be done. the horse has bolted. Isn't social housing these days basically the domain of housing associations ? ideally all new developments should have a mix of full sale, shared ownership and social/affordable places to rent. that model works and meets the needs of most who, surely, in the long run, want to buy their own home rather than rent?

The Council owns about 30,000+ social housing units.

The mix of tenures you propose would be good if it actually happened. But that 'model' is not working. The main squeeze or loss though has been at the social rent end where very few 'target rent' homes are being built in new developments - just look at what's replacing Heygate. Social rent is also affected by the new 'affordable rent' that can make a social rent up to 80% of a private market rent. It has been the Housing Associations who have been most enthusiastic for this.
Friday 11 April 2014 7.29pm
For the record that model ioperates in many developments for example at Empire Square and works well . The payment of cash in lieu of housing units works against this and really shouldn't be allowed (in my opinion)
Friday 11 April 2014 10.18pm
boroughpaul wrote:
For the record that model ioperates in many developments for example at Empire Square and works well . The payment of cash in lieu of housing units works against this and really shouldn't be allowed (in my opinion)

The tendency is for pleas of finanacial viability being against mixed developments along the lines of this older model. How many bigger developments in North Southwark in the last three years have stayed true to the Council 35% policy of 'affordable' housing in their plans? Very few. Most have chosen to bung the council instead. That means many new developments with zero social or 'affordable' housing. That creates sink areas of wealthy people whereby the Council is helping to dump them all in one large area *-)
Saturday 12 April 2014 10.31am
cry true but...who makes the decision accept cash in lieu of affordable units? the council. the developers can hardly be blamed for that?
Saturday 12 April 2014 1.59pm
boroughpaul wrote:
cry true but...who makes the decision accept cash in lieu of affordable units? the council. the developers can hardly be blamed for that?

I wasn't blaming the developers who seek to maximise profits. It's the Council who facilitates and, though they think it's a clever housing strategy, they are allowing the North Southwark area (close to tubes and attrsctions) to be filled with questionable developments for a certain market of investors and buyers but that means there a questionable benefit to the majority of their constituents.
Saturday 12 April 2014 2.02pm
Well, I was provoked to write because March 10 2011, page 5, of the Southwark News "Strategy" supremo Cllr Fiona Colley is quoted by Oliver Pugh as saying:

"I'm willing to give up a few flats on a prime site, in order to build more flats down the road"

The rest is recent history including a one bed flat now c.1Million (see Hamptons website) in this development.

The 35% was wiped out by National Planning Policy Framework, 2010/2011 it became a flexible aspirational target - not a rule. If I was in a good mood with Fiona I would even say it's all not her fault and blame Simon / Government. The Council's target is 35% only if a Planning Committee for a particular applicant decide to enforce it. They are unlikely to risk an appeal so follow Officer recommendations that usually follow viability.

Going on about the 35% or the 50% as it used to be, is hopeless unless Planning Committee members are influenced to follow it. It's almost another "fake" policy. There's many of them, little relation to practice.

10.5m for 88 'habitable rooms' (120,000 per room) down the road somewhere now looks like a steal for the developer that has c.356 flats more to sell.

And that for me is the rub. I have some sympathy for Fiona's policy BUT the deals struck are terrible. And where next will "down the road" be?

The developments risk not only becoming sink gated Estates of wealthy people, but empty estates.

Do I blame the developers? No. I've met quite a few. And so far as I can tell they have done nothing unlawful. They have lawfully bought land for that they think is a lot of money and aim to make money out of it.

It's a four year run of good luck for developers. And four years of lost opportunities for many others. Sadly. And now far from worrying about what Fiona is going to sell next, many of us have to fight for the basics like the NHS or protect our playgrounds and small pocket parks and so on.
Saturday 12 April 2014 5.07pm
and then there's the business of 'mixed communities'. they're selling off the north of the borough to be a nicely gated, 'unmixed' community of rich and/or absent homeowners and some, not necessarily fully occupied, office spaces and clone supermarkets/coffee chainstores etc.

so if north cannot be 'mixed', they'll need to do some proper mixing a bit down the road. where there's still council housing to demolish and replace with a healthily 'balanced' mix of not more than 35% council housing (as any more means skyrocketing crime rates, unemployment and the usual sickening spin)
Saturday 12 April 2014 7.05pm
Hmmm I have had enough "sickening spin" to last me a lifetime, pros.

I was walking along Redcross Way this afternoon and I saw something that really cheered me up, and reminded me that things do not have to be the way they are at the moment. It was up on the wall of a school, and reads

"Nothing for myself that is not also for others"
Sunday 13 April 2014 10.19am
pros: I think what you are saying, and correctly, is that it's a cascade approach as ripples of evictions spread from the North down the road and because planning policy requires that x number of all new homes in y place must be private and this creates a spiral that gradually wipes out ALL council homes as it spreads South. And since Southwark Council work in a time frame of decades such an outcome is entirely possible.

I wait to see what percentage of Fiona's Phase 1 and Phase 2 sites (on Southwark's own land) are private homes. It was my expectation that we would maximise (not optimise) the number of Council homes for Phases 1 and 2 of the Direct Delivery programme at 100% however it seems that rather high levels of market sale and rents up to 80% are being factored in.

I wait to see the affect of Boris, because he has the power now to set rents upto 80% of market for projects he partly funds as Mayor.

That a Party of fine diners (gobble gobble gobble, #greed), barristers, bankers, executives, career politicians and wannabes and so on, would pretend to be "socialists", agree and put into effect such a convoluted and complicated scheme to socially engineer the removal of our kind of people so that they can rehouse their own kind of people is pretty well evidenced. All that is really needed is for the wider electorate to appreciate the "faking it" which they are doing quite well done (by outcome of the expected re-election!)

Do we need a "Southwark Party" that amateurs (non professional politicians) can rally under? A party that is not a national party. All those who are snubbed and frozen out from the three-cheeks main parties could join in. With manifestos for wards. Recently someone (not me) said over here that we needed a "Republic of Rotherhithe" and was rounded on. I wonder if just "Southwark Party" might be better if its allowed?
Sunday 13 April 2014 11.29am
Well, hhrca you have come up with a good idea here.
Over in west London a friend sent me a copy of his local paper with the headline "We want democracy, not development, in borough"
It goes on to say " Disillusioned residents are planning a coup in the May elections by standing against the Conservative council who they accuse of siding with developers"
"They promise to fight against developers, who they believe are forcing poorer residents and businesses from the area, and the council, which they claim is complicit in granting numerous ambitious planning applications" They are calling themselves The Chelsea Independents. One of them said " It's about time that someone stands up for the Chelsea community which is being eroded beyond belief by the rubber stamping in the town hall planning department which is allowing overseas developers to destroy this area"
Well, this sounds SO familiar, doesn't it?
The full article is in the Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle, April 4th edition
www.getwestlondon.co.uk
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