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Wednesday 4 February 2015 6.54pm
So this service charge wouldn't have been foreseen in the original planning process?
It seems, yet again, promises are made to placate the people and a smoother ride is had, then, when they have their way, they simply move the goalposts.
Wednesday 4 February 2015 7.26pm
Probably, but variations happen with every development and final service charges certainly wouldn't have been determined (and will continue to vary from year-to-year anyway).

Not sure why that matters anyway. To recap:
- People have amazing homes at social rents
- More amenities make these homes less affordable (social rents do not include service charges, which are added on afterwards)
- For some reason, advocates of affordable housing are insisting that these homes should be made less affordable and are upset at the council and developers for keeping costs down for the tenants (at limited inconvenience given that they already have their own private roof garden)

Can anyone explain what I'm missing here, or is it simply outrage for the sake of outrage?
Wednesday 4 February 2015 7.32pm
boroughonian wrote:
So this service charge wouldn't have been foreseen in the original planning process?
It seems, yet again, promises are made to placate the people and a smoother ride is had, then, when they have their way, they simply move the goalposts.
Quite so. Furthermore, is it so absurd to suggest that all should have access to the garden (indeed, to both gardens, in the spirit of equality) but the costs should be borne by the private residents only? From each according to his ability and all that? I really don't follow the "if we let the great unwashed use it (nice front door, garden, whatever) then we would have to charge them an eye-watering fee for the privilege, so really we're just being kind to the poor dears" argument.
Wednesday 4 February 2015 8.15pm
Resident John Doe! Is it only me who suspects this is a made up post? Far too gushing for someone who is, supposedly, getting a 'bargain'. Why the '10 times that .... my home will remain truly affordable' comment exactly. This really doesn't sound like a legitimate posting. If it is, why didn't 'John Doe' post it himself?
Wednesday 4 February 2015 8.57pm
sjac wrote:
Probably, but variations happen with every development and final service charges certainly wouldn't have been determined (and will continue to vary from year-to-year anyway).
Not sure why that matters anyway. To recap:
- People have amazing homes at social rents
- More amenities make these homes less affordable (social rents do not include service charges, which are added on afterwards)
- For some reason, advocates of affordable housing are insisting that these homes should be made less affordable and are upset at the council and developers for keeping costs down for the tenants (at limited inconvenience given that they already have their own private roof garden)

Can anyone explain what I'm missing here, or is it simply outrage for the sake of outrage?

I'm not necessarily talking the nuts and bolts of the access to gardens argument, it's just the deceit.
I wonder if the 76 social tenants on the Heygate development will be allowed in their gardens, or indeed allowed to walk in the private streets.
Faux or not, there would have been outrage if this was known at the time.

The only extra costs I can see from allowing all residents access to the gardens is the cost of the inevitable "poor gate" that would have to be installed.
Wednesday 4 February 2015 9.35pm
Perhaps the poor could wear sacks so that they are visible, and shuffle along with hands outstretched, doing a bit of groaning as they go.
Wednesday 4 February 2015 9.46pm
Sorry James. I saw "oozing...vitriol" and thought it was a bit OTT for a reply to a reasoned point.
Apologies to Gavin as well

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 4 February 2015 9.54pm
You've said much more strongly worded things yourself Ivanhoe :-)

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Wednesday 4 February 2015 10.14pm
Quite true, and it shames my mellower, older, self to remember it.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 4 February 2015 11.54pm
Um, suziq, the post was legitimate but of course the "story" was made up - that was kind of the point...

Anyway:

So no one can actually give a good reason as to why this particular decision to amend access rights is a bad thing, other than by bringing up general comments that either:

(a) planning shouldn't be altered, even if it will make social housing more affordable; or
(b) private tenants should just pay for social tenants.

I still don't get this. The point of social housing is to provide quality housing stock for those in need, the more affordable the better. This has been accomplished, even without the second garden (which would make it LESS affordable!). And while I accept that this is a socialist-leaning board, surely it must be accepted that private owners (who will have indirectly paid for part of the social housing development through their purchase) can't be expected to pay for luxury amenities for social housing tenants in perpetuity (and would that really be the best use of that money)?

There are many issues in Southwark that cause upset that I can at least understand, but this isn't one of them. My personal view: when you feign outrage on every issue without a practical solution or at least a reasoned argument, you lessen the legitimacy of your overall position.
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