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Current: 9 of 14
Thursday 12 February 2015 1.01pm
So, irony really is dead...
Thursday 12 February 2015 1.09pm
Someone should tell Private Eye's rotten boroughs.


James Hatts wrote:
sjac wrote:
Really? Lets try another spin on this:
Developers make homes even more affordable

[snip]

Resident John Doe stated: "I'm so glad that they've limited our costs by excluding us from this potentially very expensive shared garden. Given that we have our own roof garden anyway we'd probably never use it, and the increased service charges that it would have brought would probably have been a struggle. Did I mention that I pay only 161 per week for my 3-bedroom flat?!? It's incredible, given that the market price would be at least 10 times that. Now that I don't have to pay for the increased service charge my home will remain truly affordable. Thanks Southwark and Berkeley Homes!"

Hilariously, the editorial column in today's Southwark News quotes some of the words above from sjac's polemic as if 'John Doe' was a real tenant of Horace Jones House.

https://twitter.com/james_hatts/status/565833692170715136
Saturday 14 February 2015 6.39pm
The Daily Mail has now taken up the story.
Keep off the grass!
Saturday 14 February 2015 11.24pm
So the social residents of the 43 1 Million pound council flats in central London will have to stick to their roof garden with the epic views rather than the small courtyard blocked in by the multi story expensive properties while they wait to be eligible for right to buy and clean up re-selling.
Poor them.

I suppose this is coming out of my tax right?
Grate.
(not a misspelling, I had to fight the spellcheck)
Sunday 15 February 2015 12.53am
That's a bit nasty Davies.
Sunday 15 February 2015 1.23am
I'm confused by the Mail article, which I thought was poor (and grammatically too!).

I thought access to the roof garden had been rescinded from occupants of an existing adjacent social housing estate, and that this has nothing to do with the prospective tenants of the 43 flats in the new development, who are paying 'affordable' rents, ie, at up to 80% of open market rates, rather than amounts associated with most social tenancies.

The developers' arguments in defence of the withdrawal of access to the non-resident, but local, social housing tenants seemed bizarre, at least in my reading.

They seemed to suggest that the buyers of the flats for sale on the development (as opposed to for rent) would have had to subsidise the access to the roof garden of social housing residents not resident on the estate, and that the additional cost to the buyers' service charges might put them off and cause them to either reconsider moving in, or move out sooner.

If I am correct, I wouldn't have be losing any sleep over the buyers of luxury flats having to stump up a bit more in order to maintain the terms of the original planning permission, which Southwark seem to have been happy to 'redact'.

As I see it ,the decision to block access is important not just on its own terms, but also as a symptom of a developing culture of social apartheid in London, as is the introduction of 'poor doors' for tenants of social housing properties located within similar luxury developments.

So, out of sight out of mind for us, except in our capacity as cleaners, decorators, childcare providers, etc. This market-driven separatism is of course entirely at odds with the history of the development of much of London, which thrives on a mix of cultures and, crucially, classes,
Sunday 15 February 2015 9.22am
jimfearnley wrote:
I'm confused by the Mail article, which I thought was poor (and grammatically too!).

Yes the Mail article was confused and confusing on several points.

jimfearnley wrote:
I thought access to the roof garden had been rescinded from occupants of an existing adjacent social housing estate

No. Horace Jones House - the social housing block in question - is brand new and has been developed contemporaneously with the private homes, designed by the same architects and in the same style as the adjacent private blocks.

The disputed garden is not a roof garden either - it is a garden between two of the blocks within the development. It is at podium level - so just above ground level.

(There are roof gardens too, but access to those is not in question.)

jimfearnley wrote:
and that this has nothing to do with the prospective tenants of the 43 flats in the new development, who are paying 'affordable' rents, ie, at up to 80% of open market rates, rather than amounts associated with most social tenancies.

Again, no. The One Tower Bridge site is a complicated one, combining plots of land owned by Berkeley Homes, Southwark Council and the City of London Corporation.

The City Corporation land was formerly a car park associated with the Bridgemaster's House at Tower Bridge.

Whilst the main part of the development on the Berkeley and Southwark land has no on-site social housing (in line with recent Southwark policy and practice as far as riverside developments are concerned) the City of London decided to allocate its plot of land for the construction of 43 council homes.

(The City is already a major social landlord in Southwark.)

Whilst it is true that the City made an eleventh-hour attempt to charge 'affordable rent' rather than 'social rent' that particular change was knocked back by Southwark.

So what we have is 43 brand new council homes (some of which Southwark will have nomination rights for) at the very northern end of Tower Bridge Road.

It is the future occupants of these homes whose access to the podium garden is in dispute.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Zoe
Sunday 15 February 2015 10.21am
Just in response to Davies, council housing is self funding, no taxes are being used, so your taxes are not paying for this housing. The housing revenue account for councils is a stand alone fund and legally can't be charged to council tax.

Some people actually argue that it is housing residents who are paying to subsidise council tax payers, as they pay council tax and if they live on an estate, pay again for lighting, cleaning and their bins to be emptied, which is covered in the council tax for those who live in streets.

This is a lot of fuss about 43 residents, just let them have access to the garden.
Sunday 15 February 2015 10.22am
Many thanks for this, James.

Interesting that LBS knocked back an attempt to change the status of the 43 properties from 'social' to 'affordable'. LBL green-lighted just such an amendment a year or so ago, in relation to another riverside development, obliging prospective council tenant incumbents to move 'off-manor' to another, historically insular, part of the borough.

Also, by this apparent act of apparently 'defending' council housing (which if course doesn't square with other minor matters such as the sale of the Heygate Estate, etc). LBS presumably regards itself as having discharged some of its responsibilities as a social landlord, but BY PROXY, ie, by obliging the Corporation of London to keep to the original terms of its part of the proposal.
Sunday 15 February 2015 10.48am
James, my (perhaps erroneous) understanding is that the Southwark Council parcel of land will be given over (demised) to Berkerley Homes upon completion.
Current: 9 of 14

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