London SE1 community website

1 Blackfriars Road [Beetham Tower/Jumeirah Hotel]

Join in these discussions today! Log in or register.
Current: 16 of 20
Tuesday 31 January 2012 9.27am
Same happened with Neo Bankside. Apparently the site wasn't deemed 'suitable' for social or affordable housing, so this was due to be provided elsewhere in the borough. I don't think it's ever happened, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I wonder what happens to the funds provided by the developers?!
Tuesday 31 January 2012 9.51am
And much as at Neo it makes scene, imho, as they can only provide affordable housing to people on 60k or less (that's the policy set at Government), but you'll be looking at a monthly cost of >1500pcm (+ top rate council tax) in buildings such as these (based on rough working in my head).

The key would seem to be to ensure that the money is the right amount and it spent quickly on housing that does serve peoples needs.
Tuesday 31 January 2012 9.56am
However, the effect of Southwark's current approach is to make everything north of Southwark Street and Stamford Street a millionaire's row.

Perhaps difficult to prevent given the premium attached to being close to the river - but the danger is what happens when developers press for a similar approach to be applied further south.

No affordable housing north of Union Street? Then Borough Road, and so on. Where do you stop?

Southwark's current administration argues that by accepting the cash from developers on the northern fringe of the borough they can build a larger number of affordable homes further south - which is clearly a legitimate position when you consider the size of the borough's housing waiting list - but no-one seems to be too concerned about long-term prospects for a mixed community in the Bankside/Blackfriars area itself.

The combined effect of King's Reach + One Blackfriars + the Carlyle Group development of Ludgate House/Samson House + Neo Bankside will be hundreds of high-end private homes with nothing intermediate or affordable at all.

People may or may not see that as 'a good thing' but I think they should have their eyes open to see what is happening.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
Subscribe to our SE1 Direct weekly newsletter.
Tuesday 31 January 2012 5.27pm
Couple of points. I walk to work through the jumble of bulding sites James mentions, no wonder there is less of a recession in the South East, the employment and investment must be huge. And there is the public/utility sector, Blackfriars station, Thames water etc. So in the short term there are benefits.

But, to James's point, I am glad I am just over the border in Lambeth where the social housing, Peabody, Henry House, Coin Street etc does produce a mixed community. And although private house prices, including mine, have rocketed I would hate to live in a rich ghetto.
Tuesday 31 January 2012 5.42pm
But isn't the social housing provision in Cathedrals still more than 50%? Owner occupation is less that 20%.

Perhaps no more is being built near the river but there is still a great amount between Borough Road and the River (and will continue to be).

The absence of intermediate housing is a good question, but in my experience as an intermediate owner the pricing that would be required can not be made to work without greater subsidy that is available or smaller, less appealing homes than I would want.

Coin Street is an incredible example and one we should seek to emulate, but even they have seen the sense of using the mad money people will pay for a glimpse of river to fund wider community improvements.

James is of course right, that this should be a stated policy if it is one, not a secret, . A view should be taken on what the appropriate tenure mix is and planning work toward that.

It doesn't help that our local taxation system doesn't properly reward the borough for it's millionares - we need a council tax that does.
Wednesday 1 February 2012 4.07am
James Hatts wrote:
Southwark's current administration argues that by accepting the cash from developers on the northern fringe of the borough they can build a larger number of affordable homes further south - which is clearly a legitimate position when you consider the size of the borough's housing waiting list - but no-one seems to be too concerned about long-term prospects for a mixed community in the Bankside/Blackfriars area itself.

It would be interesting for someone from The Council to post a list of where the socially rented and affordable homes are now being built in North Southwark and how many units there are.
Wednesday 1 February 2012 9.16am
What a good idea.
Wednesday 1 February 2012 10.58am
i thought all new developments had to have a proportion (25%) of "affordable" properties (rented and shared ownership)...is this correct?
Wednesday 1 February 2012 11.00am
boroughpaul wrote:
i thought all new developments had to have a proportion (25%) of "affordable" properties (rented and shared ownership)...is this correct?

No. They have to do that, or provide it off site, or give the council money to provide it off site. St Georges propose to do the last on 1 Blackfriars.
Wednesday 1 February 2012 11.05am
The point is that Southwark has started to accept cash in lieu of the direct provision of affordable housing by developers in the far north of the borough. Until a couple of years ago that was pretty much unthinkable as far as Southwark policy and practice was concerned.

So although affordable housing will (indirectly) be provided as a result of these developments around Blackfriars and Bankside, it won't be built anywhere near the luxury flats that have provided the cash. The geographic link - previously seen as essential - has been broken.

This approach makes sense when you take the borough-wide view because it means more homes for more people on Southwark's waiting list. [The council can get more for its money by not insisting on the affordable housing cash being spent in the areas where land is more expensive.]

But it has profound implications for the future character and social mix of the borough, and threatens to exacerbate the polarisation between areas of extreme wealth and poverty.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
Subscribe to our SE1 Direct weekly newsletter.
Current: 16 of 20

To post a message, please log in or register..
Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from:

We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

Also on the forum
Views expressed in this discussion forum are those of the contributors and may not reflect the editorial policy of this website. Please read our terms and conditions