Interesting slight tangent to the whole Potters Fields/Berkeley Homes wranglings (and therefore I have put this is in SE1 Discussion)..did anyone see The Tower on BBC1 on Monday?
It was about a tower block in Deptford sold off by Lewisham Council to our good friends BH, and it told the stories of various local people and juxtaposed that with all the marketing guff and money-making scheming of BH. Could be a bit cliched but also very poignant in parts and also bits to get your blood boiling (like the marketing team at BH basically looking down their noses at Deptford whilst dreaming up plans to sell their development to young City types) and made you realise that developers like BH will try anything to make a fast buck. It's a series so on again on Monday night.
I don't advocate their bland building style etc. but without such companies some areas would never get regenerated. No one is forced to buy in one of their developments. Without such companies Elephant and Castle for example would stay the mess it is now. I don't suppose those residents who live in E&C or Deptford, and are luckily enough to have bought their property, will mind when their property prices rocket. It is like Starbucks ...we all love to hate them but secretly want one to open near us as it means that the area is "doing rather well".
How else are we to achieve the type of regeneration that we would all like to see in areas of south London ? Councils cannot afford it without putting up our taxes too much or going into partnership with private firms - who do unfortunately build bland properties that I would not like to live in. I do however prefer that to the kind of environments you find in some areas of Deptford....or are we all too cosy in lovely SE1 wondering what the latest restaurant is like or whether the new wine bar sells cider to know how other people have to live in other parts of London ?
If anyone has any better ideas then I am sure there are lots of councils who would appreciate the advice.
Forgive me, but as one who is quite on the inside of the Regeneration Scheme I can promise you there are DOZENS of companies ready to put money into housing in the area.
Idont mind if developments are "bland". I mind when they are shoddily built, and cause "over development".
By the way, looking through my Evening Standard Property sections from when I was away, I see that St.George (a subsidy of Berkeley Homes) has been building developments with some 20% more flats than they were given permission for. They've been sneaking in more flats per floor than the plans showed. They've been discovered in two of their latest developments, and are being sued. Good job too.
The trouble is the dozens of companies that are waiting in the wings are likely to employ the same business model of fitting in the most number of units for the smallest amount of cost whilst trying to influence/bend the planning rules as much as they can.
Lots of us live in places that could be considered "over development". One person's "over development" is another person's opportunity to live somewhere reasonable/where they want to. Unless we want to go down the route of knocking down anything over 5 storeys and asking those people impacted to leave London so those left behind can all live somewhere less crowded. Hands up if you want to go first !
BH, as a business, purely build as many units as they can get away with after being given permission by people that we all elect. The power is with us to change that if enough of us care about the issue.
They built the development I live in (full of building flaws) and signed the contract with OM Peverell and Notting Hill Housing Association, which has placed shared owners in 'affordable' housing in a difficult position, with an (as yet) unresolved 146% service charge increase.
They also sneakily purchased an unbelivably tiny wedge of land directly behind my development, next to the railway line into Waterloo. They timed their planning applications in order to push through permission before our blocks were occupied (in order that we would not be able to object) and are now noisily building a 17-storey block less than 20-feet from our development. The building works have required the closing of our access road for 13 months, and very inconsiderate early and late works on occasion.