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Saturday 6 October 2007 3.58pm
If the launch is now when are they completing?
Monday 8 October 2007 7.32am
PJ you are right, the student hostel is a BAD THING and I have been meddling fast and furiously to try and see what can be done about this phenomenon...putting in a plan and then changing it sneakily....I have spoken to the Grands Fromages about this and will be reporting back.
Monday 8 October 2007 8.31am
Why, exactly, is student accommodation such a "bad thing"? Bad for other people's property prices?!

E&C has two major higher education institutions which are important parts of the area in all sorts of ways. It stands to reason that student accommodation is required.

So long as plenty of other housing of all types is built as part of the regeneration, I fail to see a problem.

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Monday 8 October 2007 10.44am
I agree with James - student digs can go side-by-side with commercial units and swanky apartments nowadays without detracting from the overall desirability of the development.

However, I also agree with Jackie that it is poor form to put planning in for one thing (i.e. a hotel), and win local support based on that, only to change the application down the road.
Monday 8 October 2007 11.31pm
I don't see why student accomodation is a bad thing - it contributes to a lively mixed community here.
Tuesday 9 October 2007 7.52am
It goes without saying that it isnt a bad thing, and oakmayne have already confirmed that the design of the scheme will not be downgraded as a result of this rethink......what is a bad thing is that this scheme was promoted as giving E&C it's first decent hotel which is a very very important thing!!!!

There is already student accommodation on various sites around the E&C, including at St George's circus and above the Dragon Castle chinese restaurant on Walworth Road......

make no is very damaging when a major developer such as Oakmayne states that no one will open a hotel in the area and therefore student accommodation is the alternative, especially when they have failed to show the community that sufficient efforts have been made to market the scheme to hotel operators! The number of key potential sites is not unlimited and many are already spoken for by other schemes in the pipeline.

Attracting tourists and business executives to stay in E&C is vital if the momentum of the redevelopment is to be maintained!
Tuesday 9 October 2007 10.41am
Precisely! Indomie is spot on. I dont object to student accommodation in principle, of course not - we were all students once. But this is a major site, and it was finally going to provide somewhere for visitors to the area to stay...most of us dont have masses of spare room to invite our distant cousins, grannies from Shropshire etc, to stay in our flats. And the new whizzy flats being built are also none of them specially big. And, as Indomie says, and as I have said, it's decidedly sneaky to broadcast that there's going to be a hotel and then decide that it's easier to get a student hostel organisation to take the space, pay up and be rid of a large chunk of a sizeable development (bigger than anything Oakmayne has done hitherto). Thanks, Indomie for defending me. I'm beginning to feel persecuted.
Tuesday 9 October 2007 11.05am
I'm afraid it wasn't immediately evident (to me, at least) what precisely you meant by "the student hostel is a BAD THING".

A whole range of connotations can be read in to such a bold statement.

Asking for clarification doesn't mean anyone is taking sides against you, or that you need "defending" by anyone else. I'm not trying to fall out with you here.

With the very greatest respect, Jackie, you can't expect to make such strident statements and not be challenged or queried from time to time.

I'm not convinced a hotel is such a make-or-break issue here, though it makes sense to have one or more because of the E&C's transport hub status.

Just because there isn't a hotel this particular site doesn't mean that there won't be one very nearby. And in any case there is already a hell of a lot of hotel development in the pipeline elsewhere in SE1.

And there's always the possibility that student accommodation could provide affordable visitor accommodation during the university vacactions.

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Tuesday 9 October 2007 12.23pm
When is this development due to be completed and how does it fit in with other strategic plans for the area. I thought that the Mayors Plan for London highlighted E&C as an area for hotels.
Tuesday 9 October 2007 2.45pm
Thanks to everyone but especially Jackie for these updates.
I'm just a local resident, who, despite all the slick literature distributed by Southwark Council, (or maybe because of that), is generally confused, baffled and bewildered.
Student accom is fine as long as it is at some stage joined by other types of development to give a real mix.

I am disturbed to find out that the Unite building was originally planned for key-worker housing. There is surely a desperate need for that ??
Student accom seems to be some kind of "easy option" and I'd guess more profitable than key-worker rents or split ownership schemes.
I'm just afraid that in the gold-rush local people will come last in the gold-rush.... as ever.
Pete Volo
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