Brixton Somerleyton Road development and Brixton Green - funding, proposed rents etc

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by ViolentPanda, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Do you recall the Peter Principle? Here is Wikipedia's very elaborate formulation:

    "In an organizational structure, assessing an employee's potential for a promotion is often based on their performance in the current job. This eventually results in their being promoted to their highest level of competence and potentially then to a role in which they are not competent, referred to as their "level of incompetence". The employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching their career's ceiling in an organization."
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  2. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Resuming my thoughts in the clear light of day I must say this still looks a bit of a mess after all the planning and consultation and seeking partners etc.

    There is another uncertainty which was not there at the beginning - the temporary use of the prefab buildings near Carlton Mansions by St John's School. The new St John's school in Angell Town is not yet ready- not sure of the timescale, but presumably this could have held up a starting date for the Oval House end of the site.

    I wonder if OvalhouseDB has any information about that end of Somerleyton?

    It seems to me there are now two plans - one (most likely) a private development on 16-20 Somerleyton plus a scaled down council-led scheme for the other parts. And Plan B - the old plan A to be implemented in the event of the applicant not agreeing to section 106 obligations.

    I am planning to go to the planning meeting tonight to see what is said. Be interesting to see if the chair bumps Tintagel House up the agenda over Brixton. Somerleyton supposed to be first on the agenda (after the minutes) Meeting is at Karibu at 7 pm.

    Of course there could be a Plan C - involving selling off other bits of the Somerleyton site. From the present and potential council tenants' point of view the popular mixed scheme originally proposed would then be seen as a Trojan horse.

    If there is a problem here with the old council/Brixton Green idea of Public Works Loan Board financing of Somerleyton this could impact on all the other regenerations -Cressingham Gardens, Central Hill and all the rest. They might have to become PFI partnership schemes led by Barretts, Taylor Wimpey etc. I'm sure that would go down at treat with the Conservative government. What about Sadiq?

    Yet another complication is that the Public Works Loan Board is currently being abolished (see here) The functions will be taken over directly by the Treasury - presumably more closely controlled by government ministers.
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  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    One thing for sure: most people I know in the area have zero clue about what is going on, despite Brixton Green's claims to have adequately consulted the local community ("Just pay us a £1 to have your voice heard!").
    Gramsci likes this.
  4. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Perhaps they follow the Lambeth council definition of "consultation"?
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  5. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Does anyone know about this by the way? What settlement did Lambeth achieve?

    The paragraph below is taken from a Swindon Tenants blog that goes into great detail about government finance of social housing:

    "When they carried out the calculations on this basis 136 authorities had to take on extra ‘debt’ whilst 34 received payments from the government to reduce theirs. Those that had to take on extra debt were given a ‘loan’ by the Public Works Loan Board (an executive agency of the Treasury) which Councils ‘paid’ to the government. It was of course a paper transaction between the PWLB and the Treasury. The ‘debt settlement’ produced an £8 billion surplus which the Treasury pocketed. This was in effect a subsidy to the Treasury taken from Council tenants’ rent. In addition Councils have to repay the ‘loan’ to the PWLB, together with annual interest charge. Rent used to pay off this ‘loan’ is money that cannot be spent on the upkeep of tenants’ homes".
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  6. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Milegate Limited seems a bit of a rum company.
    If you look at trade directories it deals in specialist shell fish etc.
    Others say it grows cereals and legumes.

    The current address of the company is 20 Somerleyton Road, however the correspondence address for the company secretary is 1 Bishops Avenue N2 0AP. Seems a bit odd - Bishops Avenue is the mythical hangout of the super rich.
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  7. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Don't want to bore everyone to death, but I did discover that Milegate has a mortgage secured on the Masons Arms in Edgware. So apart from trading in frozen fish etc. it also has at least one property investment.

    The Masons Arms was apparently notorious in 2012/3 for a stabbing and a shooting incident. Whether this led to Milegate taking over cannot say, but I noted the pub now has the de rigeur Facebook page Clubul Romanesc Masons Arms

    I am delighted to say after all the fuss about the advert for "a night" at Brixton Jamm the other day that the Masons Arms has it's own cultural spin:
    Mayday at Masons Arms.jpg
    In my delusion I thought it would be wonderful if a warren of Romanian bunnies arrived at the Town Planning meeting to assist the deliberations of the councillors.
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
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  8. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Pressing on with investigating Milegate Ltd - there is an associated company recently formed and registered at 20 Somerleyton Road called Fishnet (London) Ltd, directors Mr Nouri Nourani (of Milegate) and David Nourani - going on age could be a son of the above.

    Business stated as Food supply (other) so this is fortunately in the grocery trade, rather than strictly in the Fishnet trade.
    Greebo likes this.
  9. gdubz

    gdubz Hashtaggin'

    Maybe fishnet supplies the tights for the bunnies. Get a bbc documentary crew in there
    CH1 likes this.
  10. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The question is why advertise a Romanian club night with a photo of Japanese Cosplay girls?:D
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  11. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I see what you mean. I had just assumed they were Romanian. BTW nothing like that was evident at the Planning meeting!
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  12. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Did they approve it then?
  13. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Thats a pity. :D

    I’ve met Romanian women. Trouble is they all have big burly Romanian boyfriends from there village who they marry in two day weddings in Romania.

    Why some people want to get out of EU I really don’t understand. Have had some misery guts going on about this country being flooded by East Europeans and a stop needs to be put to it recently. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. :thumbs:

    How did it go at the planning meeting?
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  14. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Planning Committee Report
    Things sure drag at Planning at the moment. New chair is improving, but still not up to the curt incisiveness of the previous chair Diane Morris.
    We spent an hour on the minutiae of a basement excavation on an outbuilding behind 6-8 Larkhall Lane. Currently an artist studio and to be an expanded version of same (according to the applicant). After 3 speakers against, 3 in favour and much humming and haahing the committee approved subject to extra conditions.

    The the meat of the meeting. 16-22 Somerleyton Road.
    Officer presentation was more or less inaudible. Curious that since the councillors and senior officers seemed to have no difficulty with their microphones.

    The gist of the argument was this is an application following on from a Lambeth application for a much bigger scheme. This scheme has to be evaluated on its own merits - and in fact there is no reason why theoretically the Lambeth scheme cannot be adjusted to achieve the same final result as the Masterplan had indicated.

    There was an objector - Brixton Green. Two people from Brixton Green were there. Then speaker was a shaven headed man - definitely not Brad, or Zac Munro, unless he has changed his image. He was morally supported by a woman who looked to me like Dinah Roake, but I would not swear 100% to that either.

    The gist of the objection was that this new proposal undermined the community control of the Somerleyton Scheme and also by depriving it of rental income would render it unfeasible. The speaker was clear and well timed.

    The supporter was from the architects - he too was quite clear setting out how they had sought to accommodate the council's objectives as in the Masterplan.

    Altogether presentations, questions from councillors and debate took an hour.

    Councillor Mohammed Sadeet was quite blatant that he preferred the design of the applicaton compared to Lambeth's earlier one. I think he was probably right on that (sorry if anyone is offended).

    The was a question about affordable vs market - and the answer was that the current application plus what would remain of the Lambeth scheme would produce more affordable housing than before - but some of this would be shared ownership rather than rental.

    There was a lot of discussion about Somerleyton Passage. Assistant Director David Joyce had to clarify on this - the present application could only be charged 50% of the cost of doing up Somerleyton Passage as this was originally a cost on the whole Somerleyton Scheme.

    Councillors raised the nursery issue - the applicant clarified that this was a preference for the orginal scheme, so they had applied for the various options required for these ground floor uses - A1/A2/D1.

    The senior planning officer was surprisingly frank towards the end. Following a probing question he said it was understandable that a site owner might bring their own proposals forwards under threat of a Compulsory Purchase Order.

    The end of this issue was the most surprising I have seen recently: the chair said she was unable to support the proposal as in her view it lacked the quality of the Lambeth application which had already been approved. Moreover she was not satisfied that issues such as the Somerleyton Passage had been properly dealt with - and she also thought this application would undermine the council's larger proposal.

    She therefore asked for another councillor to propose the application be approved. Cllr Mohamed Sadeet was delighted to do so.
    The vote was 3:3 tied.
    At this point I expected the chair to cast her casting vote in favour of the officer's recommendation - which used to be the convention.
    In fact David Joyce, Assistant Director, leaned over and gave the chair strong advice that her earlier reasons for voting against the application would not be defensible in a Planning Appeal and the council could therefore incur costs.
    So Councillor Wilcox duly cast her chair's casting vote in favour of the application.

    General impressions - Councillor Diana Morris is still the one on the committee who has a full grasp of the issues and the rules, though I suppose Councillor Wilcox deserved an honourable mention for demonstrating her views.

    The Brixton Green objector walked out before the end - maybe sensing how things were going - maybe had an appointment.
    Dinah Roake (if it was her) gets an honourable for shouting out that application would spoil the Lambeth scheme (against what officers were saying).
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  15. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    see my report above
  16. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I always had a weakness for the music of Enescu (as did Yehudi Menhuin)
    Moreover the greatest ever Bruckner conductor is allegedly Sergiu Celibidache.
    So don't do them down.
    Account of the meeting above.
    Gramsci likes this.
  17. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I don't quite follow the background here. Was the original intention that Lambeth wouldl CPO this site, and if so why have they changed their mind? Or might they still CPO it and this application is to do with the owner building a case for its value or something?
  18. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Before I was kicked off the site I did take part in the earlier consultations.

    The assumption always was that the Council would consolidate the ownership of the whole site. The consultation on the site was on the basis it would be a Council owned scheme. And that they would retain ownership - renting not selling housing. Even the new theatre would be on a lease not a freehold.

    So somewhere down the line something has happened.

    Future Brixton

    The Council planning application was agreed. No suggestion in the Future Brixton piece that one section would be done by private developer.
  19. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    They always intended to - and were quite open about it AFAIK.
    Seems they never got round to it or maybe they notified the applicant and didn't follow through.

    I would have though the next step might be for the applicants to do the same as 86-88 Gresham Road and find a suitable building company like Taylor Wimpey to buy the site with planning permission.
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  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    My issue with this is that the private developer would not have had a potentially lucrative scheme without the Council plans already consulted on to make this road mainly residential. So the private owner is piggy backing on a Council scheme.
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  21. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    The one time I went to a Brixton Green meeting - an AGM maybe 2013 - they had a chart with a "Timeline". Key dates were the council election 2014 and General Election 2015. In fact the planning permission was on time I think, but after that everything slipped.

    I think we need to call in OvalhouseDB to see if there is any slippage at that end.

    This could be not malice or incompetence - but just having too many balls in the air.
    The not long ago we were reading that Your New Town Hall had a problem.

    Mastermind McGlone has only got a finite amount of brain cells.
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  22. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of the academic who talked at a Cressingham Gardens meeting. He had looked at "regeneration" schemes across London. All the grand promises had been watered down by the time the schemes were finished.
    boohoo, CH1 and Greebo like this.
  23. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Certainly is - including adapting the Masterplan to achieve his ends.

    But if the original scheme had gone through as planned he would have been CPO'd 2 years ago. What happened?
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  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The Somerleyton road project is a flagship project of this Nu Labour Council.

    Future Brixton

    So they should have made sure they were on top of it at all times.

    If I was on one of the estates they have earmarked for "regeneration" I would be somewhat concerned that the Council have not kept on top of this scheme.
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  25. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Future Brixton

    For once I agree with Brixton Green on this. It probably was Dinah Roake at the planning meeting
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  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The problem I have is that when it came to getting Carlton Mansions residents out the Council were very competent and nasty about it.

    When it comes down to taking on a landowner and developer they roll over.

    If the New Labour Council want to put people above profit- a laudable aim- this means taking on the big boys. Something Im afraid Nu Labour talk the talk but don’t do when it comes down to it.
    editor and Greebo like this.
  27. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    There is a major difference. In the case of 16-22 Somerleyton Road the guy owned the property, not the council.

    If the council had followed their own timeline this would not have happened. They have not rolled over - they have cocked up doing a compulsory purchase needed as part of their Flagship Scheme.

    If this was a balanced council someone might have been forced to resign over this I would have thought.
    Tricky Skills, Greebo and editor like this.
  28. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Is there some kind of time limit on it? Is it now impossible/infeasible for them to do a CPO?
  29. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

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  30. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    There is a deadline (12th July) by when the applicant must sign the council's section 106 agreement.

    If this does not happen then the planning department has delegated powers to refuse permission - so in that sense the permission is currently conditional.

    I expect you have better idea than me whether a CPO can still go through. Presumably if it did the applicant, Milegate, would argue for much higher compensation - and not just covering their architects fees!
    Greebo likes this.

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