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)

    The Guardian article is quite interesting - as is the quote from Sadiq Khan. Since being elected he has already rowed back on the number of affordable homes to be built, so if he does introduce a London standard for viability assessments - as he had said he would in the article - it will be interesting to see whether it improves the current situation.

    I think Lambeth Council's normal mode of operation is to choose a developer, point them in the general direction and then let them get on with it. This may explain their supine position. They don't want to pick fights with prospective "partners" needed for Cressingham Gardens, Central Hill, Knights Walk etc etc. After all look how successful the PFI "Oval Quarter" redevelopment of Myatts Field North has been - nearly all sold off-plan in Singapore!

    The other thing that occurs to me is the amount of WASTE in all this. The government is always going on about cutting out red tape and bureaucratic waste. Then they set up an expensive planning negotiation system using countless surveyors, architects and other consultants designed to up a developer's profit - apparently typically from 15% to 25% (see Guardian article reference to Heygate above).

    If this was going on in Nigeria we would be accusing them of corruption. Here it is just par for the course - and also adds enormously to a council's costs bureaucratically unless they just roll over and accept the millionaire corporations' special pleading.

    And of course by accepting a much lower amount of affordable housing living costs are increased for the poorer end of society - and the the government seems oblivious to the fact that tax payers may have to subsidise high rents through Housing Benefit because social rents are not available.
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
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  2. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Oval Quarter apparently still has huge "snagging" issues coming to light. I could almost feel sorry for the investors, and do feel sorry for private renters.
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  3. Tricky Skills

    Tricky Skills I demand tea - NOW!

    The minutes of the steering group were supposed to be published each month. These failed to appear for a two year period, until an FoI prompted them to be published last summer. They have since stopped appearing once again.

    It now seems [pdf] that they won't be published until commercial considerations have been completed - understandable, but frustrating, given the recent changes in the project.
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  4. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    This is most unsatisfactory. They could put out redacted minutes at least.

    Minutes will only go up once all decisions have been made behind closed doors.

    I thought the whole thing about the Somerleyton road project was that it was done in consultation with the community.

    Why do the funding bids have to be kept secret?Joe Public do not have to know the commercially sensitive financial details- this can be redacted. But the general info of what and why a funding application is being made should be made public.

    I am curious what funding bid Brixton Green are going for. And what its for. I thought BG was to be dissolved once the project is finished and a new management body put in place to run the finished scheme.
    The two "stakeholders" being Ovalhouse and BG.

    I wonder what the controversial or unpopular options are joe public is not allowed to know about.

    BG were put on the steering group to represent the interests of the local community. Know we are told that the local community are not allowed to know about discussions which may effect what happens in there area. But BG are on the steering group to represent the local community. How does that work?

    Nor is it good that it takes an FOI for the Council to explain why they stopped putting up the minutes. Which were promised as part of the Coop Council way of doing things. After all its the Council who put this forward as a ground breaking flagship project of the Coop Council.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  5. Tricky Skills

    Tricky Skills I demand tea - NOW!

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  6. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Congratulations OvalhouseDB on being named as part of the team awarded the New London Architecture prize for best new housing project (unbuilt).
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  7. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    The phrasing is a bit off-putting I thought:

    New London Awards 2016 - Winners Announced


    Sponsored by Turley
    Unbuilt Winner
    Somerleyton Road, Brixton, SW9 by Metropolitan Workshop, Haworth Tompkins, Mae, Foster Wilson and Zac Monro for LB Lambeth, Ovalhouse, Brixton Green and igloo regeneration
    Built Winner
    Corner House, W1 by DSDHA for Derwent London
    Greenwich Housing by Bell Philips Architects for RB Greenwich
    South Acton Phase 3.1, W3 by Stitch for Countryside Properties

    in danger of sounding like it fell by the wayside.
  8. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    What the fuck has Brixton Green's architectural input been in all this?
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  9. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

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  10. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    None. The Council have appointed there own architects and Ovalhouse have there own.

    The architects did different aspects of the scheme. Zac did Carlton Mansions for example.
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  11. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Its still not onsite.

    I wonder what is happening. The award is for best unbuilt scheme. We still do not know what is happening with the planning application by the private owner of a section of the site and how this will affect the overall design thats just won an award.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  12. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Presumably the next step will be for the fish trading factory owner at 16-20 Somerleyton Road to try and get a developer on board. He managed to get the architect OK, but getting a developer will be more tricky, as they might have to abort if the council does go ahead and get a CPO and any profit might simply be the value-added to the site by the planning permissions granted so far.

    The council's behaviour is quite extraordinary. They had a significant scheme here which was generally supported by local people and yet they are apparently paralysed and unable to progress it by doing the CPO before even the last general election - as per their proposed time-line.

    Yet the buildings round the town hall - which scheme started AFTER Somerleyton Road - are now laying in rubble ready for the new Lambeth Admin Block to arise like a Phoenix and ruin the views round St Matthews Church.

    Similarly they are ploughing ahead with their plans for highly contentious and unpopular regenerations at Cressingham Gardens, Central Hill, Fenwick Estate etc etc.

    Lambeth's regeneration team live in a parallel universe. PFI developers such as MUSE hold the officers' feet to the fire and they get on with the job. Poor old Oval House and Brixton Green just don't have the same clout.
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  13. Brix69

    Brix69 Well-Known Member

    I presume Lambeth are deliberately over consulting on the Somerleyton Rd project to keep the people who care about Brixton, e.g. Brixton Society etc busy while they allow the rest of Brixton, with the Town Hall, Stockwell Rd, Brixton College CHL etc to be trashed. Once that's been done I imagine they will quietly ignore or shelve the Somerleyton Rd project a la Pop.
  14. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    They're not actually consulting though. Getting Brixton Green in to run the show is anything but consulting. They're there for their own interests, despite their self serving 'community' PR.
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  15. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Your litany has missed one out:
    (Cabinet decision for Fenwick Estate Regeneration)
    Cabinet decision for Fenwick Estate Regeneration
    Posted by Bashir Miah on July 12, 2016

    Last night the Council’s Cabinet met to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the Fenwick Estate and it was resolved that full redevlopment will take place. This means that all the blocks on the estate (except for the odd-numbered homes on Willington Road) will be demolished in a phased basis to make way for the redevelopment of the Estate. The redevelopment will re-provide all the existing homes and deliver additional new homes.

    What happen’s now?

    This decision means that the Council will start to work up detailed plans with residents on the estate for the redevelopment of the estate. We appreciate that this may be unwelcome news for some, especially those directly affected. However, going forward we will aim to provide you with as much certainty and information as possible.

    As part of this we would like to invite you to our regular drop-in sessions. This is your chance to raise with the Council any issues or concerns you may have. These sessions will be held in the Fenwick Hall and take place on the following days:
    Tuesday 19th July, 5pm to 7.30pm
    Monday 15th August, 5pm to 7.30pm.

    It should be noted that five days after the report is published there is an opportunity for Councillors to ‘call in’ this decision for further consideration. Should this happen we will be in touch again.

    Contacting Your Resident Advisors (RA)

    You can also see and speak to your Resident Advisors, Strategic Urban Future. Their next upcoming events are:
    Whole Estate Meeting. Monday 18th July ,6.30pm to 8.30pm, Fenwick Hall.
    Resident Advisors' Advice Surgery, Thursday 21st July 2016, 4pm - 7pm, Fenwick Hall

    The RA team can be contacted on the freephone number on 0800 169 8677 or you can call/email them on the details below:
    Rob Lantsbury , m: 0796 1532761, email:
    Christine Searle, m: 0776 4421981 , email:  

    The Council’s Key Guarantees

    As the Council's Cabinet has decided that Fenwick Estate is to re-developed the Council’s Key Guarantees will come into effect. These guarantees include:
    for tenants, a guarantee that you will be offered a new home on the estate that meets your housing needs; and
    for homeowners, a guarantee that there will be a variety of options which will enable you to remain living on the estate in a new home.

    You can see all of guarantees on the link by clicking here.

    What happens next?

    There is still a lot of detailed planning to do before any work can take place on the site and we do not expect any demolition to start until sometime in Jan 2019 at the earliest.

    The next step is to select a team which will develop detailed plans for the estate and we want you to be involved in selecting that team. The council has short-listed some development management teams who will present at an exhibition after the summer break, potentially in September. We will confirm the date and venue nearer to the time.

    The exhibition will provide residents with the opportunity to meet the prospective development management teams and score them. The resident feedback will be used by the council as part of the evaluation process for selecting the successful development management team.
  16. OvalhouseDB

    OvalhouseDB Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Not that this bit was much to do with me or Ovalhouse - except by being partners in the Steering Group. But the quality of the housing has been important to all of us and a lot of thought has gone into how the flats are designed and arranged. The award is for the scheme as a whole, and in the unbuilt category because it is , obviously, as yet unbuilt.

    Things are progressing, U75 posters have correctly identified some of the issues being dealt with, and I can't give any detailed updates, again for reasons that posters have identified. I too watch the demolition on Brixton Hill and think 'I went to that public meeting about this in the Ritzy- a while after we had started on Somerleyton Rd'. We are getting on with our own fundraising, and getting Ovalhouse Brixton-ready as an organisation.

    Watch out for our performances and events around the town centre in August. And if you have young people who would like to sign up for our summer schools look Rhyme and Reason Spoken Word Summer School | Events | Ovalhouse here for Rhyme and Reason Spoken Word for 16-25 yo, £10 for 4 days, Innovate Drama Summer School | Events | Ovalhouse for a 3-week drama course for 12-16 yo - only £30 in total!, and here Ignite Dance Summer School | Events | Ovalhouse for 3 weeks of dance, same price, for 12-16 yo. Everyone welcome, but if places are oversubscribed priority goes to residents of Hyde, Metropolitan or L&Q Housing, as we have a partnership with them.
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  17. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Brixton Green emailed me this morning. There are holding an open meeting/drop-in at the Impact Hub in Pop Brixton 6.30 - 9.30 pm Monday 3rd October

    There is an attachment to the email - a schedule of proposed rents for the Somerleyton Road development, which they propose should be means tested.

    Doesn't affect me, but I thought the proposition quite interesting:
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  18. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    'Affordable' is 40% of houshold income?

    Same there's no numbers for the amount of properties being offered at these rates.

    I'm still not sure what the fuck Brixton Green are doing in all of this.
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  19. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Note too that in the article, they're talking about "total housing costs", not just the rent. Brixton Green's plans would mean people spending 50% + on "total housing costs".
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  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Are Brixton Green an independent organisation who lobby the Council or are they in fact acting more like consultants for the Council? Devising schedules for rents.

    Is this what Brixton people really want?Is Pop the best place to get locals to air there views? Cant say I know anyone on Moorlands who uses Pop.

    Remember When first met Brad and Castiang they were going on about means testing people for a complicated form of shared ownership. Even then they were told thats not necessarily what people want. They took no notice.

    Its quite intrusive. Its also not that far from this Tories policy on social housing. Where people do not have long term secure tenancies but short ones. Then re assessed.

    Its all very interesting but its on the slippery slope away from post war social housing.
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  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Good point. Its been one of my concerns for a while.

    Will the majority of the flats be let at equivalent of social rent? We do not know. Will the % vary over time reflecting the economic situation of the time?

    As now up to 80% of so called market rent is classified as "affordable" under the rent regime proposed by Brixton Green the majority of the properties could be classified by the Council as social housing.

    Even though the income levels are high.
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  22. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Maybe go to their meeting and ask Dina Roake (who allegedly cited or compiled that table)?
    More importantly can they shine any light on whether the project is happening at all - or has it run into the buffers of Lambeth Regeneration being over-committed to regenerating Fenwick Estate, Cressingham Gardens, Central Hill, Knight's Walk, etc etc??
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  23. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    If Brixton Green's vision of means-testing follows that of developers, then it isn't just about ability to pay - it also becomes a tool whereby you can filter prospective residents - by profession and professional tenure, for example - in order to manipulate local demography - homes in a development with a "good" ACORN rating will be able to demand higher prices (rental and purchase).
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  24. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Actually there was guidance from City Am on how to get "affordable housing" if you are selling an existing property.
    There was also an advert in the same affordable housing for stockbrokers section of City AM for Loughborough Park (Guinness Trust) - the desirable new development in SW9.

    I'll post it up later if it will cause any consternation. I must admit I was taken aback at the time.
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  25. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

    Just for comparison, Lewisham's Besson Street private rented sector scheme is planned to be 65% at market rent (with capped rises - I suspect these caps won't apply at change of tenant though that hasn't been made clear yet). 35% will be the 'affordable' rents, which will be 35% of two London living wages. Since many (most I suspect?) households don't have two full-time incomes this is kind of a meaningless benchmark and won't be affordable to most people who live in the New Cross area. The one thing I'd say in favour of Lambeth's scheme is that it's looking like it will be better than Lewisham's. But I admit that's a low bar to aim for.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  26. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  27. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Because they often seek to "fold" adjacent properties into the development at a discounted rate. Same is being done regarding the "regeneration" of where I live, with Lambeth attempting to CP two adjacent blocks of housing (one of 18 properties, one of 8). It may be that the developer has there eyes on somewhere nearby. :(
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  28. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Having had a pint of Tescos £1.99/2L cider (so far) I was struck by the rather paranoid thought that there might be deal between Guinness Trust and London Borough of Lambeth that Somerleyton Road not be started until Guinness Trust is fully sold/let.

    Unlikely as that may be the City AM piece puts the icing on the cake.

    Advertising their Guinness Loughborough Park development in a publication aimed at stockbrokers and city traders - and furthermore having that publication clearly advise that already owning a property is no bar to a successful application.

    Note that being a buy-to-let investor would not prevent you applying for shared ownership yourself provided your "business" was on a proper business basis and you could supply two years of accounts.

    This absolute proof - if any were needed - that the Guinness Loughborough Park development is raw social and ethnic cleansing (in common with all other similar developments). The people who have been victimised are existing social tenants - in favour of all manner of potential incoming people who quite simply generate more profit for Guinness.
    City AM Shared ownership.jpg
    Loughborough Park.jpg
    Shared ownership rules.jpg
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  29. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

    They haven't announced any CPs yet but perhaps they are bearing it in mind for later. There's a black congregation church in a crappy building right next to the site that I can imagine being number one on the hit list if so.
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  30. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Could be worth a bump - this from an email just sent out from Brixton Green:

    Next monthly open meeting
    Time & date: 6.30pm to 9.30pm Monday 7th November
    Venue: Impact Hub, Pop Brixton 49 Brixton Station Rd, London SW9 8PQ (the Impact Hub is at the back of Pop Brixton on the ground level)
    Brixton Green hold monthly open drop-in meetings on the first Monday of the month. Our next meeting will focus on how to make the sustainable ambitions happen.
    Visit for more information

    The most peculiar thing about the email is the artwork:
    Is that supposed to be Somerleyton Road with modern flats and rennovated market barrows? I think we should be told.

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