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

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

  1. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.


    I see that the latest edition of the Bogle has the grinning phizzog of Brad Carroll, "Brixton Green" (who they?) mainstay and allround "we're only hear to help you" kind-of-guy in it, bigging up their involvement in the Somerleyton Rd redevelopment and basically doing some mutual back-patting/masturbation with the council.
  2. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Was there any critical analysis included in the article?
  3. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    Just had a chat with Brad. He's very upbeat about the project. Sees it as a model for delivering social housing at sites all across Brixton.
  4. editor

    editor hiraethified

    What kind of 'social housing'? Perhaps you could ask him to post up here with some details because finding out actual answers about Brixton Green's plans has historically been a near impossible task.
  5. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Gramsci and Greebo like this.
  6. editor

    editor hiraethified

  7. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    dunno - think the idea is that whatever happens at somerleyton rd would happen on other sites.

    as for posting here, i suspect he would advise coming to these upcoming information sessions.
  8. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Ok, well the last page has decent details. The current plan is for minimum 40% of the housing on the site to be at target council rent, with the rest "affordable". It's still not fully decided, and the next [public meeting is on the 18th.
    Gramsci likes this.
  9. editor

    editor hiraethified

    It's the details of Brixton Green's actual involvement with the council and their future plans that interest me most.
  10. Tricky Skills

    Tricky Skills Well-Known Member

    Anyone a "stakeholder"? I think they mean local people.

    There's a Stakeholder Party coming up...
    Maria Santos likes this.
  11. editor

    editor hiraethified

    That's just the problem. What the fuck is a stakeholder or indeed a 'Stakeholder event and Christmas Social'. Normal people don't use such words, so why use them?
    Greebo likes this.
  12. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Not really. The article just kind of stated that Brad had been disapproving of the "snail's pace" of the council, but was a recent convert as they appeared to have pulled their fingers out on Somerleyton.
    What that actually means, for us or for Brad and Brixton green, I wouldn't like to guess.
    shakespearegirl likes this.
  13. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    He's quite good at encouraging people to meet him on his terms. :)
    Greebo and editor like this.
  14. Corax

    Corax Luke 5:16

    Didn't initially realise this was a bumped thread, and was a bit :mad: reading a post using 'gay' as a generic pejorative, and it going unchallenged. I think that'd be pulled up now, and I think fewer people would do it in the first place. So maybe there's less angry anarchism, but maybe some things have actually improved along the way as well? Has the tone of the boards become less radical, but perhaps more (for want of a better word) 'aware'?
  15. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Here's a transcript of the Bogle article:

    Next step for £50 M Somerleyton plans By Zoe Jewell.

    Lambeth council's decision to take on the development of Somerleyton Road itself, instead of contracting it out to a developer, was in respnse to demands from the community, according to a senior council officer.
    Neil Vokes, regeneration project manager at Lambeth, told The Brixton Bugle that the decision "completely changes the dynamic" of the project to redevelop Somerleyton Road into a housing and community "hub".
    "The decision...was really to acknowledge the messages we'd been getting from the community that people didn't us selling the site.
    Bill Linksey, chair of The Brixton Society, said the decision "is very welcome. it would be good if they adopted the same policy for all the land they own in Brixton".
    Lambeth plans to take out what is essentially a giant mortgage to pay for Somerleyton, a loan either with a pension scheme or the government's Public Works Loan Board. "We're looking to borrow about £50 million and take about 35-40 years to pay it back", said Vokes.
    This means Lambeth can now start to pin down the details of the financing of the project and most importantly how much of the housing will be socially rented.
    In consultations many locals stressed the importance if having social rented flats, rather than high private rents.
    Councillor Pete Robbins, cabinet member for regeneration said: "We've made a commitment that there is a minimum of 40% of homes that will be let out at council rent levels - which are about 40% of market rates - as our initial financial study suggests that can be supported.
    "If it looks like a higher proportion can be supported then of course we're keen to explore that - but it may be that local people would prefer to explore introducing some intermediate rents instead. We don't want to prejudge decisions like this until we have explored them with the community.
    However Lambeth Housing Activists have called for 100% council housing and say that the council needs to borrow over a longer period of time.
    The council is working on Somerleyton with community group Brixton Green and the Oval House Theatre, both of whom have a vote in all final decisions.
    Brad Carroll, director of Brixton Green, said: "When I first started this I used to get really, really frustrated with how the council dealt with it. After where we've come from, I think it's phenomenal. We've got transparency in the financial model - if we see the numbers, then we can make really informed decisions.
    "Obviously we've got a lot of different types of developments going up in Brixton at the moment, but on this "Somerleyton) I think they're very much doing a real partnership."
    Robbins said: "I think that this project shows that it is possible to carry out positive development and regeneration hand in hand with the community - but that it takes time, effort and commitment."
    However, others were not so enamoured of the council. One person who attended the consultations earlier in the year said: "The council says only 40% will be at council target rents. Which is about the same as to be expected from a private developement. The length of the loan is an issue. I do not understand why it has to be 30 years. Some councils are doing it for a longer time."
    Brad Carroll also said that the timeframe to get planning permission - the council is aiming to do it by late 2014 - was a challenge: "I think the opportunity is enormous and the timeframe is very small. It's like the door has suddenly opened and then you start to see all the other possibilities." Councillor Robbins, however, insisted that there is "a clear timetable."
    The council has now asked for tenders for contracts to design and build Somerleyton and a "bidders day" for all those interested will take place on December 4.
    The residents of Carlton Mansions, which will be retained on the new Somerleyton development, are still under threat of eviction by the council.
  16. Dan U

    Dan U Boompty

    Genuine question, would it be possible for the council to borrow money over a long period than that? 40 years is already a very long payback in anyone's book. Commercial partners would want more like 10 - 15 and a normal mortgage is obv more like 20 - 25 years.

    I support it being all council housing btw, just wonder how realistic the borrowing demand would practically be.
  17. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    Depends what their revenue stream, I guess.

    Which depends on what level of rent is charged.
  18. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    The usual repayment period for most council properties built between 1920 and 1980 was 50 years, although all such loans were from the central government, as they had access to lower interest rates than financial institutuions. What generally happened was that local authorities tened to settle the (low interest) debt quicker than the terms allowed, so I can't see 40 or even 50 years being a significant issue unless the council try to make it an issue, IYSWIM.
    Dan U likes this.
  19. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    The higher your repayment the shorter your loan, and the less you repay in total.

    Which is why Lambeth may not want to offer all the Somerleyton properties at 'low' rent.
  20. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Well duh!!! :p
    Kind of also depends on the eventual interest rate, though. Historically, local authorities were able to borrow at below the minimum lending rate, although I'm sure that isn't the case now, as that might provide too much encouragement to local authorities to build.

    That was pretty obvious in Robbins' shilly-shallying about "exploring" the wishes of the community
  21. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    What is a minimum lending rate in this context?
  22. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    The ratio of 'low' rent to 'high' rent homes is the crux of the matter. Going to be interesting.

    If they have unlimited borrowing then it would be right to keep rents as low as possible.
  23. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Form what I recall from last time I researched post-war social housing policy, below the bank rate/base rate set by the B of E.
  24. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    It's not "unlimited" (would that it were! Lambeth still owns enough developable land to deal with a significant majority of its' waiting list if they had access to unlimited borrowing!), but the terms under which they can borrow from the govt's Loans Board are flexible. The council coul, if they were minded, borrow over the longer rather than the shorter term, without affecting the interest rate (the loans are unlike a mortgage, in that repayments spread over a longer period don't (currently, anyway, from what I've read) trigger a difference in interest charged.
    I think this is about the council trying to have their cake and eat it - to appeal to the mostly Labour-voting (if they vote at all) people in social housing, while still showing their non-core support how "prudent" and absolutely au fait with neoliberal practice they are.
  25. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    Since the funds are limited, the level of the rents influences how many homes they can build.

    Lower rent: fewer built.

    Unless of course they can borrow sufficient to match their land bank.
  26. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I'm going to spin off the funding part of the discussion into a separate thread as i think it's going to get lost here.
  27. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    There is already a thread about this.

    As Crispy pointed out.

    What is this thread for exactly?

    Can the last posts be merged onto the original thread please.

    Having two threads on same topic is confusing.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The model is not Brixton Greens it comes from officers who looked at what other boroughs have been doing. As I have repeatedly stated this is Council scheme not Brixton Green development. It was Council officers who are experimenting with this model. I was told by one officer that if this scheme worked the Council may use the finished model on other sites.

    Councils can now borrow to build schemes.

    See thread on Somerleyton where I have put up details.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
    Maria Santos and Effrasurfer like this.
  29. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I got my invite to the event and responded by asking them to explain what a "stakeholder" is and how they differ from, say, a local resident please?"

    I want to make sure I'm eligible.
    Maria Santos and Gramsci like this.
  30. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    A stakeholder is someone who has an interest in, or will be affected by, the development.

    This includes local residents, but not all stakeholders are local residents.

    It's a fairly common term these days; surprised you are unfamiliar with it.
    Maria Santos likes this.

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