Coldharbour Lane, Brixton - news and updates

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Around £200k a year on your service charge for 24 hour concierge which the leaseholders have to pick up. Gates have a relatively small capital cost and minimal maintenance.
  2. snowy_again

    snowy_again Slush

    ^^ that's an expensive service charge! Do you mean £200?

    Lambeth removed the gates (after the concierge went a few years ago) on the estate I live in. Ironically to make it safer from people's big dogs.
  3. editor

    editor hiraethified

    We don't get anywhere near 24 hour concierge, and there's just two people for the entire block.

    The only reason we got them in the first place was because of sky high crime, drug dealing and prostitution in and around the block.

    BBC NEWS | England | London | Police raids target drugs gangs
  4. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    If you are in a building with communal entrance guarded by a concierge you care about the community. If it has a gate you don't. If there's a communal stairwell with a locked door to the street I'm not sure where you stand morally but someone will clarify.
  5. Mr Bim of Bar

    Mr Bim of Bar Well-Known Member

    Not immune just less risk
  6. T & P

    T & P |-o-| (-o-) |-o-|

    The term gated community should not necessarily apply to every residential house, block or group of blocks that restrict access to non-residents, certainly when the term is meant as a negative, discriminatory feature.

    It seems an apt term for very large developments with lots of communal space/ garden areas, like Brockwell Gate on Tulse Hill- a place where one could imagine some residents choosing to socialise only within the development’s grounds, with little engagement with the area outside their gates.

    But I’m not sure at all Brixton Square falls in the same category, any more than countless council properties also restricting access. I certainly don’t expect such property to hold events for local community in what looks to me an outside walkway area that serves no other purpose than to allow people to walk to their block’s front door. So the gates serve no other purpose than to prevent thefts, like many other blocks.

    Most importantly of all, it is blatantly preposterous to suggest that if a person lives in a gated community they can automatically be dismissed as not engaging with with the local community. As if allowing public access to a residential area was the only possible way to engage with the community.

    If a person volunteers at various local projects and events, campaigns for local issues, attends demos and rallies in support of local schools and libraries, raises money for local charities, but happens to live in Brixton Square, are they not engaging with the local community then?
    CH1 likes this.
  7. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Brixton Square (Carney Place/Chez Mr Bim of Bar) has a concierge. I have to get in there from time to time to deliver a Brixton Society newsletter to a member).

    I generally find the concierge staff very polite, typically smartly dressed South London Caribbean men. Not sure why they don't have women, and also why they occasionally are apt to disappear for a sandwich when you want to get into the complex, but as they say "I've never had any trouble".

    BTW Brixton Square does have some units which were either social or affordable - on the side overlooking the Walton Lodge Laundry. Naturally on my fleeting quarterly visits I have not been able to survey those residents on their salary levels - but it would appear from casual observation that there is a healthy ethnic representation.
    thebackrow likes this.
  8. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Brixton Square is different to your average concierge-staffed council block in that behind its huge gate there is a private square and a fairly large open communal area with trees and benches. Get past the concierge in most council blocks and you just see a lift.


    Has anyone made such a wilfully stupid assertion?
  9. editor

    editor hiraethified

    There is no social housing at all - the slippery fuckers managed to wriggle out of that commitment.

    Barratt Homes, Brixton Square and the fight to retain affordable housing in Brixton. Please sign the petition.
  10. SpamMisery

    SpamMisery Pretty comfortable here right under your skin

    I lived in a "gated community". It was a Victorian conversion, the gates being part of the original construction. Should I consider myself un-community minded, or is it only new builds with gates that are the issue?

    I once saw a property that had a gate, but no fence, making the gate entirely superfluous. Can we have some policy guidance on whether that is ok or not?
  11. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Go away you waste of space.
    TopCat likes this.
  12. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Yes we went through all this at length when it was being built. It's not a gated community. Neither for example is the Loughborough Estate which has large communal garden areas that aren't open to non residents. It's a stupid argument but it'll go on for ever.
    thebackrow and T & P like this.
  13. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    So I take it from your post that the residents of Brockwell Gate can be dismissed?

    Its the degree of "gatedness" you are disputing?

    Or is it that if one lives in Brockwell Gate but does good works this does not apply?

    So the degree of "gatedness" can be balanced by the degree of good works. In Brockwell Gate one needs to do more than Brixton Square.
  14. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I've never met a single person who lives in Brixton Square and I've only met one person from Clifton Mansions since it was turned into a private gate-protected block for the well off (and he was a coked up twat). Compare and contrast with the hundreds of people I met before the gates started going up around town - but of course it's not just the upmarket sealed-in apartment blocks that are unravelling the community here - it's the development of a two-tier Brixton with the rich floating around in their exclusive strata of winebars, foodie joints, champagne bars and cocktail grazeries.
  15. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The reason why gated community comes up is that over the years these new developments have increasingly excluded people. This is being done through so called "market forces".

    So yes targeting a gated housing development misses the point.

    The thing about Capitalism is that everyone has a choice but not everyone can in practise realise there preference.

    Its not the Brixton Square is directly excluding people. Its that the history of that site is case study of social exclusion.

    Publicly owned land. Sold first to social housing provider. Who got planning permission on basis it would be affordable housing project. Said social housing provider sold site on with planning permission for flats.

    Barrets come along and use existing permission to build flats. Reduce social housing element for reasons of "viability". Despite protests from locals Council planners cave in.

    The resentment lingers on. Its "gated" not physically but socially. And this is not accident.

    Areas of London are becoming "gated" in economic terms.
  16. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Spot on. Brixton Square is totemic of all that's wrong with housing in London.
  17. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I have always been told (by planning & architecture experts) that this is "Secured by Design".

    I would actually be quite interested to know the truth of this. As it is all the developer has to say is "Secured by Design" and it becomes a matter which is somehow mandatory and required by the council, the police or the government.
  18. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    I bet it reduces insurance premiums too
  19. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Yes and no. It is a bit more nuanced than that. SBD seeks to design out elements which create vulnerabilities but requirements vary dramatically depending on the officer you get. Gates aren't essential, but areas where non-residents can lurk aren't permitted particularly around entrances or ground floor windows which is why you end up with gates.

    Historically SBD was optional unless in high crime areas, where it may be conditioned. Code for sustainable homes (also usually a planning condition) awarded extra credits for SBD. Since building regulations were reformed a couple of years ago SBD certification is less commonly a planning requirement as most of the principles have been incorporated in Part Q.

    And yes, it does reduce insurance premiums.
    CH1 likes this.
  20. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I've certainly seen Lambeth applications conditioned with Safer By Design principles - though not sure about The Edge.
    I'm pretty sure the original Perrit Leng scheme for the Higgs site was Safer by Design.
  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Secured by Design was used on when Windrush square was designed. The reason its a bleak windswept space is because it gives the police clear sightlines across the whole Square.

    Secured by Design principles came from US and were championed here by the geographer Alice Coleman.

    SBD downplays the effect of inequality.

    Anna Minton has criticised the incorporation of SBD as a new orthodoxy in urban planning.

    Instead of supposedly " designing" out crime doing something about inequality and poverty would be dealing with the underlying causes of crime and behaviour that causes social problems.

    Indefensible design: the high social costs of ‘security’
    CH1 and editor like this.
  22. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

  23. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    This rebuttal of Ann Minton is written in the mode of a copper telling it how it is. As opposed to Anna - who is criticizing airy fairy design concepts of architects. Who really need the real world intervention of PC Plod.

    Of course PC Plod would like to see more caretakers. There you go just said this so Anna can't criticize. Then in same sentence says in the real world of economics this is not going to happen. So its all very well for people like Anna in her ivory academic tower to demand something PC Plod lives in the real world. And this is how it is.

    Shows how limited the world view of PC Plod is.

    Secured by Design’s Response to Fortress Britain | SBD
  24. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Minton's piece is quite clearly written to support a political position and is patent rubbish. I'm sure we'd all like full time caretakers everywhere as long as we don't have to pay for them out of our own pocket - like police but more friendly and approachable and maybe they'll even collect your post for you! In this absence of utopia I'd imagine that most will settle for a space in which they feel safe.

    The basic principles of SBD pre-date the SBD initiative and many were included in the National Housing Federation's Standards and Quality in Development, which has been considered the starting point for design of social housing for years.

    A lot of social housing these days is gated. People want security. Units designed for residents with limited mobility are typically at ground floor to provide easy access, and these residents are more vulnerable so defensible spaces are more important. I find the lazy assumption that gated spaces are specific to high end private developments very tiresome.

    SBD requirements can vary greatly from one CPO to the next - on a 100% social block in Hackney (gated, with private courtyard) a few years ago the CPO insisted on fob controlled lifts and intermediate doors so that each resident could only access their own flat and the few either side because, he said, the residents were most likely to be burgled by their near neighbours or someone their near neighbours had invited in.
  25. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I love this on the Secured by Design "About" section:
    if they're into Facebook style message panels, I thought this one quite good:

  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    From the research findings of Minton's study,

    Why shouldnt people in social housing have caretakers and youth workers in the area they live in?

    And why shouldn't Minton have a political position?

    Its not utopian to want caretakers on ones estate and youth workers. They were there but its all gradually been cut. In politically driven austerity cuts in case of youth provision.

    A point Minton is making is that getting rid of caretakers and youth workers and replacing them with yet more security is a political decision.

    She also traces the history of the development of secured by design from US to here by Alice Coleman. Where it fitted in with Thatcherism.

    What I was taking issue with in my post 163 is the attitude that "common sense" solutions trump criticism of those with a political axe to grind ( Minton obviously an academic lefty).

    As my namesake pointed out common sense is not beyond politics. Its where a political viewpoint is so accepted it appears to be obviously common sense.
    ShiftyBagLady likes this.
  27. happyshopper

    happyshopper Well-Known Member

    Somewhat counter-intuitively, Brockwell Gate isn’t gated, at least for pedestrians, as there’s a public right-of-way.
    thebackrow and editor like this.
  28. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I suspect that the promised, occasionally opened pedestrian path behind The Edge will remain a work or fiction for a long time.
  29. editor

    editor hiraethified

  30. TopCat

    TopCat Zap it!

    Could well be longer. The permit has been extended.

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