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Council plan to redevelop Somerleyton road/ Ovalhouse Theatre to move to the site.

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Gramsci, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Maybe I am reading this wrong but looks like the all important tender documents for this scheme, which are the ones the developer will work to will be decided by the "Core Group" only (Ovalhouse, Brixton Green and Council).

    There will be a "walkabout" on 18th July but that is it.
  2. Tricky Skills

    Tricky Skills I demand tea - NOW!

    More details of the "walkabout" taking place on the 18th:

    “Creating jobs and training opportunities for local people will be crucial and we now have the chance to create a development built on the best knowledge of our whole town coming together to make this site the best of Brixton.” said Brad Carroll, Director and co-founder, Brixton Green Ltd."
  3. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Hmmm, "our whole town", eh?
    Interesting choice of words for someone who doesn't live locally. :)
  4. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    He lives in Helix Road. Is that not local?
  5. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Hmmm, must have been someone else on Brixton Green's board who isn't local, then.
  6. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Pretty sure that despite their claims to be entirely made up of 'locals' there's one or two people in BG who don't live any where near Brixton and never have.
  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I went to the Cabinet meeting on Monday as the report on the Somerleyton road project was up for approval.

    The Cabinet approved the report. This means that the officers can go ahead to work up brief for the possible development partners.

    The "base" scheme was agreed. That is about 280 new homes, theatre, workshops, etc. Also possible Community Development Trust to manage site when finished. (Except for the Theatre and some workshops that will come under Ovalhouse theatre. Ovalhouse will be separate from any "stewardship" or Trust. BG will not be telling them what to do. )

    Also agreed were the Heads of Terms between Council and Ovalhouse. This was not public as Council said it contained sensitive information not for the public. So do not know what the agreement is between the Council and Ovalhouse at this time.

    The Council are making a big thing about the project. Its a flagship project for the Labour group. Cllr Rachel Heywood (Coldharbour Ward) said- this project was a new "vision for regeneration at Lambeth". Its an example of Cooperative working and Co producing a scheme with local community.

    Cllr Robbins Cabinet member for Housing and Regeneration ( he has been deselected for next elections) said the project exemplifies high level of community involvement. Its a project that has a partnership approach. Ovalhouse/Brixton Green/Council. Also working with smaller local groups.

    No mention was made of Carlton Mansions "occupiers" at the meeting. So the Council are making this a high profile scheme but at same time evicting a long standing community from the site. Who have been actively involved in the project.

    Cllr Sally Prentice (Cabinet member for Culture and Leisure) said the theatre would be a "magnet" to bring people into Brixton.

    I got somewhat irritated at the gushing praise of the project by all at the committee. Its clearly becoming a flagship project for the Cooperative Council. The project is "Fantastic" "exciting" "remarkable" .

    Brixton Green and Ovalhouse spoke about how exciting and fantastic the project is.

    BG people said the BG board was "fantastic". The Cooperative ethos was embedded into project.

    BG also said that there would be a "Community Development Board" set up to manage the site.

    CH1 and Tricky Skills like this.
  8. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I was at a meeting of residents and locals in Southwyck House last night. No one had a good word to say about Brixton Green. Why they can get away with saying that they consulted local residents when they made no attempt to talk to Southwyck House continues to baffle me.

    It's not as if Brad didn't know I was on the resident's association and could have approached me and sorted out a proper meeting instead of trying for his usual 'let's go for a one-on-one coffee' schtick.

    I don't want to go for a coffee with him. I wanted him to talk to the residents directly or even better, bother to interact here where he would have reached a vastly bigger audience than his under-performing website.

    It's all too late now anyway and it's left something of a sour taste in my mouth, to be honest.
    equationgirl likes this.
  9. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    "create a development built on the best knowledge of our whole town coming together to make this site the best of Brixton".


    In actual fact this is a Council led project. In the end it will be the Council who decide what they consider feasible to build on the site. We will not all come together to make this site on equal terms.

    Certain aspects of the scheme like using a development partner, about 40% affordable housing and the footprint of the Theatre are not decided by the local community. Local community are consulted and asked to comment.

    There is a long way to go on this scheme. A lot of things could happen. So what is needed is transparency of information about the scheme as it progresses. So people can comment .Ability to comment on scheme as it progresses.
    equationgirl likes this.
  10. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    There still is a lot to comment on. The brief needs to be written for the developer.

    Did have a chat after meeting with officer and suggested online comments like was done for draft SPD. So the brief can be commented on as its developed.

    This is one way to engage those who are not part of Brixton Green.

    The Cabinet decision on Monday was only first stage.

    I think officer wants to make sure there is widest possible consultation. Not just BG giving what they think.

    The walkabout on 18th July will include discussion on the development brief for the site and also Social Life will be there as observor.
  11. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Gramsci it's pretty damn galling when they gush on about projects that are clearly contradictory to the needs of the local community
  12. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    tbf I agree with the Theatre, I also want to see social housing at target rent and the Council will be looking seriously at this. (Which a lot of people wanted at workshops and on here.)

    Its contradictory to my community as they are (trying) to evict my community from site. Despite a lot of stuff about Cooperation from the Council.
  13. OvalhouseDB

    OvalhouseDB Well-Known Member

    It is true - there is a lot still to comment on and much detail (and some broad scope issues) still to be determined.
    Gramsci's suggestion to make the development brief open for online comments has been welcomed and LBL are sorting that out. There will also be a chance for people to talk in-depth - questions and suggestions - with our LBL officer and other people involved in the development on the 18th.

    For clarification: BG are drawing up models for the Community Development Trust - but that Trust won't BE BG - it will (depending on what people suggest and want) be a new body made up of residents, LBL, community members, representatives from the commercial and community organisations within the development.
    Gramsci likes this.
  14. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    See that on Rushcroft Road, "yuppies", regeneration vs gentrification in topical.

    There is "walkabout" of the Somerleyton road project this Thursday. Big Council owned site. So people can have there say on recent events and what is happening on this site.

  15. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Does anyone know who these guides will be? Not sure if I could bear being taken around by an over enthusiastic BG member.
  16. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    I think they've lined Brad up for you
    Winot likes this.
  17. Dexter Deadwood

    Dexter Deadwood Left Voluntarily Enforced Holiday Banned

    I don't want to be guided up the garden path but i might come along because there could be a car crash.
  18. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Got an email from Future Brixton today.


    All sounds fun.

    Interesting that Council want empty building on site used when at the same time they are trying to evict Carlton Mansions residents.
    editor likes this.
  19. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Paging Brick Box!
    Gramsci likes this.
  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member


    Just what Somerleyton road needs.

    More seriously be good place for the Soup Kitchen?
  21. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    That is outrageous!
  22. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I know some of this has already appeared on the Brixton Green thread. But this is Council project so I am putting it here.

    There is public meeting on Wednesday 30th about the project:

    Lambeth Housing Activists are urging people to attend the meeting to put case for Council Housing on site. It has been people telling Council previously that they want ( really) affordable housing on the site that has led Council to at least look at options to build Council owned rented housing. Ed has put piece on Brixton Buzz.
    CH1 likes this.
  23. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I have read the report for the Cabinet meeting on the 4th November.

    Its on the Future Brixton website link in post 172.

    Also pdf here

    Entitled Somerleyton Road delivery strategy it goes into detail on present Council thinking for the site.

    The major one is that the Council will borrow to design and build site itself. Retaining ownership of the housing for rent.

    This is , at moment, preferred option to getting a developer to build out site in return for a % of housing to sell in private market. With a % being sold to an RSL for social rent.

    The Council will pay back amount over 30 years to 45 years. It will pay back using the rental from the housing ( and I assume work units?).

    So the question re housing is how much will be at "Target" rents. Which are the same as present Council rents. And how much at "intermediate" and market rents.

    Also what sort of tenancies will be given for the housing.

    Reading the report and a lot is about risk. So as the project moves forward financial modelling continues. The Council can reassess the project as it goes ahead.

    So there is no guarantee that the housing will be a majority % at Target rent.

    This is an aspiration.

    Page 5 of report says that:

  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    page 7 of the report says that :

    Wider stakeholder group (not Brixton Green) did meet a couple of times. Since then there has been a little information from Council/ Steering group.

    There imo needs to be more info put as as ideas are discussed. To just get a report that is going to Cabinet is not enough. Nor is a "community briefing" a few days before Cabinet agrees next stage.
  25. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The Council is also giving Brixton Green this role.

    What is "ongoing holistic regeneration"?

    So possibly the Council will let another entity own the finished buildings.

    Does contradict what the report says earlier about the Council retaining control of housing.
  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Has not happened so far.
  27. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It's the kind of ambiguous bullshit that gives developers the latitude to do just about anything they like while maintaining the pretence of giving a fuck what the community wants.
    Gramsci likes this.
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I went to the meeting on the 30th about Somerleyton road.

    Here is report from the meeting.

    Cllr Pete Robbins started the meeting off. He said that this would be a unique development ( see officers report that the Council will build the scheme). It will mean that the Council will not lose the site, local people will benefit and there will be good level of affordable homes ( at least 40%). This will not be shared ownership which he said is not really affordable. But will be homes at Target Rent. The Council are proposing an innovative model.

    Neil Vokes ( lead officer for Somerleyton road). He ran through the paper for Cabinet next Monday. The Council had listened to people's concerns about affordable housing and not selling land to developers.

    The traditional model of development was to partner with a developer. The developer would get up to 60% to sell at full market value. The affordable element would be sold onto an RSL/ Housing Association.

    Instead , after looking at what other Boroughs were doing, it is being proposed that the Council take on the risk of development. This would give greater control over design. Which is of particular importance to Oval House theatre. Also means the land would not be sold off. The Council would get a loan to build out the site. This would be paid off by the rental income from the site. It would need a loan of £50 to 60 million. The properties to rent would be owned by the Council.

    The idea was to make the ongoing consultation as transparent as possible. Including how the project would be financed. The idea is to produce financial models as the project goes on to show how much affordable housing could be produced and at what rent. Also how other aspects of the scheme would affect the financial model. Such the proposed “Well being Centre”. People could then be asked there views on what they would prefer.

    The timescale is to start works in 2015.

    There were questions from those present.

    Alternative energy/ sustainability. This can be put into the financial model to see cost implications.

    There will still be opportunity to comment on issues of a sustainable development.

    People asked for 100% Council housing at Target rents. Answer: The amount of Council Housing at target rents would need to be able to sustain the repayment of the loan. So at moment the Council are looking at 40% at Target rent (traditional Council rent) and the rest at below full market rent but higher than Target rent.

    This came up again and again at the meeting.

    There was a robust debate between Cllrs present and those who attended. Some argued that the Council should actively campaign for more Council housing at Target rent. That it should not just accept the limits of what it says it can do now. That local democracy is weak. The Council should build up support for a 100% Council housing and get groundswell of support from community to demand this.

    It was pointed out that the Banks have been bailed out for millions. The cost of this scheme is a fraction of that. So campaign for more funding from government.

    Cllrs ( there were two Coldharbour Ward Cllrs present ) response was that they would like to have 100% Council housing at Target rent but that this would not be possible.

    Cllr Pete Robbins said that the rest of the development not at Target rent would be controlled by Council. They would want to rent it themselves. The Council would look at using more secure tenancies than private landlords in London. Such as five year tenancies. Shelter had produced model tenancy recently. The Council would like to be a Civic leader in private rental. Show that it can do it better than a lot of private landlords. No letting agency fees for example. The properties rented at higher level would subsidise those at Target rent.

    Question. How would funds be raised?

    Answer. There are two ways. The Public Work loans board. Loans from this source as cheaper rates than a private developer would get. Second way is from a Pension Fund. Pension Fund would lend on long term basis (30 years).

    Question. What about RTB? How can this be stopped?

    Answer. The Council is looking at possible Housing Coop to manage site. Would draw up tenancy for Somerleyton road that was like Council tenancy but without RTB.

    Question. How will it be ensured that the finished project will not be sold off in future or affordable housing lost if the Council administration is changed?

    Answer. This is being looked at and is up for further discussion.

    Questions were asked about the risk?

    Answer. Council will control risk by , for example, agreeing costs with contractors and keeping them to agreed cost. This would stop cost overruns. Also there is £8 million contingency built into the scheme.

    Question. The costs of the housing is not that high due to the fact that the Council already own the site. And have done for many years. Only cost is building the housing. So why not 100% affordable? Is the Theatre a cost on the project?

    Answer. Ovalhouse Theatre is not cost on the project as they are giving the Council there freehold site at the Oval in exchange. Also OHT are applying for a grant from the Arts Council to move to this site.

    Question. Why not pay back over longer period?

    Answer. The pay back time is one of the key variables. Barking are doing 45 years. But there are problems with a longer pay back time.

    Question. When project is built will Council ensure that workers are on at least London Living wage? That local people are recruited?

    Answer. This will be up for further discussion. But no direct answer.

    Question. What about the wider stakeholder group mentioned in the report? There needs to be clear structure so that people can give their views.

    Answer. This will be set up. Along with other ways to comment. ie online. Also notes of the Core Group will go online. ( Brixton Green, Ovalhouse and Council).

    It was pointed out that as this is Council project some want to be able to talk to Cllrs/ officers directly. Council is doing the project. Not all are members of Brixton Green.

    Spokesperson for Brixton Green spoke:

    BG set up about 4 years ago. They want to use “participatory democracy” to further consultation on the site. They will be running some more workshops soon.

    Basically those present supported the Council building the scheme but wanted maximum amount of Council Housing at Target rent.
  29. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    So all the housing is to be social housing, effectively built by the council?

    With, as it stands, 40 per cent at low rent?

    I like the point raised about right to buy

    How much right to buy is happening in Lambeth?

    Has Osborne's extra discount made any difference?
  30. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Council retains the land and they build actually affordable homes? I call that a GOOD THING.

    EDIT: Now let's see them do the same with the College site on the hill, too.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
    Gramsci, leanderman and Winot like this.

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