Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Gramsci, Jan 28, 2013.
I am afraid I have put some recent posts on this very similar sounding thread.
Brixton Green have emailed the following just now:
The Somerleyton Road Project: how it will be run and managed for the future, and who will have a say.
Come and join the debate tomorrow evening and join us for a drink.
Date and time: Wednesday 12 February 2014, 7pm - 9pm
Location: Number Six, 6 Somerleyton Road, London, SW9 8ND
Other dates for your diary:
Thursday 27h February: Workshop on the non-residential uses (please note the change of date)
Monday 10 March: Community Stakeholder meeting
Week starting 2 June 2014(tbc): Community workshops
Thursday 26 June: Community Stakeholder meeting
Week starting 30 June 2014(tbc): Community workshops
Thursday 18 September: Community Stakeholder meeting
This info should be circulated on the Future Brixton email list as well.
I am having to search around on the Future Brixton website and the Brixton Green website for the dates of meetings on Somerleyton road. As dates for meetings are not covered in both sites equally.
This is causing me confusion about who is calling these meetings and how they feed into the project.
For example in your email list from Brixton Green this meeting is missed out on Thursday 6th March
Seems to me that this is community politics Brixton Green style.
If they relentlessly take ownership they will get control by sheer "indefatigability"
Maybe Lambeth Regeneration and Brixton Green are sharing the consultations out. The housing side is very obviously a council responsibility.
The future management of the finished project is also Council responsibility. Its them that, after all, are stumping up the money for it and taking the financial risk.
Just to remind anyone interested of one of the dates Gramsci posted above: the non-residential uses (community and business) workshop tomorrow evening, 7-9pm.
It's on the Future Brixton site and distribution list but I don't think the secret ingredient has been mentioned: there will be a BBQ as refreshments.
Anyone interested in talking about the potential cultural uses, the needs of the arts and creative sector, please do come and be in my group, Arts and Culture. There will also be Health and Wellbeing , and Employment and Enterprise. The officers from LBL will be there and the workshop will be facilitiated by Regeneris.
Actually I'm getting a bit fed up with all this. Not that it's my scheme (though I feel a slight degree of ownership since I live nearby on Coldharbour Lane).
What I object to it this: the council (and Brixton Green funded by Boris) are prepared to spend thousands of pounds repeatedly consulting people when we all know the function of "consultants" is to devise the right questions and meeting format so the customer (Lambeth Council) gets what is currently trendy and right-on in local authority officer terms.
I might go to the meeting - but I do have other things to do.
Here are my two points:
1. We need a doctor's surgery or health centre. The only surgery in the ward was moved into the Ackerman PFI Health Complex next to "Oval Quarter" two years ago.
It is a disgrace that the poorest ward in Lambeth has no doctors surgery - "What about the halt and lame?" I hear you cry!
Let them take the P5 to Patmos Road seems to be the official answer.
The way things are going I am torn between hoping Boris falls under a bus, and hoping he stays alive - at least until I get my Boris Pass.
2. I personally would like an Aldi-type supermarket. I appreciate this is off the radar for the consultants and the council - but connoisseurs of the P5 will know it gets very congested with people bringing their shopping back from Acre Lane, and there is no proper supermarket provision for East Brixton (since Kwik Save closed around 2000)
I didn’t go to this one. As last one on "Stewardship" was purely Brixton Green affair. No one from Council there. I got rather irritated so thought it might be idea to calm down and give consultation a rest. Will go to the next one (Thursday) on tenancies etc.
Neighbour went to the one on non residential uses. Said it was ok. Probably helped that Council and Ovalhouse where present.
The non residential uses are important part of scheme. IMO its important that at least some are set aside for affordable artists studios and for community groups.
On "consultation". Or "Co-Production" as its know called. I take issue with "Co production". As residents can imo only lobby. In then end its up to the Council to take final decisions. We are not all in it together. Its better to be clear on who really has the power. Otherwise what you say about consultants getting the "right questions" and answers is the end result.
I did call in for a fleeting visit at about 7:05 pm
When I arrived proceedings were underway. Neil Vokes was giving a presentation. Brad was standing to the side of the room.
There were 3 or 4 groups arranged round large tables liberally supplied with coloured dots - blue, red etc. I did not recognise anyone, but I did note there were only 2 black faces (out of maybe 30+ people) so it didn't seem too representative if this consultation was to represent views from Moorlands for example.
I did not feel terribly motivated to do another of those thingees with coloured dots, especially as an interloper from Coldharbour Lane with no business experience, so I decided to skip this one.
I refreshed my memory by viewing the publicity display boards at the back.
These are all good things - a dementia centre, mens health centre, training for young people.
My abiding thoughts are these:
1. projects are "innovative" because the funding streams are currently only available for "innovative" things.
2. therefore we get business units in Carlton Mansions - there is funding for a business unit conversion but not to upgrade an existing historically significant apartment complex for social housing.
3. Likewise we can have a dementia centre - to relieve the strain on King's Healthcare and the Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group - despite the fact that people round here can't get doctors appointments: the only doctors surgery in the ward has been relocated into a PFI health centre at Oval Quarter.
Conclusion: very much LET THEM EAT CAKE.
The cake was good, actually! The Bad Boys Bakery were planning to come to talk about a possible training / selling space, but they couldn't make it so sent a box of rather excellent cakes.
Seriously - I think there is always a danger of consultation-fatigue. From my own pov I am really grateful to the people who are contributing to these workshops and at this stage there is real space for meaningful input. E.G what non-resi uses to pursue properley and which suggestions to drop. Once the design team are engaged the capacity for input will be real, too. The ability and willingness to really listen to residents in the design of the housing is one of the qualitative factors in scoring the bidders.
The need for a GP surgery was brought up v v early, as residents from Moorlands spoke passionately about a pharmacy. It was pursued, but unless the NHS Commissioning body accepts that numbers wise there is a need in the area, they won't invest in it. Maybe this is the moment for some residents' pressure on the commissioning body? (I don't know how Health provision works, only what I have heard on the core group - but it was pursued).
The sticky dots were used to 'traffic light' the uses suggested so far, and in our group were v helpful in refining the need and function of additional creative and youth provision. We will definitely be acting on the strong recommendations from that group. And following up suggestions on how to look at artists studio provision. And a couple of other credible suggestions for providers of other functions that were named as important.
It was useful to me from an OH pov as many of the things people said confirmed the original research into what we plan within our building: in summary: 2 theatre spaces, 7 rehearsal studio / meeting rooms (available for hire at graded rates depending on voluntary / funded or commercial status), big social foyer for exhibitions, hanging out, mixed youth and other space, PAYG kiosks for local artisans and artists to sell work, and artists workspaces: these can be either offices for arts organisations, or craft spaces or whatever. Also a clients meeting room for small artists / creative businesses to meet people possible clients in a space which is nt theier studio or workshop - equipped with multi media etc. Whole building comprehensivley disabled accessible, provision of youth classes and workshops and training, theatre priogramme and more informal performances etc.
A little later in the evening a significant number of young people came in and made some confident interventions, and residents too - there was a discussion about the 'public realm' aspect of the project and the impact of making - or from the point of view of one eloquent resident, not making - the S end of the road more open to non-resident pedestrians. By this stage of the evening the cultural mix in the room had changed.
Anyway, read all the notes in due course (Thank you, Regeneris, who will be writing them up) , thank you everyone who came, I met some really interesting people, and I am now disappearing into a funding bid burrow for 2 weeks. So if I don't reply to this thread for a while, that's why!
Glad it was fruitful, and that one of my pet hobby horses was discussed.
Regarding the design of the flats/apartments would it be possible to press for something with a bit of architectural character for a change? It would be a shame if we get yet another Brixton Square/Viaduct type building with no features whatsoever. And something gated in the manner of Brixton Square would be an insult IMHO.
Definitely needs good architecture - this was something Cllr Heywood spoke about from the off, really high quality design and aesthetics, and I think it is one of the benefits of the council maintaining the role as developer and starting with the design team rather than the 'delivery partner' (aka building contractor or developer company) being responsible for the design.
Gated has never formed part of any suggestion so far....
In case anyone was planning on attending the 'Homes' workshop that was originally scheduled for tonight the session has been deferred. Watch the Future Brixton website and mailing list for the new date.
A group of people (LBL, BG, residents) went on a field trip yesterday to a scheme in N London, I'm not sure where the report on that visit is being recorded, I'll find out.
Who wouldn't want good architecture!
Judging by many £millions-worth of development? Looking around some areas of London you might wonder.
I suppose there are two different outlooks - aiming high architecturally, in which case plenty will love what you get and plenty will hate it, and 'stack it up and if we can afford to make it look OK, so much the better' in which case many people won't even register the bland inoffensive result, but few will talk of it.
Suggest you get your iPlayers out and watch "The man who fought the planners - the story of Ian Nairn" (BBC Four)
The replacement of quaint, charming or even high quality developments with "planning scheme" tat has been going on for many years - at least since WWII.
In the case of Somerleyton Road west side it would be hard to make it worse than it is already - but that is not to say we should not expect an aesthetic dimension to any redevelopment. After all we have to put up with looking at it for the next 50 years+.
BTW I don't think distinctive design necessarily equates to high cost - the Notting Hill Housing development on the corner of Lilford Road and Coldharbour Lane (Embassy Apartments) was quick to build and IMHO is much more pleasing to the eye than Barratts Brixton Square fortress.
I don't know how they did the Clapham Library but I enjoy its curvy forms although overall it is a lot taller than surrounding landscape.
I agree that it is an unusually appealing building. The downside is that it is part of a PFI and the social housing was off-site (on the other side of the road in fact). Haven't seen that bit - but I bet it isn't as elegant.
Oh - I'm really not sure about that building. It's what my old boss would describe as "a bit tricksy".
And there is the problem.
It's hard to agree on what good architecture is.
Especially when you throw in the passing of time.
I think it is neo-Catalan. Hints of modernisme.
A curved exterior is more likely to remain of interest rather than some trendy cladding which discolours very quickly or these straight up, straight down new builds which have no interesting features. I don't believe in this day and age there is an excuse for dull design. With regards to housing, cheap builds will turn a better profit. So many high rises got pulled down in Hackney because they didn't work for a variety of different reasons. The new builds going up are often private or shared ownership which means when they need reworking the tenants will have to meet a good amount of that cost. There will be no mass removal of these houses if they become a problem.
The dull architecture of the new leisure centres at Clapham and Streatham makes functional(ish - wot no creche facilities? wot? just one family change facility??) buildings with no future legacy which will probably be removed in 20 years to build a 'better' pool, slightly smaller, less gym space but maybe a few more flats.
A good building should function well and inspire.
Just popping in to say the 'Homes' workshop has been re-scheduled for March 26th, 7-9, at No 6.
To discuss the types of homes and tennancies that should be provided.
Sadly I can't be there because it clashes with the Ovalhouse Young Writers Group showing their stuff - including some young Brixton residents.
I was somewhat disappointed that the planned wider Community Stakeholder meeting planned for Monday 10th March did not happen. The wider Community Stakeholder meetings( ie those not in Brixton Green or the Core Group) were set up to give a greater say for the wider community in the project.
Materials which age well really help. Lots of hard engineering brick, upvc and aluminium cladding are a recipe for long term disaster, I reckon.
I went to the recent meeting on Somerleyton that took place on Wednesday 26th.
There was officer there taking notes of meeting but these are not up on Future Brixton website yet. Or I could not find them
The meeting was on:
There was handout by Council officers of housing need in Lambeth and proposals for Somerleyton.
Its not online yet. It is good summary of the issues and Council policies.
The Council say there will be 40% property on finished Somerleyton road scheme which are "affordable" and 60% at market rent.
The issues discussed were definitions of affordable, the amount of affordable, tenancies, allocations and management of the finished development was mentioned.
The Lambeth Renters Group were they and had a statement I will put in next post.
"Affordability" goes from "Target" rent (Council level rents) to 80% of market rent. Boris is not helping by bringing his own definitions of affordable.
Council want to see in the 40% family size homes at low rent. ie Target rent. One and two beds of the 40% would be above Target rent.
One of the issues for Lambeth is the governments benefit cap and the local housing allowance rate. As if households have to claim benefits high rents would mean them unable to pay due to the caps. Total benefits allowed by central Government is £500/ week for those out of work.
The issue of tenancies for the private rented housing was discussed. Private renters in this country have little security. Security of tenure for those in the 60% of private levels of rent was suggested.
Allocations was discussed. On what basis? Should there be a local allocations policy based on attachment to the area?
Should the social rented family sized units be allocated now so the families could have input into design?
Another suggestion was some model of rents based on income. So those whose income went up would pay more. Whilst those who unavoidably lost some of there income would then pay less. This would require means testing which some would find intrusive.
Another aspect of Lambeths Housing Strategy is to "improve resident engagement across all tenures to achieve co-operative working"
As Somerleyton road will have different tenures this is an issue for any "Stewardship" model. Not sure myself how this will work unless its straightforward tenant management rather than ownership of site. Residents will be on different tenures and rent levels for similar properties in the proposals. imo there is possibility of conflict due to this. Any tenant mge proposal needs to take this into consideration.
A new aspect of the scheme came up at the meeting. It appears the Council have funding for an "Extra Care" scheme. Which is a form of sheltered housing for the elderly. Council want to put 60 units on Somerleyton road site.
This was all new to me and I have followed the scheme.
One person said 60 units was to many fro a scheme like this. To keep it at a level which the older people can relate to 30 is the max.
Lambeth Renters statement
Lambeth Renters criticise council plans for new private rented homes in Brixton
Posted on March 25, 2014 by lambethrenters
Lambeth Renters welcomes the council’s commitment to keep the land on Brixton’s Somerleyton Road in public ownership, and build new homes on it. But we’re alarmed that only 40 per cent of it is planned to be let at council rents, with the rest at unaffordable market rents.
According to figures available on the website for the project, the development’s two bedroom flats will be rented at £335 a week – over £17,000 a year. According to Shelter, these rents would only be affordable to families with an annual income of over £62,000. The average household income in Lambeth is £31,000.
As part of London Renters, a coalition of private tenants groups from across the capital, we oppose efforts to build more privately rented housing which is unaffordable to all but the wealthiest, and which only 6 per cent of renters would live in if they had a choice.
If there is a need for housing to be subsidised, this should be done through general taxation, rather than this burden falling on a particular segment of the population who have little other option but to pay market rents, while those living in mansions elsewhere in the country contribute nothing.
We are disappointed that, on a site where the council already owns the land (which is a major cost of new housing, particularly in London), Lambeth is not proposing to provide a greater proportion of genuinely affordable housing, particularly when the borough has a social housing waiting list of over 20,000 households.
We urge Lambeth Council to reconsider its plans for the housing on this site, and investigate financial models which would enable all the housing to be let at social rents.
And barely affordable to those on £62,000 I should think
So Igloo have been named as the developer.
Separate names with a comma.