Higgs Development, Loughborough Junction (2019 design)

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by teuchter, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    This follows on from this thread, which related to the planning application that was given permission in 2015. Shortly after gaining consent, the developers went bust, leaving a half-demolished site which could have provided the previously evicted businesses with space for another 5 years or so, had things been done differently. Anyway, most of the site has now been levelled and Peabody (now the main developers) have just put in a new application.

    I thought it would be worth starting a new thread, so that anyone coming to this fresh would not be confused by the discussion of the previous scheme.

    There is a very large number of documents on the Lambeth Planning database - you can find them all here. I have downloaded the lot, and had an initial look through. I'm going to post a few of the main images, and a bit of extra commentary will likely follow over the next few days.

    If you want to comment on the application you can do so here and it looks like we have until the 22nd of February to do so. If you want to make an effective comment, then you should try and make sure that it addresses things that can actually be taken into account, and following discussion here might be a way of understanding what the planners can actually take into consideration.

    Here are a few images of what's proposed, starting with an aerial view. The new development is the tower in the centre with the lower blocks to the left of it (which face onto Herne Hill Road)

    Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 22.31.18.jpg
    For orientation, Coldharbour Lane runs from the bottom left of the image, towards the right. Camberwell is to the left of this view, Brixton is off to the right. Here's a similar viewpoint prior to the site being fully cleared:

    Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 22.34.33.jpg

    This view is of the proposed development, looking across Herne Hill Road from the junction with Padfield Road. Down to the right is the junction with Coldharbour Lane. It may not be accidental that the 17 storey tower is mostly hidden by the blocks in front:

    Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 22.36.37.jpg

    This is a view of the tower that I guess a train driver on the Overground would get:

    Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 22.40.57.jpg

    Let's try and forgive whoever did this rendering for creating the mutant train and wrong number of tracks on the viaduct. Down on the left is Loughbourough Junction station.
  2. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Any clarity around the mix of affordable/social/market prices on the residential units?
  3. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    There is an indication of affordable/market but I've not yet found anything specific on what proportion of that is social.

    Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 23.03.18.jpg

    At the LJAG meeting last week, if I remember correctly, they suggested that 75% of the approx 35% affordable would be social rent. I believe Gramsci was also there, perhaps he can confirm. There were a few questions about this; the people from Peabody seemed essentially to be saying that even though they are a housing association and non profit the scheme still needs to pay for itself. They are basically going for the standard minimum amount of affordable on this scheme, even though they have done a higher proportion on other sites.
  4. TruXta

    TruXta tired

  5. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Here is plan at ground floor level:

    Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 23.00.24.jpg

    Some changes from the previous scheme(s) are that the building is generally pulled further away from the viaducts and there is less of a 'wall' of buildings on the south side, so less overshadowing of the central part of the site.

    Those seem to me like positive changes in principle, however the consequence is that there are height increases in order to get the same density, most noticeably with the corner tower but also the buildings along Herne Hill Road are about 8 storeys.

    There is also no basement accommodation like in the previous scheme. Instead the ground and first floor are mostly commercial (for this, read mainly office space). Again this increases the pressure for higher buildings. As Lambeth accepted what was a very high density scheme with the previous application I don't know how much scope there is to argue for a reduction here. Peabody will say that it would make the scheme unviable, but that's what all developers say.
    Gramsci likes this.
  6. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    Anything on cycle parking?
  7. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    I thought that the areas marked cycle store was for that, but is it actually for a bike shop?
  8. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    Sorry didn’t read properly :oops:
    Suspect you’re right.
  9. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    That's the bike parking (for building occupants). It's mandated by GLA.
    The church's shortsighted view of their property continues to ruin the streetscape on the corner of Hinton Road.
    Gramsci and CH1 like this.
  10. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Churches :mad:
  11. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Yes, and has also determined various aspects of the scheme layout as it has to retain access to their car park at the back.
  12. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Maybe it's time to go full black metal on those church bastards.
  13. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    If it was a council development they could use CPO (if they could be bothered)
  14. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Peabody suggested a land swap and new church for the Sureway church. They refused. A missed opportunity imo.
    CH1 likes this.
  15. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    I'm calling some old mates

    Gramsci likes this.
  16. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Were you at the meeting?

    Yes I was there. You are correct in what you say.

    After meeting someone said to me that these large HAs now acquire sites and the area they are in influences the amount of affordable housing. Some sites that are more likely to produce high value/ profit. That is those in more " desirable" areas near Central London and transport links will have minimum affordable. HA like Peabody will maximise value from sites that are more desirable. The out of the way sites will get more affordable housing. Modern HAs like Peabody will reinforce social inequality in spacial terms in practise and say its just about economics of a site.

    So Higgs site will get the bare minimum that is required by planning. Whether it is private or so called social provider.

    When pressed on affordable housing later in the meeting ( one of the interesting things about the meeting was that this ended up being major topic of questions from locals) Peabody got irritated.

    They said this site had incurred them a lot expense and time. Poor dears. They gave as example as having to keep access for the church.

    So amount of affordable housing on this site was being pressured by the expense of this site. This affecting its "viability".

    Also they said that on other sites there is more affordable as they recycle profits from more profitable sites.( which tallies with what my friend said after meeting.)

    Out of all the developers Peabody came across as not trying hard enough. They acquired the site and were moaning about it when locals rightly ask a social housing provider to maximise affordable housing in an are of high need. Null points.

    Peabody showed all that is wrong with the social housing sector now. How its lost its way and is operating almost like private developer.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  17. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    At a previous consultation meeting Peabody said they would do the Mayors fastrack of 35% affordable. This would mean using the tenure split of the Mayor. Which includes his version of social rent.
  18. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I was at the meeting yes. What you say is broadly how I interpreted their position. I don't know if they were irritated as such, just stating it as it is from their point of view. I agree with you that the strategy they take will tend to emphasis inequality in spatial terms. I'm sure that they see their purpose as providing as many social housing units as they are able though, and this as a means to an end.

    That doesn't mean that it should simply be accepted that this particular site gets maximised for revenue rather than social housing provision though.

    It was good that people were asking these questions at the meeting, and it's good to see the definition of 'affordable' being questioned more.
  19. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Where do you think the money comes from to develop these sites? Grants have dropped to virtually nothing, and as they are keeping units for rent they don't get the lump-sum capital returns to pay back development loans that private developers can use.

    HAs borrow against their asset base and although they don't need to generate shareholder profits their future development programme is still dependent on maximising capital returns on any given site.
  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I don't get your point.

    This is large development so whether its a so called social housing provider like Peabody or a private developer under planning guidelines a certain percentage has to be " affordable".

    My point is that so far looks like Peabody aren't doing anything extra to what a private developer would do on the site.

    Having talked to them at a previous consultation my understanding was that they would use Mayors fastrack 35% affordable with his new affordable categories. That was then things change as number crunchers work on it. Does not look to me that Peabody are doing any more than a private developer on this site at this time.

    Am I wrong?

    PS I did email Peabody after consultation event they held specific questions on how the affordable housing element would work. As they were asking at the consultation event they held for input. Never got a reply.

    All I ever got out of them was promise that affordable housing element of scheme would be " policy compliant" . Like any property developer would say.

    They are wankers imo.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Thought I'd look at the planning application. Got this for the Lambeth planning portal:

    Everything about Lambeth Council winds me up.

    They want people to use online services more and the Lambeth IT system is shit.

    Might work tomorrow. Who knows? This is the 21st Century.
    editor likes this.
  22. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I think they would say that whatever revenue they can generate from this site, can be put towards providing social housing in the bigger picture, using other sites. Rather than a 'normal' developer who would be looking simply to generate profit. It's true though that the outcome for this particular site, and for LJ, may end up being no better than what would happen with a commercial developer.
  23. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I got the Lambeth Planning website to work tonight.

    The Peabody planning application has loads of docs. I was trying to find one on affordable housing. Rooting around found this:
    Peabody are using the old private developers trick of so called financial visibility report to reduce what is required by planning as affordable housing on large developments.

    As people here know this is likely to be revisited later on to reduce the affordable housing even further. As happened on the Brixton Square Barratts development in CHL.

    Peabody are piss poor.

    Lambeth planning should resist this.

    I've uploaded the document. Its page 39/40

    Attached Files:

  24. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Do we ever get to see the viability assessment?

    There's a fair bit to argue with throughout that document. It takes a lot of energy to come back and challenge these documents. And is there any hope Lambeth's planning committee would pay any attention anyway?

    Apparently, according to the document, the area is in "urgent need of regeneration". Is that since all the perfectly functional buildings on the site, with tenants in, were flattened?
    Gramsci likes this.
  25. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I haven't yet looked through the transport assessment. However the document that Gramsci posted above summarises as follows

    6.51 With regard to the transport impact of the proposals on the surrounding transport
    infrastructure, taking into consideration the previous site use, it is considered that
    trips generated by the development would represent a decrease over previous
    levels, reducing any impacts on local infrastructure.

    They are saying that compared to the demands on local public transport which the site made when it was a light industrial estate, once the same area of commercial floorspace is reprovided, plus 134 housing units, the demands will be *less* than before.
    Gramsci likes this.
  26. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    The deadline for comments has been extended until the 4th March.

    LJAG have arranged a meeting for next week, 27th:

    Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 08.51.15.jpg
    Gramsci likes this.
  27. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Be interesting to know if LendLease have anything to do with Higgs 2.0. LeandLease are experienced in "delivering" the type of tower block which seems in prospect now for LJ.
    I spotted this snippet of news in the Evening Standard on 15th Feb. Clearly Peabody and LendLease are in a "relationship" if Lendlease are the preferred bidder for Peabody's Thamesmead development.
    Lendlease_Peabody ES15-2-19.jpg
    Curiously, despite the rape of the Heygate etc, Lendlease are on a bit of a downer right now with a 97% profits reduction
    Gramsci likes this.
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I went to the meeting.

    In end was well attended.

    Mainly the people there were those who had objected to the first scheme. Before Peabody took over.

    Only one Cllr bothered to come along. Cllr Becca Thackeray the Green Cllr for Herne Hill.

    If a Labour Cllrs was there I didn't see them.

    Issues people brought up were:

    • Pressure on transport with increase in population. Trains in morning are already full. Peabody claim that there are adequate transport links to cope. Such as buses. Buses take long time to get to West End in morning. Making proximity to central London not a selling point for the scheme.
    • Playspace for young children is in scheme. Peabody assume older children can use existing public spaces nearby. So are fulfilling there obligations for outdoor space in the scheme. Peabody are putting in the hard minimum.
    • The affordable housing element is not defined. No idea what the tenancies and rents will be. Private flats will be located at top of the highest tower with the proles at the bottom.
    • No on-site parking and residents will not be able to get residents parking on street. Families need cars and this should be part of scheme. ( note this is Lambeth planning requirement and not the fault of Peabody. Shows that making London car ownership free is not popular)
    • The housing density in the plans is at the higher end of the scale allowed by planning guidelines.
    • The revised plans mean the development is not "permeable". That is there will not be any public thoroughfares or public space. Peabody tried to do land swap with Sureways church but they refused.
    • Height of main tower was an issue with many people. Would create a precedent. Someone pointed out that this is distracting from the impact the other smaller towers will have on the streetscape. As they are right next to the road whilst the highest tower is set back.
    • Height is also due to building the office/ workshop space above ground. The last scheme was going to do it in a basement. This would cost more.
    • design was poor. Ugly.

    So comments in by tomorrow.

    There had been increase in comments on this application.
  29. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I've been trying to log into the Lambeth Planning Portal and it keeps saying server error. Tried different browsers.
  30. Casual Observer

    Casual Observer binoculars

    Not really my patch and was just passing but have you tried the direct link in the opening post...

    18/05425/FUL | Clearance of site and mixed use redevelopment to provide a building ranging in height from 2 to 16 storeys with 134 residential units and 4,032 sqm of flexible commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1, A2, A3, B1, D1 and/or D2) along with disabled parking, servicing, cycle parking, public realm and amenity space. | Higgs Industrial Estate Herne Hill Road London SE24 0AU

    28 comments from the public so far of which 25 objected and 1 supported. Presumably the other 2 didn't press a yes/no button.
    Gramsci likes this.

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