Discussion in 'Brixton' started by ringo, Mar 2, 2007.
And there you have it:
Its that the results were accurate representation of my memory of the consultation. Yet Lambeth planning officers who must have seen these results are supporting the scheme.
The planning officers are supposed to be on residents side. Or so I thought. Pre application consultation should be taken into account by officers.
My memory of the consultation event was that it was the height and lack of affordable housing that made people object strongly.
I bumped into a few locals. There view was that this was gentrification. But "They" ( council/ developers/ LJAG) would get it through whatever they said.
One would have thought that if a pre application consultation event showed this overwhelmingly opposition one might think its time to go back to the drawing board.
Started looking at the Planning Statement on the planning website. They are standard and best doc to read for overall summary of application.
The affordable housing and play space. Page 5. The affordable housing is , surprise surprise , stuck on the bottom above the pub in two floors. So yuppies won't have to see them.
The play space for children is on roof. Statement doesn't say if play space in roof will be available for social housing residents.
This is an issue that needs clarification. It might be in another doc. But worth querying. I kid you not play space when finished has seen social housing residents children excluded from it.
This all reminds me of Ballards novel High Rise.
The quote from page 5,
Note the affordable amount will be subject to "review mechanism" ie the developer will seek to reduce it if he doesn't see big profits.
This isn't what they said at the public consultation. The snake oil salesmen that developers are.
Lambeth planners are on the side of Lambeth planning!
Objections that aren’t focussed purely on planning issues are very rarely taken into consideration. If it’s a high profile case (like the previous attempt on 414) and the objections can be tied to a council policy they may have to listen but otherwise they just ignore what they consider ‘emotive’ objections.
Makes it very hard for lay people without design or planning knowledge to object, particularly now when they seem to have dropped the need to notify local residents.
It's almost like they don't care about local residents when there's a big bucks developer in town!
I disagree. Its a common assumption that only if one has planning knowledge can one object and be taken seriously.
Officers are there to work for us. They are supposed to be servants of the public.
Planning officers have to work to certain guidelines.
Cllrs on planning committee are meant to directly represent the community.
Imo there is nothing wrong with so called "emotive" comments.
Counter intuitive Example. The planning statement put forward by the developer includes what I think can be regarded as "emotive" justification for the design. Going on about the "Golden Mean". This isn't scientific. Its emotive justification based on ancient Greek thought. Which the architect as a professional expert regards as just factual statement. Its not.
Its up to planning officers in conjunction with Cllrs to see if the lay persons comments can be given weight.
Planning should not be an obscure thing only "professionals" can interpret. Its the usual view. I think its undemocratic. It shows how disempowering the local state is to ordinary people.
Something as fundamental as designing and changing ones neighbourhood should not be just delegated to experts.
Back to affordable housing as discussed on the planning Statement. As I guessed the developer has already used viability to reduce percentage of the affordable element from 40% as per planning guideline to a meagre 17%. This is agreed with officers. Its also subject to "review".
The policy 40% of whole scheme should be affordable:
After "viability" actual amount will be miserly 17%
The reasoning used is this frankly incomprehensible paragraph. Seems to say poor developer is losing money. Bollox.
In my experience of Lambeth planning they certainly aren’t servants of the people, they routinely ignore the people. I totally agree they should be servants of the people and open to helping people object if there are grounds to.
They are so short staffed and scared of getting into court cases with developers that they are putting planning applications with blatant errors/lack of meeting guidelines.
The initial planning application for a development behind us was riddled with mistakes and breaches of design and material standards, yet the planning officer had recommended it be approved.she continued trying to push the development through when items that had previously been noted by the council as unacceptable hadn’t been changed. even sending out subsequent planning notices with the wrong number of houses/number of floors/number of proposed bedrooms.
On a recent proposed development no notices were sent out to adjoining residents nor notices put up. We only knew it was happening once work started.
Back to the Planning Statement.
Its so annoying. Despite the public consultation being against it the developers are still arguing this is an enhancement of the public space.
What can I say? This is gentrification agenda dressed up as good for the area.
The "markers" for the estate are the Council housing blocks. This yuppie tower is an insensitive intrusion on the social housing estate. Its not in keeping with the way this estate was designed.
From my reading of the planning statement the developers are putting these reasons forward.
This development increases housing density thus meeting targets for more homes
The pub is of no historical or architectural importance
They have worked closely with Lambeth officers on height, density and massing during design process
The tower will enhance the area as a "marker". Thus contributing to making LJ a "destination"
They are contributing money to enhance Hero square ( the tarmac area by the pub) Thus contributing to making this a "gateway" to LJ. Fitting supposedly in with LJAGs ideas for the area.
They have amended the design to stop overlooking.
They really want to put in affordable housing. Due to costs this will be less than 40% as planning guidelines state. This reduced amount may be reduced further as project continues.
The pub and same landlord will be re provisioned in new development.
I looked at the viability document. They hired Savills , one of the biggest property companies to reduce the affordable element.
For those who don't know large development like this should have 40% affordable. However the developer can argue that the development would not be "viable" is not profitable enough if it had 40% affordable.
Savills professional judgement was to reduce the affordable element to zero.
Counter viability appraisal from Council said 11 units affordable. This was less than 40%. Developer still argued.
So know it's six.
The unacceptable face of Capitalism. Its been good reading this application. Just shows how rubbish capitalism is .
Relevant excerpt from the doc:
This company behaves like a prostitute, advising Lambeth Council and simultaneously doing its level best to ensure no social housing ever gets built.
In normal life it used to be the case that one had the right to employ professionals who have no conflict of interest. Unfortunately with property management, development and investment conflict of interest is the norm.
a pretty headline from Savill's website:
That is a fecking disgrace.
nice pic of the original pub before demolition
It had pleasure grounds
I'm half way through doing a Buzz feature on this postcard. innit lovely?!
Viability Assessments are a massive con, and everyone in the industry knows it.
Maybe we saw it in the same place, the second pic on the thread I saw showed a ruined building which was said to be The Hero just before it was knocked down but the two buildings look very different to me....
They might say that off the record. But when it comes to planning committee they will say it's all unfortunate, they would really like to have more affordable but the economic climate is against this.
The planning officer will advise that if it turns down this application an appeal is likely to win on appeal.
Property developers are just another aspect of Captialism.
They know that so called viability assessment are bollox but will in public say this is about sound economic analysis.
Of course its not.
Its what makes this all maddening.
Property developers per se are scum. But one can't say this.
19/01481/FUL | Demolition of the existing public house and erection of a 13-storey building (plus basement and mezzanine floor levels and roof level access) including a replacement public house at basement, ground and mezzanine floor levels and 1 unit of ancillary staff accommodation (Use Class A4) with 35 residential units above (8 x Studio, 4 x 1 beds, 15 x 2 beds and 8 x 3 beds, Use Class C3), and cycle parking, waste storage, a substation, hard & soft landscaping including beer garden and private/communal amenity space, and associated engineering works. | Hero Of Switzerland 142 Loughborough Road London SW9 7LL
Heard today the planning application is going to committee 24th September.
See a lot of objections on the Council website.
The officers report pack for the planning application committee came online Friday.
Officers recommend approval.
Ive started to read it.
I put in comments on low level of affordable housing.
Notice in 10.1 section of report The Mayor has objected to the low level of affordable housing the officers have agreed with the developer.
Recently was told by a senior planning officer that the Council had "robust" policies on affordable housing. Doesn't look like it to me.
Its still 17% of the housing.
The report pack does contain all main objectors comments in full. LJAG/ Brixton Society and Helen Hayes MP.
The officers report for the meeting is a justification for the officers decision to recommend approval, information for Cllrs on the PAC on the application and officers response to criticisms of the the application.
The report is useful too read as contains a lot of info about the proposal and objections.
Isn't it about time the councillors forced the planning officers to provide more social housing?
That is what they are elected to do after all.
Update: Lambeth officers recommend redevelopment of Hero of Switzerland pub despite united local opposition
Ive been reading the officers report for the Planning Applications Committee next Tuesday.
I'm emailing tonight to ask to speak.
I want to raise issue of the lack of affordable housing and the design which is out of keeping for the area.
I've started the officers report and got a third way through. Already foaming at the mouth.
Respectable groups like Brixton Society and LJAG are opposing this tower and officers are blithely stating its a good design.
I'll post up some choice quotes from the officers report.
10.2 in officers report:
This is officer replying to LJAG objections:
So the pre application process. The meeting local residents were encouraged to go to gave brownie points for the developers but mean nothing. The fat cat developer can have these meetings then totally ignore community feedback.
So what is the point of them?
I went to them and saw that locals didn't like it.
On the masterplan. This was never finished because the officers ( Regen) refused to finish it once local residents opposed the officers plans to build on the adventure playground.
Not the fault of local residents. Its the fault of officers.
I'm going to post up some of my thoughts as I've been reading the officers report to recommend the scheme.
On the affordable housing they have had difficulty getting RSLs interested in the few social housing units. Only two have shown interest.
There is get out clause if no RSL is interested. Then developer can give money in lieu.
Officers say they have had "robust" discussions with developer. There is whole page on this in report. I still think Cllrs should make the 40% agreed planning policy stick. What's the point of all these consultations on Local Plan if developers can ignore them?
Mayor has told planning he is not satisfied with the amount of affordable housing.
The officers say the proposal goes over the agreed density levels that are allowed per hectare. Interesting one this. The officers then give reasons why they recommend despite this. So planning guidelines are just that to officers.
I've been reading more of the officers report. Section 13.10 Public Realm improvements.
As the land owned by the developer is small and developer is building to higher density than is normally allowed public realm is important to justify the scheme.
So the only public realm nearby is Hero square. Not owned by developer. Its publicly owned land. ie ours. So developer is assuming they can use publicly owned land to back up the overdevelopment of the site they own. Bollox to that.
Therefore the planners are getting developer to cough up for improvements.
The planners use the unfinished LJ Masterplan to justify the improvements. 13.10.3
Its a "Gateway"
The report states that applicant has been consulting local community groups. Including LEMB ( who manage the site and also Lambeth who own it.
Did they consult LJAG? I don't think so. I also didn't think LEMB wanted Hero Square "regenerated".
So far I can't see if LEMB have opposed or supported the whole scheme on the comments section of the planning website.
This will be secured by section 106 agreement.
I'm not happy its being used in this way.
This public realm improvement is being used to justify the overdevelopment of the site the developer owns. Which is small.
Its also very minimal improvements imo. Also the designs aren't part of this application.
Separate names with a comma.