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Is Southwark Council moving out Londoners with new luxury housing developments?

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Saturday 22 March 2014 2.08pm
The scheme of One Blackfriars has proposed 274 luxury units and the removal of 32 affordable units that were previously proposed for the Rennie Street Block. All affordable housing is proposed to be delivered off site. Southwark Council Core Strategy policy 6 has a requirement for as much affordable housing on developments as viable and requires a minimum of 35% affordable housing on new developments, but in contrary they have accepted £29million in lieu by the developers. Therefore, with no affordable units, foreign buyers are coming to London and using these new developments as their ''piggy bank'' to store their money and which will hardly be used by them, converting it into a Ghost Tower. That being the case, people who live in Southwark will be forced out to greater London or beyond.

Regeneration in Southwark should be focused on the benefits for the locals not for foreigners.

What's your point of view about this situation?
Saturday 22 March 2014 4.09pm
My view is that with an election coming up we should be asking questions of our elected representatives who attend these council meetings, and vote on our behalf on these issues.
This economic cleansing of working people is happening all over London. Neighbourhoods that we have worked to establish are being bulldozed (sorry, regenerated) and surprisingly Londoners are putting up with this nonsense.
Get informed, get angry and do something about it.
We need some serious changes.
Saturday 22 March 2014 6.47pm
Why 35% or any other affordable target is a myth...

And not well understood unless we sit in Examinations in Public (EIPs) and hear or read the reasons why we don't get 35% when we expect it.

If I have any of this wrong then I expect someone will correct me.

Short answer= Material considerations, e.g. a valid robust viability assessment, trumps affordable homes targets. Trumping 35% affordable (or 50% for Aylesbury) is supposed to be an "exception". But trumping has become pretty common.

The Coalition Government's National Planning Policy Framework and guidance governs, and Planning Inspectors ensure Core Strategies and Area Action Plans conform with the NPPF.

That's why so many people are seeking openness and transparency and right to read the viability assessments for themselves see / or

The whole "viability" process is constructed and influenced by the developers, banking and legal industries bar the district valuer.

Long answer=
Southwark Labour's Fiona Colley's 2011 perverse "exception" affordability policy responded to the Government's National Planning Policy Framework which requires "flexibility", and where fixed percentages or fixed quantities for "affordable housing" become "targets" and subject to an overriding requirement of flexibility that Southwark Labour's Fiona Colley's 2011 "exception" policy had to provide in order for Southwark's Core and other policies to be agreed by the Planning Inspector.

The Southwark Core Strategy and AAP's are all constrained by the requirements of the Governments NPPF. Why can't we have a real enforceable fixed minimum 35% in a Plan? Because the NPPF does not allow it, there must be flexibility, so ask the Conservative and Lib Dem Coalition about that because they made it law.

How is a viable percentage decided? Case by case, application by application. The viability study that is provided by the applicant's consultants and sent to the District Valuer.

But surely the Planning Committee can decide against a planning application? They rarely go against a Planning Officers recommendation, and anyway going against the "material consideration" of viability assessment evidence will only end up as an appeal that the applicant is highly likely to win.

Read it yourself:
"Exceptions to policy " instruction to Officers that effectively removed the 35% "must" and the "exception" became the rule:

"Material considerations", e.g. a valid robust viability assessment, trumps minimum of 35% affordable housing, "must" or whatever:

Read it yourself:
Report to The London Borough of Southwark Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Date 3 February 2011

The Planning Inspector writes about Southwark's Core Strategy:

"83. The CS seeks to strike an appropriate Balance between the provision of a suitable mix of housing across all tenures and parts of the Borough with a requisite and viable provision of as many as possible affordable units. Indeed, the viability evidence is robust and neither indicates that SP6 would constrain housing delivery unacceptably nor support a percentage target for affordable housing in excess of 35%. This target is expressed as a minimum which will enable a higher provision of affordable homes in certain circumstances.

84. I have considered the extent to which the use of the word ‘must’ in the final bullet point of SP6 will be effective in delivering the policy aims. Undoubtedly, the worded policy provides clear strategic direction for the provision of a suitable housing mix. Development proposals which may seek to vary from the CS in this regard would not be precluded from identifying material factors in their support. On balance, I am satisfied that the importance of this issue and the geographic distribution identified within Figure 22 means that the CS would not be unduly prescriptive and, with regard to flexibility, would be effective"

Development proposals which seek to vary from the Core Strategy are not be precluded from identifying material factors to support avoiding the 35%.

As agreed by Southwark's FULL Council less absences and abstentions. So all three major parties.
Saturday 22 March 2014 7.18pm
Thank you so much hhrca for that detailed response as to exactly what is happening.
So depressing though, and I am left feeling there is no way out of this big mess. No one to trust with looking after our city, and our homes.

I came across this article, and Ben Judah's link is particularly interesting. It may go some way to explaining why this madness has seized our politicians.
Saturday 22 March 2014 10.27pm
HHRCA, thanks for that.
Saturday 22 March 2014 10.43pm
I really appreciate the detailed response.
Saturday 22 March 2014 10.55pm
u r welcome. then there's the "central residential zone" which is the genuine focus of long term new build council homes. So they can accept payments in lieu from sites in the North to fund that.

So it not as simple as shipping out of London. It's also shipping residents about by what used to be banded land values.

In your not feeling ill already have a read of this:

"Southwark's strength is our people. With our immense diversity comes an array of amazing talents and vast depths of untapped potential. Unlocking those talents and realising that potential, with nobody left behind, is what we are about as a council."

Dedicated to the Leaseholders!
Sunday 23 March 2014 9.55am
Every time I see the name Fiona Colley my nerves jangle and my stomach does loop the loops. What agenda is she working towards fulfilling? Certainly not one that is for the benefit of Southwark residents and domestic ratepayers, the manner she prosecutes the case for commercial developments says otherwise. I believe that she is operating to a personal capitalist agenda that is supported by the usual useful idots on the council who allow themselves to be browbeaten into agreement or silence.

Coucillors WAKE UP AND START SHOUTING in public as well as the coucil chamber, air your grievances and disagreements and your disappointments now in the run up to the May elections.

And then there are the backroom boys, council officers, unelected with their own prejudices against coucil tenants and bias towards their perception of the middle classes working to their agenda and long term plans, personal, private and communal.

I must apologise for going off subject but I get so angry when Fiona Colley's name pops up especially after her arrogant article in the Guardian.
Sunday 23 March 2014 4.47pm
There are council elections in May a chance for all to have their say. My money is on the same lot winning
Sunday 23 March 2014 7.08pm
This might affect elections? Great map showing starkly how some Heygate Estate residents were distributed...

Loretta Lees, Just Space, The London Tenants' Federation and SNAG
page 11/36(not sure I can put it here because of copyright)

Got from Twitter discussion@bridgewithout @singleaspect @AdamBienkov

There is also the migration flows reported in [url=]Southwark key housing data 2012-13 (1.62 MB PDF)
p.7 of 49

Look at one, and then the other! You'll get a bigger picture.
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