Public Exhibition: KCN Land’s proposals for 74-84 Long Lane

KCN Land - Long Lane - Exhibition invitation-page-001.jpg

KCN Land would like to invite you to our public consultation displaying proposals for the redevelopment of 74-84 Long Lane, SE1. We are proposing an office-led building that has been sympathetically designed to minimise impacts on neighbouring buildings.

The exhibitions will take place on:

  • Saturday 7th September: 10.00am to 1.00pm
  • Monday 9th September: 4.30pm to 8.00pm

The events will take place on-site via an entrance off Pilgrimage Street.

We hope to see you there. Should you have any questions before the exhibition, please do get in touch with myself, Erin Hayward or Ben Knock via 0800 298 7040 or by return of email.

Best wishes

David Button

On behalf of KCN Land

35% Campaign update – Elephant Park MP5 – the final chapter

Elephant Park MP5 – the final chapter

Aug 05, 2019 12:00 am

Final phase of Heygate redevelopment proposes increase in homes with decrease in affordable -Developer Lendlease has applied to build 220 more homes than consented while providing 29 fewer affordable homes than consented in the last phase of its redevelopment of the Heygate estate. This will bring the total number of homes to 2,689 of which just 92 social rent without the viability review envisaged in the original planning consent.

In its recently submitted detailed planning application for the last plot of the scheme (MP5/H7) for what is now known as Elephant Park, Lendlease proposes building 424 new homes. There would be 72 affordable units, made up of 37 shared-ownership, 20 affordable rent and 15 social rent.

This would take the total number of social rented units in the development to just 92 out of 2,689 in total, a figure that has crept up from 71 units since 2013 (plus a further eight on Trafalgar Place (Heygate Phase 1)). The overall affordable housing is broken down into 92 social rented, 167 affordable rent and 282 shared ownership.

 Figures for the total and affordable units proposed in planning documents for MP5, the final phase of the development

Lendlease now proposes that the completed development will total 2,689 homes. This is 220 more homes than the numbers agreed by the planning committee in January 2013, which agreed a development of between 2,300 (min) and 2,469 homes (max).

 Development description from planning committee report for outline consent, Jan 2013

While the number of homes proposed exceeds the number consented, Lendlease proposes a reduction in the number of affordable homes. Only 541 of the 2,689 homes will be affordable, 29 fewer than the indicative figure of 570 given to the planning committee in 2013.

The figure for the 570 approved affordable homes was given on page 9 of the 2013 planning committee’s addendum report (correcting a previous figure of 574).

Table 8.1 of the recently submitted Reconciliation Statement for the MP5 reserved matters application shows that only 541 affordable homes are now proposed overall.

 Extract from the addendum to the 2013 outline planning committee report

 Extract from Lendlease’s recently submitted application

Southwark fail to secure housing numbers

The increase from 2,469 to 2,689 total units on Elephant Park has been facilitated by an amendment to the original planning permission. This was made in November 2018 and changed the way the amount of residential space was calculated by replacing the minimum and maximum figures for residential units with floorspace figures. The floorspace figures remained the same as those approved by the planning committee (160,579sqm GEA {min} and 254,400sqm GEA {max}), but by removing the unit figures the amendment enables Lendlease to build more homes within the allowed floorspace.

It also transpires that the number of units to be built were not secured in the original planning permission, thus opening the door to the amendment, which was deemed ‘non-material’ and so was approved by officers and not referred to the planning committee.

Policy compliance

While Lendlease has not delivered the number of affordable homes expected by the planning committee, they are nonetheless able to say they are fulfilling the affordable housing obligation of 25% affordable housing. This is because the amount of affordable housing is measured as a percentage of habitable rooms, not units. The officer’s report to the planning committee noted that there were a relatively high proportion of larger affordable units. These are undoubtedly welcome, but do mean that there is just 20% affordable housing when measured by units.

Viability questions

At the time of the application’s original determination in 2013, a viability review was proposed in the event that the development was delayed, or a change of circumstances occured. No such viability review has occured to take into account Lendlease’s proposed increase in density or reduction of affordable units.

 Extract from the 2013 planning committee report

The increase in maximum units to 2,689 units with the 29 unit drop in affordable housing gives Lendlease about 190 more free-market homes than the planning committee was led to believe would be built. These have a rough estimated value of £80m, a figure that obviously cannot have featured in the 2012 viability assessment. This assessment was made on the basis of 2,462 units and concluded that the scheme could not provide 35% affordable housing and that only a very small fraction could be social rented.

No public funding?

The lack of available public funding was cited in the officer’s report as a factor that diminished the chances of a viable scheme delivering 35% affordable housing, when the application was originally considered.

This came with the reassurance that should public funding become available the affordable housing situation could be improved. There is no indication that this has happened through the duration of Elephant Park’s development, despite the Mayor Sadiq Khan having £4.6bn in his kitty.

Object to MP5 – fight for 84 more affordable homes

Lendlease’s detailed MP5 H7 application is almost the final chapter in the redevelopment of the Heygate estate and it allows us to evaluate what is being delivered, against what was said and what was approved by Southwark Council, back in 2013.

It is now apparent that while Lendlease will fulfil its reduced affordable housing obligation they intend to do so by delivering fewer affordable homes. Lendlease has also been granted a change in the permission that has allowed them to build many more units. The upshot is that Lendlease has about 190 more free-market homes to sell.

Southwark, on the other hand, has neglected to secure the number of homes to be built and is giving Lendlease the opportunity to build more, without getting any improvement in the affordable housing situation. There also appears to have been no effort to take advantage of any public funding.

This final Heygate application must be decided by the planning committee, not officers alone. It must ask why we are getting fewer affordable housing units than it was told to expect, while Lendlease are being allowed to build more units in total. The committee must also ask why there have been no viability reviews since 2013 and what has been done to improve the affordable housing.

Without a viability review, the planning committee must refuse planning permission. The very least Lendlease should do is increase the total number of affordable homes, back to the indicative 570 the planning committee approved, plus 25% of the additional 220 units it has gained over the original maximum build. This would give us a much-needed 84 affordable homes and half of these must be social rented, as Southwark’s housing policy requires.

You can object by clicking here or filling in the form below:

Fill in your contact details and amend text as necessary.

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Comment: Dear Southwark Planning, This application (19/AP/1166) is pursuant to the outline planning permission granted to developer Lendlease for the redevelopment of the Heygate estate (12/AP/1092). This entailed an obligation to build 25% affordable housing. It is now apparent that while Lendlease will fulfil its affordable housing obligation they intend to do so by delivering fewer affordable homes than the planning committee were told would be delivered when they gave approval for the redevelopment. The committee was told there would be 570 affordable homes, while Lendlease now proposes to deliver only 541. Since permission was given Lendlease has also been granted a change to that permission that will allow them to build 220 more units than the original maximum. Southwark, on the other hand, has neglected to secure the number of homes to be built and gave Lendlease the opportunity to build more, without getting any improvement in the affordable housing situation. There also appears to have been no effort to take advantage of any public funding. This final Heygate application must be decided by the planning committee, not officers alone. It must ask why we are getting fewer affordable housing units than it was told to expect, while Lendlease were allowed to build more units in total. The committee must also ask why there have been no viability assessments or reviews since 2013 and what has been done to improve the affordable housing. There should be a viability review in order to reflect the increase in density and the planning committee must refuse planning permission, unless Lendlease increases the total number of affordable homes, back to the indicative 570 the planning committee approved, plus 25% of the additional 220 units it has gained over the original maximum build. This would give us a much-needed 84 affordable homes and half of these must be social rented, as Southwark’s planning policy requires. Yours sincerely,

Send Objection

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Shopping centre legal challenge next week!

Dear Friend

The hearing for our challenge to the shopping centre planning approval is just over a week away.

We will be holding a rally in support of the challenge on –
Wednesday 17 July 2019 –
9am – 10am, outside the Royal Courts of Justice
the Strand
London WC2A 2LL

The case will be then heard from 10am – it is open to the public, so all are welcome to attend!

We are fighting this case to get more social housing and a better deal for the traders at the Elephant. To do this we must first overturn developer Delancey’s gentrifying plans – that is why we are going to court.

Thanks to your help we have raised nearly £8,000 through our CrowdJustice appeal (donations still welcome!) and we have a great legal team.

But we need your support at the hearing too, to show Delancey that the local community is fed up and angry with bullying developers. You can read more here and, for Spanish, here.

So please join us on the Wednesday 17 July!
Regards
Jerry

https://twitter.com/uptheelephant_?lang=en
http://35percent.org/uptheelephant/
https://www.facebook.com/Up-the-Elephant-1117314135042279/

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Our mailing address is:

Elephant Amenity Network

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Blue Anchor Lane

LondonSouthwark SE16 3UQ

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35% Campaign update – Why we’re challenging the Elephant & Castle redevelopment plans in court

Jul 03, 2019 12:00 am

Southwark Council – demolishing council homes, generating better people

Twenty years ago, Fred Manson, Southwark Council’s Director of Regeneration laid out the aims of the Labour council’s new regeneration strategy in industry magazine, the Estates Gazette: “We need to have a wider range of people living in the borough” because “social housing generates people on low incomes coming in and that generates poor school performances, middle-class people stay away.” As the Gazette reported it, this was “part of a deliberate process of gentrification that will result in social housing being replaced by owner occupied dwellings and developers being given free rein to build luxury flats” 1.

Since Mr Manson’s 1999 anti-council housing manifesto, the borough has lost more than 13,000 council homes (see graph below) and the proportion of council housing had fallen from 60% of to 28% of housing stock by 2015. This is mainly the consequence of Right to Buy and void sales.

But council estate regeneration, Manson style, is also playing its part. The Gazette article mentions three estates south of Tower Bridge earmarked for demolition. At least eight others can be added, totalling 7,639 council homes and leasehold properties lost. The developments replacing these will provide over 11,000 new homes, but only 3,200 of them will be social rented and while Southwark does now have an council house building programme, it is still knocking down and selling off council homes faster than it is building them.

The proportion of social rented housing is even lower when other major schemes are considered. Analysis of the major schemes approved by Southwark over the last 15 years gives an average social rent component of under 4% out of about twelve thousand homes – well below the Council’s policy requirement of 25%. (Recent approvals of Old Kent Rd developments increase the overall percentage to 10%).

Nearly a thousand new homes, 116 social rented – (maybe)

The Elephant and Castle shopping centre redevelopment is no exception in this regard. A stone’s throw from the demolished Heygate estate, only 116 of nearly a thousand new homes will be offered as social rent (8.6% by floorspace), all to be built nearly ten years hence. Shopping centre owner and ‘specialist real estate investment and advisory company developer’ Delanceysaid that this was as much as it could afford to build, but we now know that with Mayor’s funding they could give us another 42 homes – still a modest amount, but almost enough to reach Southwark’s local plan requirement.

Whether there will ever be even 116 social rent units is also open to doubt. Leaving aside the fact that they won’t be built for nearly ten years, a long time by any measure, Delancey has the option of passing the obligation to build the homes back to Southwark, along with land and ‘sufficient funds’ to fulfil the obligation. We fear that the wording of the development’s legal agreement fails to properly secure this. We also believe that the wording of the legal agreement fails to provide an effective viability review mechanism – a basic policy requirement and a way to get greater affordable and social rent housing, should the development prove more profitable than expected.

As well as housing, the new development will provide about the same amount of retail space as there is in the present shopping centre, but catering for the more well-heeled customer other social-rent free developments are now drawing to the Elephant. The shopping centre itself will be demolished, which will destroy not just the shops of the many independent traders who have made the Elephant their home, including many ethnic businesses, but one of two major social hubs for the Latin American community in London (the other, in Seven Sisters, is under similar threat).

Concerted campaigning has gained some space for these traders in the shopping centre and other new developments, as well as a temporary relocation facility, but there is not enough space for every trader who wants it.Latin Elephant, a local charity and advocate for all ethnic traders in the area, reckons there are nearly a hundred independent traders in the area and, given the practicalities of moving a business and a limited relocation fund of£634,700 only a fraction of traders are likely to benefit.

Delancey’s anticipated profit from all of this is £137m or £148m, according to the last available viability assessments and depending on the grant funding situation. Delancey developments, at the Elephant, are based in off-shore tax-havens, with the shopping centre development registered in the British Virgin Islands.

We must have homes that meet local need

Delancey and Southwark argue that other elements of the scheme – a new Northern Line tube entrance and a campus for the University of the Art’s London College of Communication – provide positives that outweigh any negatives in the housing and retail offer. This is entirely in keeping with the regeneration rationale, as articulated by Fred Manson back in 1999, so successfully implemented by Southwark since then and now making a sizeable contribution to London’s disastrous housing situation – thousands of new homes that many, not just of the poorest, cannot afford to either rent or buy; housing costs for the poorest the ‘worst in Europe’ and a record number of rough sleepers.

From the moment the shopping centre planning application was made over two years ago, Southwark Council has been content to take whatever Delancey has offered, regardless of local need, in pursuit of its wretched gentrification agenda. It has been local campaigners, with the support of some local councillors, who have fought hard over the past two years to squeeze housing concessions and a better deal for shopping centre traders out of the development. We must now fully secure the maximum social rented housing, and not have to wait nearly ten years for them. 42 extra social rented homes are not that many, the London Mayor has the money to pay for them and we are determined that they should be built. We also want a better deal for traders – more space and more money for relocating.

That is why we are challenging Delancey’s planning permission through the High Court. We want the permission quashed and then we want a development scheme at the Elephant and Castle that provides homes and shops that are truly affordable for local people.

If you agree with us, you can help in this fight by donating here or coming to support us at the High Court on Wednesday 17th July.

Footnotes:

  1. Estates Gazzette article published 13 March 1999 

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35% Campaign update – Verney Rd – yet another Old Kent Rd development

Latest blog update on regeneration in Southwark.
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Verney Rd – yet another Old Kent Rd development

Jun 16, 2019 12:00 am

Third large application in a month goes to committee -The application for a mixed-use development at 6-12 Verney Rd, just off the Old Kent Rd, behind PC World, is due to be considered by Southwark’s planning committee this Monday (18 June). The proposal is for 3 blocks, the tallest of 17 storeys, comprising 338 residential units, office and workspace and associated open, green and amenity spaces. The application is recommended for approval.

The application follows Malt St, approved less than two weeks ago, Southernwood Retail ParkCantium Retail Park and Ruby Triangle and is the latest of the big developments being rushed through planning committee, in advance of the adoption of the Old Kent Rd Area Action Plan (AAAP.

Verney Rd shares several characteristics with the other Old Kent Rd developments, although somewhat smaller. All have 35% affordable housing, in an approximate 70:30 social rent:intermediate housing split, compliant with the local plan (Ruby Triangle and Malt St have 40% affordable housing). All, though, are technically non-viable, according to their viability assessments, so should be unable, in theory, to meet this affordable housing requirement.

Developer’s estimate of profit shortfall for Verney Rd scheme.

Viability rules?

This contradiction is reducing the consideration of viability into something of a ritual. The developer (in this case CB Acquisition London Ltd, (correspondance address, Cayman Islands)) says that the scheme will only make about half the profit needed to support the affordable housing required and the Council’s appraiser broadly agrees, with some caveats. Then, after ‘stand-back analysis’ or ‘sensitivity testing’ (and with the Bakerloo Line Extension (BLE) very much in mind) the developer graciously agrees to deliver the affordable housing, regardless.

Extract from developer’s viability assessment

This is different to what has been happening at the Elephant and Castle, where every major development used viability to refuse to deliver policy compliant affordable housing, so it must count as progress – but maybe not as much progress as it first appears.

Homes and jobs

Verney Rd is designated in the Mayor’s planning policy as a Strategic Industrial Location. Southwark Council and the Mayor have agreed to the release of such land for mixed use development, including housing, before the Old Kent Rd AAP has been adopted, much to the anger of the many Old Kent Rd businesses.

Such developments, where the industrial land is lost, should provide 50% affordable housing, according the Mayor’s draft New London Plan. This was the case for Ruby Triangle and Malt St, as well as Verney Rd. The draft NLP is not yet adopted, so developers are getting in quick, before it takes full force.

Second, while CB Acquisition Ltd are offering 35% affordable housing, they want any improvement in viability to ‘be used to bridge the current viability “gap” rather than for further planning obligations’ (ie affordable housing). This pre-empts the use of a late review mechanism, designed to capture any uplift in profits for affordable housing when the development is complete. (Malt St was passed without a late stage review mechanism, though both Ruby Triangle andCantium Retail Park have them).

Denser and denser

On top of this Verney Rd is a very dense development – 1180 habitable rooms per hectare – way above the London Plan range of 200-700 habitable rooms per hectare (hrh) for an Urban Density Zone. But even Verney Rd is not as dense as Ruby Triangle (2713 hrh) and Cantium and Southernwood Retail Parks (2353 hrh and 2522 hrh respectively), rendering the London Plan policy a dead letter, as far as the Old Kent Rd is concerned. Together the developments will deliver over 4,600 homes, with a gross development value above £2bn, with the potential for a big impact on profitability from any marginal improvements in the viability figures.

All the Old Kent Rd developers have shown a marked reluctance to take advantage of the grant funding available from the Mayor – only Ruby Triangle and Malt St have done so and then only for 5% of the affordable housing. As the Southernwood Retail Park developer explains it, grant funding would have‘a significant negative impact on the viability of the scheme’.

More or less affordable housing?

So, the picture that emerges is that of a pact being struck – developers will deliver the affordable housing that the local plan requires, but not much more, regardless of the true profitability of the developments and of any ‘strategic’ target of 50% affordable housing, set by the Mayor. On the other hand, should, say, problems occur with the BLE, reducing the prices that can be charged for new homes, it is not hard to envisage developers returning to Southwark, reminding them that they always said their schemes were technically unviable, and looking for a reduction in the affordable housing.

Indeed, this eventuality is even envisaged in the proposed small print of the planning consent.

Paragraph 256 of the planning committee report.

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Delays and Delancey

Jun 15, 2019 12:00 am

Delancey looks to escape blame for its own faults –

In the face of a judicial review of their planning approval for the shopping centre demolition and redevelopment (now scheduled for 17 and 18 August), centre owners and developer Delancey showed a touching concern for the welfare of the traders, making noises about how the ‘timeline for starting on site will be pushed back’, affecting the traders’ hopes for ‘stability and certainty’.

Delancey has not previously been in any hurry to settle the centre’s future, other than entirely on its own terms. This is amply demonstrated by the snail’s pace progress of their planning application. It is a story of constant deferment, caused by Delancey’s refusal to meet the minimum requirements of the Council’s own local plan.

Delancey are culpable in 3 areas – the affordable retail offer, the relocation of the traders and the affordable housing offer.

No affordable retail

The application was lodged on the 28 October 2016 but did not include any affordable retail units, contrary to Southwark’s 10% requirement. Instead Delancey submitted a Retail Assessment which said ‘The Proposals do not include 10% affordable retail for the reasons outlined later. This would be unviable and inappropriate given the intention to create a strong retail/leisure anchor at the heart of the town centre’ (4.63).

By Dec 2017 the affordable retail offer had inched up to the equivalent of 5.3%(para 88), including an in-lieu payment. The application was scheduled for a planning meeting on 18 Dec 2017, when Delancey, no doubt fearing a refusal, despite a recommendation to approve (para 1) asked for a deferral ‘to allow time for further negotiations in relation to the affordable retail proposal’ (para 2) . A fully policy compliant offer was not made until Jan 2018 – 15 months after the application was first made.

No relocation strategy

The relocation of shopping centre traders was even further down the list of Delancey’s priorities. A draft strategy, put together without any input from traders, appeared in August 2017, nearly a year after the planning application. The strategy did not include anywhere for the traders to move to during the building of the new development. This would have to wait another 5 months, until February 2018, when the Castle Square temporary facility for traders was proposed.The planning application for this wholly inadequate temporary space was made in June 2018, with approval in January 2019.

No social rented housing

Alongside this, similar delays plagued the affordable housing offer, which Delancey only slowly and reluctantly improved because of fierce campaigning opposition. It took Delancey over 2 years (Oct 2016 – Dec 2018) to progress from their initial offer to the final, approved proposal, while still falling short of the social rented housing requirement.

There was a complete absence of social rented housing, or quantities for any kind of affordable housing in the initial offer. Delancey would only say that 35% affordable housing would be between 15% and 80% market rent, with a‘blended percentage’ of 57% (Para 6.3). This turned out to include a only a meagre 33 ‘social rent equivalents’, out of 979 total units. This went up to 74 units in February 2018, with 95 London Living Rent units and 161 affordable rent at 80% market rent. Five months later, in June 2018, the social rent was increased to 116 units, (with the promise that they would be ‘proper’ social rent), but the London Living Rent was reduced to 53 units to compensate, with 161 units remaining at 80% market rent (income thresholds of £80,000-£90,000 pa). This was too much for Mayor Sadiq Kahn who insisted on a top threshold of £60,000 pa.

Three deferrals

Delancey’s foot-dragging caused the application to be deferred three times (18 Dec 2017, 16 Jan 2018, 30 Jan 2018), while the planning committee, under intense pressure from campaigners, wrestled improvements into Delancey’s scheme, until final approval on 3 July 2018.

This entailed 4 versions of an expanding officer’s report, which recapped the reasons for each successive delay and recounted the improvements wrenched from a reluctant Delancey. Each version recommended approval, on the basis that the deal offered, including affordable retail, trader relocation and the ‘maximum reasonable amount of affordable housing’ was the best that could be got, only for the next version to demonstrate that this was not the case.

Castle Square

The delays did not end with the planning committee approval. Planning approval was also needed for the Castle Square temporary facility, as a condition of the shopping centre development approval. While the proposal was made in February 2018, Delancey came forward with this application at the end of June and it went to committee on 7 Jan 2019. The final decision notice for the shopping centre application was then published on 10 Jan 2019, nearly a full year on and there hasn’t been any progress since then.

Castle Square showing no sign of works commencing on the temporary boxpark

Where the fault lies…

It might be argued that through this whole tortuous saga that Delancey ‘listening’ and responding to the community’s concerns. An alternative explanation is that it is a well-rehearsed developer tactic- offer as little as you can get away with, and then make only those improvements you are forced to concede. Delaying the delivery of the hard-one 116 social rented units for at least 9 years employs the same delaying tactic.

To sum up, we have little doubt that had Delancey presented the improved scheme that it presented to the planning committee on 3 July 2019 at the very first scheduled planning committee meeting, back on 18 December 2017, it would have been approved and any legal challenge long resolved. Delancey could then have saved the crocodile tears it is currently shedding on behalf of the traders. hi sweetie I am

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