35% Campaign update – Elephant Park – homes dumped for offices

Elephant Park – homes dumped for offices

Jun 17, 2022 12:14 pm

Southwark Council is set to roll over to Lendlease yet again in its final bid to squeeze maximum profit out of the Heygate redevelopment. The developer’s latest and last Elephant Park application will increase the density of the scheme via the back door, using the sweetener of a new health facility that is was required to provide anyway.

One of the first tasks of Southwark’s new planning committee will be to consider developer Lendlease’s controversial planning application for a new office block on the final plot of Elephant Park, H1. Plot H1 stands on what was protected metropolitan open land, on the site of the demolished Heygate estate:

The H1 application, which includes a proposal for a health hub, is a dramatic change of direction by Lendlease. Up to now, Elephant Park has been built as a housing development, with some retail, and other uses; Lendlease’s original plan was for H1 to be much the same, with three residential blocks, one of 30-storeys, two of ten-storeys, comprising about 300 homes, across 36,100sqm of floorspace:

This proposal was part of Lendlease’s successful 2013 planning permission application. Now, in 2022, it turns out that Lendlease has shoehorned the housing planned for H1 into all the other plots already built or currently under construction, leaving it with a surplus plot. Instead of building additional housing on H1, which would require a fresh planning application and might open up a can of worms about affordable housing delivery, Lendlease says it wants to build an office block on the site, which would improve ’employment capacity’. A health hub, covering a tenth of the total floorspace, is also being offered, to sweeten the proposal – but only in place of providing affordable workspace.

Lendlease benefits from rule change 1

Southwark Council has reacted favourably to Lendlease’s proposal to provide offices on the surplus plot, with local councillors saying that they are ‘generally in support’ of the application, at a pre-election hustings.

More practically Southwark Council also changed the planning rules to give the application a fair wind. We reported last September how Southwark Council has smoothed Lendlease’s path by changing the local planning rules in the Southwark Plan, to allow a ten-fold increase in ’employment floorspace’ on Elephant Park.

Lendlease’s 2013 planning permission allowed only a maximum of 5,000sqm of business space across the whole Elephant Park site of thirteen plots. Lendlease’s new application proposes ten times that amount, 49,565sqm on a single plot. This would have had no hope of being approved without a change in the planning rules. Southwark Council duly obliged and approved an ‘uplifted’ amount of 60,000sqm, when the new Southwark Plan was adopted in February 2022.

More homes in a smaller space….

Lendlease has also been careful to build all the homes it promised under its 2013 permission. Lendlease say it has built almost to the maximum floorspace allowed by the permission, delivering 2,689 homes including 25.7% affordable housing.

But these 2,689 homes must obviously have been shoehorned into fewer plots, at a greater density than originally proposed, if Lendlease now finds itself with a spare plot that can be used for an office development. Should this application succeed it will also be the second time that the density of the development has been increased. In 2019 Lendlease took advantage of a poorly drafted s106 legal agreement, to increase the original maximum homes from 2,469 to 2,689 homes.

There is also a discrepancy between what Southwark has been told about the number of homes built and the figures Lendlease have given in their 2022 half-yearly report to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Lendlease’s hy22 Lendlease Major Urban Projects report says that 3,208 homes will be delivered on Elephant Park (including Trafalgar Place’s 235 units), 284 more units than are in the planning documents and 739 more homes than originally consented:

…….fewer social rent

Lendlease remains silent on the shortfall of affordable housing, against the longstanding 35% affordable housing requirement, half of which should be social rented. Roughly calculated by unit this is a loss of about 270 affordable homes, half of which would be social rent.

The sweetener – the health hub

Lendlease appear to have won local councillors around to supporting their office block proposal by promising a health hub. Discussions about this have already taken place between Southwark Council, the NHS SE London Clinical Commissioning Group and Lendlease, and have also including GP services provider Nexus.

A health hub or facility would be very welcome and for that reason it has been a requirement for Lendlease to build it since 2013, under the current planning permission. Rather than get on and build it though, Lendlease has waited until the final plot and the final planning application to extract further gains, in the shape of an office block, several times the size of the health hub. It has had to make £1.08m health contributions along the way, but evidently considers this an acceptable cost.

Given that Lendlease were happy to build the health hub as part of a residential development before, there is no reason why it must be part of an office development now, other than it suits Lendlease. It is also not clear why councillors and Southwark think they are getting a good deal by supporting a health hub with offices, when there is already an agreement to build a health hub with homes.

Lendlease benefits from rule change 2

A further gain for Lendlease in building a health hub is that it would relieve it of the obligation of providing around 5,000sqm of affordable workspace. This has been enabled by another favourable change to the planning rules in the new Southwark Plan, to add to the change that allowed more office space. Up to August 2020 developers could provide affordable retail and affordable cultural uses instead of affordable workspace. Lendlease submitted its application in May 2021 and by the time of the final version of the Southwark Plan in February 2022 ‘public health services’ was added to the list of alternatives to affordable workspace.

So, with this addition, an obligation was turned into a choice between providing a health hub, at what we can assume will be a commercial rent, or affordable workspace at discounted rents.

Princess Street and Manor Place surgeries to go?

Southwark Council has joined with Lendlease and the NHS SE London Clinical Commissioning Group (SEL CCG) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, supporting the provision of a health hub and an indicative plan of the hub has been drafted.

One point that leaps out of the Memorandum is that the hub is intended to replace the Princess St and Manor Place GP surgeries. It says that the hub would be a ‘health centre for GP….services….to serve the population at Elephant & Castle and the existing people served by the Princess St and Manor Place GP Surgeries.’

New state-of-the-art GP facilities would be a boon to everyone at the Elephant and in Walworth. But if these facilities entail the closure of two longstanding GP surgeries then that is something that should be made plain in the planning application and the public consultation about that application. This has not happened; the only consultation has been around the planning aspects of the application, which the Memorandum calls a ‘separate and independent process’.

A consultation is promised by the SEL CCG, but it looks as if this will not be until after the planning application is decided. This is too late; the fate of the surgeries will be effectively decided too, if the application is approved. Southwark Council and the NHS are the proper authorities to deal with our health care provision, Lendlease are not, but at the moment it is Lendlease who seem to be in the driving seat, with no reference to the people who depend on Princess St and Manor Place surgeries. This planning application should only be determined after the formal consultation promised by the SEL CCG.

What has been delivered on Elephant Park?

Southwark must also clarify and confirm just exactly what housing has been delivered on Elephant Park. The development we have now looks a lot different to that approved, back in 2013 – bigger, denser, with fewer homes for sale (many were converted to Build to Rent), and with an office block in the middle, if the H1 planning application succeeds. This is not what the 2013 planning committee agreed to.

A new Overview & Scrutiny committee has just begun drawing up its scrutiny arrangements and annual work programme; the committe should put an examination of the whole Heygate regeneration and what has been delivered on Elephant Park at the top of its agenda.

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Only one in ten new homes in Southwark is social rented

Apr 12, 2022 01:00 am

Hoardings publicising the Council’s delivery of 11,000 council homes are a familiar sight around Southwark. They promote the Council’s creditable council house building programme, which it launched in 2013 and describes as the ‘most ambitious…in the country’.

The impression Southwark wants to create is that building social housing is the Council’s top priority – as it should be in a borough where only 7% of households can afford free-market housing[^1].

The reality is different. Only one in ten new homes built in Southwark since 2004 is social rented. The figure has emerged from analysis of the London Mayor’s new Planning Datahub. The Datahub documents all the homes built in London since 2004, including those built in Southwark[^2]. The Datahub analysis shows that after losses are taken into account, only 2,711 out of twenty-five thousand new homes in Southwark are social rented[^3].

Eighteen years of low social rent, but high free-market numbers

The contrast between the small number of social rent and the large number of free-market homes built is stark, as our chart below shows. The Datahub figures show that nearly 70% of all new homes are free-market (nearly 18,000 in number) against just 10.7% social rent, with the rest made up of other affordable homes[^4].

Bar chart by 35% Campaign. Source: Planning London Datahub, Residential Completion Dashboard

Lost Heygate homes

The Datahub also shows that more social rented homes were lost in 2021 than were built. Only 31 were built, while 122 were demolished, with a net loss of 91 homes. Southwark claim this is a ‘discrepancy’ but the lost units can be identified through the Datahub as being from the demolished Heygate estate[^5].

The Datahub shows the loss clearly, in percentage terms, as minus 20.4% of the total housing delivered in 2021[^6].

Southwark misses the target

Southwark has claimed that it has more than met its target to build 2,500 council homes by 2022, a pledge it made in 2013.

But this target has in fact been missed. Only 2,208 social rented homes have been built in Southwark since 2013, and this includes any council housing built. This figure is calculated from Southwark’s own Housing Facts and Figures webpage Table 8. The Mayor’s Datahub shows that over the same period 1,136 social rent homes have been lost, mainly through estate demolitions, leaving a net gain of only 1,072 social rented homes[^7].

it should be noted that these figures are from all social rented housing in the borough. It is made up of social housing on private developments, as well as any council housing. The number of council homes built will therefore be a smaller number than the number of social rented homes.

The Council plays with the figures

Southwark is only able to claim that it has fulfilled its 2013 pledge to build 2,500 council homes by 2022, by using an elastic definition if what ‘build’ actually means. For Southwark, it means the homes do not have to be completed, just started, and can also include other homes brought back into use, according to this Southwark News article.

Southwark also apparently include in the definition of council housing homes gained from private developments, through planning requirements. If this is the case then there is no real gain in social rented housing numbers, because these would have been built anyway, and at private developer’s cost.

We need less free-market housing, more social rent

The need for social rented housing has continued to rise since Southwark made its 2013 pledge to build 11,000 council homes over thirty years. The pledge is a good one, but it will probably only maintain the 2013 number of homes, not increase it. Southwark also does itself no favours by exaggerating the progress it is making towards the 11,000 council homes target. The amount of council and social housing being built in the borough is a fraction of the amount of free-market housing and unless this changes and we start getting more social housing from private developers as well as council homes, then Southwark’s housing crisis will continue.

Footnotes:
[^1]: ‘CACI Paycheck data confirms that 93% of households in Southwark have a household income that requires social and intermediate housing’ – para 2, pg 108 Southwark Plan 2022

[^2]: The Planning London Datahub is a ‘collaborative project between all of the Planning Authorities in London’ including Southwark. It is part of the London Datastore and is a ‘new data base that includes data fed live from the boroughs…’. The Datahub’s Residential Completion Dashboard shows all housing completions for all the boroughs in London.

[^3]: 5,761 social rented homes were completed, 3,050 s/r homes were lost, leaving a 2,711 net gain for the eighteen financial years FY2004-FY2021. 25,286 homes of all tenures were completed in total, after losses are taken into account. From an analysis of the Residential Completion Dashboard, data filtered for Southwark.

[^4]: 17,651 free-market (69.81%), 2,711 social rent (10.72%), 339 affordable rent (1.34%), 3,572 intermediate (14.13%), 57 Discount Market Rent (0.23%), 956 Other (3.39%) – 25,286 units in total. Completed during the eighteen years FY2004-FY2021. Figures do not include non-conventional units and empty homes brought back into use. From an analysis of the Residential Completion Dashboard, data filtered for Southwark.

[^5]: 31 social rented homes were completed in Southwark in 2021, while 122 were demolished, all on Elephant Park Plots H2 and H3 (14/AP/3438/3439), leaving a net loss of 91 units. More social rented homes were lost than completed in FY 2004 (-140), FY2015 (-121), FY2016 (-166), FY2021 (-91). From an analysis of the Residential Completion Dashboard, data filtered for Southwark.

[^6]: The net gains/losses for FY2021 are 441 free-market units (98.7%), -91 social rent (-20.4%), 39 affordable rent (8.7%), intermediate 58 (13%). From an analysis of the Residential Completion Dashboard, data filtered for Southwark.

[^7]: Southwark’s Table 8 gives ‘Gross’ figures; the Datahub describes the same figures as ‘Gains’. The Datahub figures for FY2019 and FY2020 vary from Southwark’s, giving total Gains for FY2013 to FY2020 of 2,170, against Southwark’s figure of 2,208 for the same period. Datahub figures from an analysis of the Residential Completion Dashboard, data filtered for Southwark.

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35% Campaign

Latest news on Elephant traders’ deputation this evening.

Dear Friend

Yesterday we were notified by Southwark Council that it is ‘unlikely’ that the Elephant traders’ deputation will be heard the Council Assembly meeting this evening. Southwark has suggested as an alternative that the deputation attends the Cabinet meeting on 7 Dec.

We are naturally very disappointed with this news, particularly as it comes so late in the day. We have asked Southwark and the councillors to reconsider, but as yet we cannot say what the final response will be and may not know until this evening.

The Yes to Fair Redevelopment demonstration is still going ahead and will rally outside outside Council Assembly at 6.30pm. The march will begin at the Vauban Car Park, Alscot Rd, opposite Spa Gardens, SE1 3GG (Bus 1 and 78) at 6.00pm.

Many thanks for your continuing support and please CLICK HERE for a trailer of an upcoming film on the traders plight (thanks to Emile Burgoyne).

Regards
Jerry

Copyright © 2021 Elephant Amenity Network, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:

Elephant Amenity Network

18 Market Place
Blue Anchor Lane

London

Southwark SE16 3UQ

United Kingdom

Elephant traders’ deputation this Wednesday, 24th November

Dear Friend

Traders’ deputation to the Southwark Assembly

Many Elephant shopping centre traders still have no new premises a year after the centre closed, despite Southwark Council’s promises that ‘no-one would be left’ behind in the Elephant and Castle’s regeneration.

The traders are sending a deputation to Southwark Council’s Assembly,160 Tooley St, SE1 2QH this Weds 24 Nov. 7pm.

The deputation will be demanding that Southwark Council does more to help the traders. Southwark has legal agreements with developers Delancey and Lendlease for the traders’ relocation – these agreements must be enforced.

image image

The deputation will include representatives from Pricebusters DIY shop and La Bodequita restaurant, two of the Elephant’s longest-standing businesses, as well as from the Elephant Arcade, one of the relocation sites. There will also be a representative of the market stall holders, who are still negotiating with Southwark Council for new market stall pitches at the Elephant and Castle.

The Assembly meeting is open to the public – please join us and give your support!

Yes to Fair Redevelopment demonstration.

You can also join the ‘Yes to Fair Redevelopment demonstration’, in the run-up to the Assembly meeting.

The demo is marching to Tooley St for a rally outside Council Assembly at 6.30pm. The march will assemble at the Vauban Car Park, Alscot Rd, opposite Spa Gardens SE1 3GG (Bus 1 and 78) at 6.00pm.

The demo is to let the Council know that unfair development of council estates will not be accepted. You can read more here and here.

Regards

Jerry

Copyright © 2021 Elephant Amenity Network, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:

Elephant Amenity Network

18 Market Place
Blue Anchor Lane

LondonSouthwark SE16 3UQ

United Kingdom

Meet Olympians, discover local walks and flu vaccine reminder

Southwark Council header

Try out Southwark’s newest sports facility and meet Olympians on Saturday 6 November

Come along to the opening of the Southwark Park Sports and Athletics Centre on Saturday 6 November. Book for free tasters sessions including tag rugby, introductions to long jump and sprint running and disability sports sessions. Join Olympic Champion, Christine Ohuruogu; Peckham-born Tokyo Olympic medallist, Imani-Lara Lansiquot; Team GB athlete, Conrad Williams; and professional freestyle footballer Steve Gray, who will be trying out the new facility.


Join a gym in Southwark for under £25 per month

Get unlimited use of gym, swim and exercise classes at Southwark Park Sports and Athletics Centre, Seven Islands Leisure Centre, Surrey Docks Fitness and Watersports Centre, Camberwell Leisure Centre and Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre. Kick-start your exercise routine and sign up for a gym today.


Free swim and gym in Southwark

Did you know Southwark residents can use swimming pools and gyms at our leisure centres, free of charge, at certain times? Find out more and register for free swim and gym.


Discover local walking routes: follow in the steps of Harry Potter, Bridget Jones and Del Trotter

Discover Southwark with our illustrated walking maps. Pick from 12 routes which include film locations, Dulwich’s unusual architecture, flora and fauna, and myths and legends of the borough.


Ultra Low Emission Zone has expanded: check your vehicle

The Ultra Low Emission Zone expanded up to the North and South Circular Roads on Monday 25 October 2021. Check your vehicle now via the TfL website.


Survey: your views on public art in Southwark

Public art is art that is in public spaces and is for everyone to see. It is often commissioned by councils or other public organisations. We want our pubic spaces to better celebrate our diverse communities. That’s why we want to hear your views about public art in Southwark.


Find out if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine

The flu virus kills almost 11,000 people and hospitalises tens of thousands more in England in an average year. It’s more important than ever to get your flu jab this year. Find out if you are now eligible to get a free flu vaccine.


Plans approved for 162 new council homes at two developments in Southwark

New Homes image We have permission to build 162 new council homes at two developments in St Giles and Peckham

The development in St Giles will see 79 new council homes built at Sceaux Gardens. The development in Peckham will see 83 new council homes built at Bells Gardens Estate.


Get the Transport for London app to help you travel safely across London

If you’re out and about you can plan your journeys across London using the TfL Go app. Get live bus and train times and quieter times to travel, all Tube, London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and tram lines updates, walking and cycling routes, and accessible routes using the step-free mode.


New service launched to help people get online

We have launched a new digital inclusion service for residents to provide information, help and guidance about how to get online or improve their internet skills. If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from this service please get in touch by calling our helpline 07783 776 066.


Invitation to Elephant exhibition this Saturday 25th September

 Dear Friend

You are cordially invited to a
 Photographic exhibition to mark one year since Elephant and Castle shopping centre closed.

An exhibition of photographs of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre will be taking place this Saturday 25 September 2021 at flat 70 on Sayer St, SE17 1FY at the Elephant and Castle, opening 12 noon, to 8pm.
image
 
The exhibition will emphasise the importance of what was lost when the shopping centre was closed, but also highlights the successes and struggles of the small independent traders since losing their premises and market stalls.

 A relocated traders walking tour will start at 2pm.
There will be speeches from invited guests at 3pm.
Various performances will also happen throughout the day. 

The exhibition has been organised by flat 70 co-founders Anthony Badu and Senam Badu and Latin Elephant, the local charity which campaigns and advocates on behalf of all traders at the Elephant. It will form part of a wider ‘Elephant Carnival’ which aims to celebrate the resilience of the local community.

Hope to see you Saturday!

Regards
Jerry
  
Copyright © 2021 Elephant Amenity Network, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Elephant Amenity Network18 Market PlaceBlue Anchor LaneLondon, Southwark SE16 3UQUnited Kingdom

35% Campaign update – Lendlease’s final plot for Elephant Park – offices, not homes


Sep 17, 2021 01:00 am

Southwark to change rules to allow office block on former Heygate estate.Southwark Council is set to change its planning rules to enable developer Lendlease to build an office block on the site of the former Heygate estate. The block would be on the final development plot of Elephant Park, Plot H1, which is earmarked for housing under Lendlease’s current planning consent. Lendlease has now applied to replace this consent with an entirely new one, to build an office block, not housing.Southwark is also ready to change the New Southwark Plan (NSP) to pave Lendlease’s way to a successful approval of the application. The change will allow an increase in the office floorspace on Elephant Park, from the maximum of 5,000 sqm that Lendlease is presently allowed, to the 49,565 sqm it is proposing in its new planning application. Southwark has said ‘an office development on this plot is broadly supported’ in the ‘Conclusion’ of pre-application discussions with Lendlease.Late changes to the New Southwark PlanThe change to the NSP, which governs all development throughout the borough, is part of a ‘main modification’ to the Plan. The modification MM7 would allow 60,000 sqm of ‘employment floorspace’ to be built specifically on Elephant Park; at the moment the local plan envisages a maximum of 30,000 sqm of ‘business floorspace’ for the whole Elephant and Castle Opportunity Area.The NSP, including the main modifications, is in the final stages of approval by government inspectors. Comments on all proposed modifications can be made up to a deadline of 24 September 2021.From open space to office spaceA good part of Plot H1 sits on land that was covenanted for use as open space, in perpetuity, when ownership was devolved to Southwark in 1985, on the abolition of the Greater London Council (GLC). In 2014 Southwark transferred ownership of the Heygate land, including Plot H1, to Lendlease, removing the covenant in the process.In 2019 Lendlease took advantage of a poorly drafted s106 legal agreement with Southwark to increase the maximum number of homes allowed on Elephant Park by 220 units, to 2,689. Lendlease is using ten plots of land for these homes, instead of the eleven available, leaving itself a spare plot. This is the justification for the new planning application – Lendlease claims that they have fulfilled their housing obligations under the current planning consent, so Plot H1 can be used for an office development, which would create jobs.Lendlease does not say in their new planning application how many homes could be built on Plot H1, if it were used for housing as originally intended, but by making a rough comparison with neighbouring plot H7, a capacity for about 340 homes can be calculated.Lendlease on manoeuvresLendlease’s Plot H1 planning application is the latest of a succession of self-advantageous manoeuvres. As well as increasing the number of homes on the estate and squeezing them into fewer plots, Lendlease has also announced that over 900 of the free-market homes would no longer be for sale, but kept under their ownership, and let to private renters, not sold. Before this, they marketed and sold substantial numbers of homes overseas . This all followed the notorious 2010 Heygate regeneration agreement, which reduced the affordable housing to 25%, from 35%, with a meagre 79 social rented units (later inching up to 100 units).Southwark Council is now poised to give up a prime housing site (in the middle of an opportunity area, on former council estate land) at Lendlease’s behest. Southwark is doing this while embroiled in controversies across the borough about infill development on council estate sites, none of which are anywhere near the size of the plot it is about to give up.Object!Lendlease’s argument that offices will good for employment is entirely self-serving. They did not make this proposal for Plot H1 in 2012, when applying for their first planning permission. Instead, they have tricked their way into a position where they have built more homes than originally consented, on a smaller space, and now want to squeeze in an extra office block for good measure.Southwark Council have aided Lendlease’s application by proposing a ten-fold increase in ‘employment space’ on Elephant Park, in the New Southwark Plan – a huge uplift, introduced to boost the chances of an office-space application being approved.There has been much speculation about whether Southwark’s recent change of leadership has resulted in a change of direction for the Council.This is the planning committee’s chance to prove that the Council won’t roll over to Lendlease indefinitely. The committee must stop this cynical attempt to manipulate planning policy to Lendlease’s advantage and reject this planning application.Once this is done, Southwark should start a sensible discussion on what is to be done with this prime site, with the focus on the local community’s real needs, including affordable housing, with all the amenities and open surroundings needed to make life liveable in London.470 comments and objections have been made to this application.If you would like to add your objection, you can do so here.You can use this model objection text or view our full letter of objection here.
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Recent Articles:Former Council leader glides through revolving doors
Legal battle for the Elephant and Castle shopping centre ends
Southwark rips up Aylesbury Area Action Plan
Action on Southwark’s empty homes
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35% Campaign

35% Campaign update – Former Council leader glides through revolving doors

   

Aug 11, 2021 01:00 am

Former Southwark Council leader Peter John OBE has joined the long list of councillors and ex-council staff now working for property developers. Cllr John led Southwark from 2010 to 2020, and was chair of London Councils from 2018 to 2020.

Cllr John was recently appointed Chairman of the Terrapin Group, a lobbying firm, whose client list is dominated by property developers and real-estate investors. Cllr John joins three other serving councillors, from different boroughs, as a Terrapin ‘practitioner’, but in the more senior chairman’s role.

Terrapin was founded by former Tory politician Peter Bingle in 2012 and has acquired a reputation for lobbying local government politicians to help developers get planning consents.

The Public Affairs Board Register shows Elephant & Castle developer Delancey is one of Terrapin’s oldest clients, having benefited from their consultancy services since 2013. The Elephant Park (formerly Heygate estate) developer Lendlease was also on Terrapin’s books for 4 years, from 2013 to 2017.

Other Terrapin clients with schemes in Southwark include Barratt Homes (from 2013 to 2017; Blackfriars Circus, Maple Quays, the Galleria, Redwood Park); Telford Homes (from 2019; Bermondsey Works), Hollybrook Homes Ltd (2018 – 2020; Eagle Wharf) and Bellway Homes (from 2013; Elmington estate regeneration, Phase 3).

The biggest developer in the Old Kent Rd Opportunity Area, Avanton Ltd, was also a Terrapin client from 2017 to 2019. Avanton is behind the approved Ruby Triangle development and the upcoming Gasworks and Carpetright schemes, which together will have over 2,100 homes. Ruby Triangle Properties Ltd was also on Terrapin’s books, from 2017 to 2019, as was its affordable housing partner A2 Dominion, for different periods.

Other developers with smaller schemes in Southwark, who are or have been registered with Terrapin include Higgins Homes plc (Cherry Garden School); Southern Grove, who are looking to develop two sites (the ‘Brooklyn’, near Rotherhithe tunnel, and the St James, Bermondsey) and Pocket Living (Varcoe Rd and Credon House).

Peter John’s relationship with Terrapin’s Peter Bingle spans most of the years of his leadership at Southwark. The Council’s Register of Interests shows a number of dinners paid for by Terrapin, Bingle himself or his previous company – the disgraced Bell Pottinger.

The announcement of Cllr John’s appointment as Terrapin chair gives us an opportunity to look back at some of the controversial schemes signed off during his 10 years as Council leader.

Heygate estate redevelopment

In July 2010, just months after taking the reins at Southwark, Peter John signed a development agreement with Lendlease for the demolition of the 1,200 homes of the Heygate estate and its replacement by a private development with only 25% affordable housing – 10% less than Southwark’s policy requirement – and with a minimum of social rented housing. In the event, Lendlease has built nearly 3,000 homes on the site, with just 100 at social rent.

It emerged that the deal involved a payment to the Council of just £50m for the 25 acre site – barely enough to cover the cost incurred by the Council in emptying the estate.

Later, in 2012 and 2014 Cllr John came under fire for accepting tickets to the London Olympics, paid for by Lendlease and for making a trip to Cannes, to attend the MIPIM developer jamboree.

Aylesbury estate redevelopment

In 2014, Peter John signed-off the sale of the 2,759 council homes and 60 acres of land of the Aylesbury estate for demolition and redevelopment to housing association Notting Hill Genesis. Whilst the deal required Notting Hill to provide 50% ‘affordable housing’ it failed to secure any of the 3,500 proposed new homes as council homes and would have entailed a net loss of social rented housing.

Delays and political pressure forced Southwark into a U-turn last year, when it agreed to pay Notting Hill £193m to convert 581 new homes in phase 1 of the scheme into council homes. Southwark has also now committed to no net loss of social rented housing.

Canada Water redevelopment

In 2018, Peter John signed off the sale of 15 hectares of council-owned land at Canada Water to developer British Land.

The deal secured 35% affordable housing, but this is below the 50% requirement for publicly-owned land, set by the Mayor in his London Plan 2021 (Policy H4A).

It is unknown what land receipts (if any) the Council will receive in return for its 15 hectares, because the development agreement with British Land has been heavily redacted.

Elephant & Castle shopping centre

Also in 2018, Cllr John took the unusual step of announcing his support for Delancey’s proposed redevelopment of the shopping centre despite it having been knocked-back by the planning committee earlier in the year. Amongst other things, the scheme, while exceeding density limits, didn’t meet minimum social rented housing requirements, or offer any relocation support to existing traders.

It was only after a concerted local campaign (leading to legal action) that Delancey improved its offer from 33 to 116 social rented homes and agreed to provide relocation units and financial support for some of the traders.

Southwark also boosted Delancey by adopting Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers to help clear the site of traders. This little-publicised power gives local authorities a great deal of legitimate leverage in its negotiations with developers; if a site is not empty, it cannot be developed. But rather than use the power to get a better deal for traders, it stood behind Delancey, whose own hand was strengthened at the traders’ expense.

Letting developers off the hook

Aside from the shopping centre, Delancey has also been involved in other schemes in the borough, including Elephant Central (formerly Elephant One), with 272 student rooms and 374 private residences and 185 Park Street (next to Tate Modern) with 69 new homes – neither development has any social rented housing.

These schemes are not exceptions. Our research shows that only 456 new homes, out of 11,863 units in 25 major developments, approved in Southwark from 2006 to 2016 were social rented tenure – 3.8%. Had these schemes to complied with minimum policy requirements then around 2,500 social rented homes would have been delivered in total.

What we say

Confidence in the planning system has been badly dented by high profile schemes not delivering the affordable housing we need. That confidence is not improved when the former leader of the council becomes the chair of a lobbying firm whose business is ‘influencing government’, including ‘public authorities’, such as councils.

The Terrapin Group boasts that it is a ‘market leader’ and has ‘a superb track record of helping our clients achieve successful planning consents right across Greater London’ and invites inquiries for ‘potential assignments’.

We cannot know for whether any of the developments featured above are examples of such successful ‘assignments’. More recent developments, such as along the Old Kent Rd, have at least 35% affordable housing, most social rented and so it looks as if the current administration may not be cut from quite the same cloth as the previous one. But more needs to be done; the bar has been stuck at 35% affordable housing for too long and should be raised to 50%. To help achieve this behind-the-scenes lobbying by developers must be ended. Southwark can take a lead on this by taking two immediate measures;

  1. No sitting councillor should also work for a public affairs company whose clients are property developers and investors. It is not enough that councillors do not engage in such work within their own borough, as required by the Public Affairs Code. They should not be trying to persuade fellow councillors in other boroughs to approve schemes either. Planning decisions must be seen to made solely on the merits of the application, with all discussions open to public view.
  2. A local register of public affairs companies for the borough should be established. Every applicant for at least major schemes should be required to list their agents, including public affairs companies.

These measures would not only help maintain the integrity of the planning system, but might also avoid this kind of damaging headline:

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Legal battle for the Elephant and Castle shopping centre ends

Jun 12, 2021 09:54 am

Final decision goes Delancey’s way

The Appeal Court has upheld the High Court decision allowing developers Delancey to proceed with the demolition and redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, after it found that there were no grounds for reversing the High Court’s decision.

The legal challenge was mounted as part of a hard-fought 4-year campaign by Up the Elephant. This brought together housing campaigners (including the 35% Campaign), students, tenants’ groups, local councillors and trade unionists, in the fight for more social rented housing and a better deal for traders displaced by the proposed development.

The decision will now allow the mixed-use development of new shops and homes to proceed, with 116 social rented units, out of 979 ‘Build to Rent’ homes.

Despite the legal outcome the Up the Elephant Campaign secured many improvements to the original proposals, compared to the baseline of the original application, made in October 2016.

  • Increase of social rented housing from 33 units of ‘social rent equivalent’, owned and managed by the developer, to 116 proper social rented units, owned and managed by the Council or housing association
  • Provision of affordable retail space
  • An established traders’ panel
  • Temporary traders’ premises on Castle Square
  • Trader relocation to Elephant Arcade (Perronet House)
  • Trader relocation and assistance funds of £634,000 and £200,000
  • 15-year affordable retail lease

What we have lost

Despite these improvements Delancey’s scheme still remained a bad one, hence the legal challenge. The shopping centre may have been shabby, but it housed one of the largest bingo halls in Britain, much used by older people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, with a bowling alley next door, equally popular with younger people.

It had over decades become one of two social hubs for Latin Americans living in London (along with Wards Corner, in Seven Sisters). Most of the other independent traders come from other parts of the world and had built businesses for themselves and their families. All this would be lost. And while the affordable housing ‘offer’ was improved it still did not meet Southwark’s minimum policy requirements, falling short by over fifty homes for social rent.

The GLA grant mystery

The status of a purported £11.24m grant from the Mayor, that allowed Delancey to improve the social rented housing offer from 74 to 116 units and how this was reported to the planning committee was a key question before the court. The planning committee was told variously that the grant was ‘an agreement in principle for grant funding’ (Officer’s report Adden. para 11), or ‘recently confirmed’ (OR 371), when in fact it was neither. There was no grant and no application had been made. Delancey had only been advised by the Greater London Authority (GLA) that an application would be welcome (Appeal Judgement para 87) and of the steps that they needed to take to make an application.

On this point, the appeal court ruled that while there had been an ‘overstatement’ (AJ 87) of the position, all-in-all the committee had not been misled, particularly as Delancey had committed to building the social rented housing, with or without grant (AJ 85,86).

This commitment naturally led the legal challenge to argue that if Delancey could provide 116 social rented units without grant, they should be able to provide more with a grant. Again, the appeal court did not agree, citing the viability assessment, which stated that 116 units was ‘the maximum reasonable amount’ of social rented housing, and accepting that Delancey was committed to building the social rented housing at their own risk, even if grant were not available (AJ 91).

‘The land and sum of money’

The appeal court also found that the officer’s report and two addenda were only guidance and allowed council officers discretion in how the committee’s decision was practically put into effect (AJ 49, 50). This ruling had important consequences. One of the main grounds of the legal challenge was that a stipulation that would allow Southwark, not Delancey, to build the social rented housing, but without cost to itself, had not properly found its way into the legal agreement that sealed the planning permission.

To this end, the officer’s report had said that ‘The s106 agreement would therefore stipulate that if the development on the west site has not substantially commenced within 10 years of the east site commencing, the land and sum of money sufficient for construction and completion of the social rented units would be transferred to the council, to deliver the social rented units’. (OR 364)

What actually appeared in the s106 agreement was a more complicated arrangement of three options, two of which require Southwark to find up-front costs of construction. Delancey argued that the land value and non-residential elements of the social rented housing block had to be taken into account in this transaction and that this arrangement was therefore perfectly correct. Surprisingly, given that it was putting itself in a position of finding money to build something that Delancey would otherwise have to pay for, Southwark agreed with Delancey. The judge agreed with both, against the campaign’s arguments, ruling that this was a fair rendering of the committee’s decision (AJ 57-60).

Social rent and social rent equivalent – different, but the same

The legal challenge also took issue with Southwark and Delancey effectively treating ‘social rent equivalent’ and ‘social rent’ as being the same tenure.

This distinction becomes relevant if part of the development were to be switched from ‘Build to Rent’ to ‘Build to Sell’, with a higher affordable housing requirement and higher profit leading to an uplift to the social rented housing numbers. Delancey argued that any such uplift would have to be housed in towers that were managed by the affordable housing provider, who could not cope with real social rented housing, for stock-management reasons, and so the uplift would have to be social rent equivalent.

Despite the campaign offering three sets of differences between the tenures – including differences of security of tenure (3 years assured short-hold for social rent equivalent against lifetime tenancies for social rent) and differences in regulatory oversight – the appeal court judges these differences to be ‘nuanced’ rather than ‘material’ (AJ 77-79).

The implications of the judgement

While the Court of Appeal’s decision is disappointing, and the end of the legal challenge against the redevelopment of the shopping centre, we are not disheartened. The Up the Elephant campaign took up the fight in defence of council policy for a minimum amount of social housing, about 170 units, when Southwark Council refused to do so. The campaign did not succeed in getting 170 units, but it did raise the number from 33 social rent equivalent, to 74, then 116 social rent. Other gains have been made along the way, as noted at the beginning of this blogpost.

But though the local community and the Up the Elephant campaign won 116 social rented units, Southwark’s track record of repeatedly conceding ground to Delancey shows that it is more than capable of losing them.

It was not enough for Southwark to allow Delancey almost 10 years to build the social rented housing; Southwark then allowed Delancey the option of passing the task back to them, without adequately securing the resources to do the job. Southwark then went to court, not to make sure that they got the social rented housing, but to defend this lopsided arrangement, and back Delancey up, when it argued that this was all fair and proper.

The appeal court’s endorsement of Delancey and Southwark’s interpretation of ‘land and a sum of money’ (AJ 58, 59) now opens the door, under one option, to Southwark getting nothing more than the land and £1 (one pound). A second option will get Southwark money to build the social rent, but not the full construction costs. Both options would leave Southwark having to find upfront the construction costs. And, despite the appeal court’s judgement, we don’t believe that this is what the planning committee had in mind when it approved Delancey’s scheme.

Southwark should also demand to know when Delancey are going to make the application for the £11.24m that back in 2016 was claimed to be both agreed in principal and confirmed, but in reality, in 2021, does not seem to exist. As at June 2021, Delancey had not completed the registration of its affordable housing provider T3 Residential Limited with the Regulator of Social Housing, that the GLA advised was a condition of a successful grant application. As a recent Sunday Times exposé has shown, Delancey are well versed in how to use the public purse to its own advantage, when it comes to affordable housing. It is not difficult to envisage a scenario where it does so again, at Southwark’s expense.

35% Campaign  
 

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Elephant Shopping centre decision

Dear Friend

Yesterday we finally received the judgement on our appeal against the High Court decision not to overturn the shopping centre planning approval.

I’m sorry to say that the appeal has been lost and so the redevelopment of the shopping centre site can proceed. Many of you will have seen demolition is already well advanced.

We’re naturally very disappointed, but nonetheless heartened by the support our campaign has received, which  has ensured that many important improvements to the redevelopment have been made, including:

  • An increase of the social rented housing from 33 units of s/r equivalent, owned and managed by developer, to 116 proper social rented units, owned and managed by Council or housing association
  • Provision of affordable retail space
  • An established traders’ panel
  • Temporary traders’ premises on Castle Square
  • Trader relocation and assistance funds of £634,700 and £200,000
  • 15-year affordable retail leases

We have also demonstrated the will and determination of the local community, which will stand us in good stead for the future – the regeneration of the Elephant is far from finished. We will continue our support for the displaced traders, who are negotiating for new market space at the Elephant.

We will also be publishing blogposts very shortly on the legal challenge, on the 35% Campaign and Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) websites.

We must thank our barristers, Sarah Sackman and David Wolfe QC for their unstinting work and expert advocacy; Paul Heron and his colleagues at the PILC for their equally unflagging support and everyone at Southwark Law Centre for pointing us in the right direction, at the outset.

Many thanks once more,

Regards

Jerry
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35% Campaign update – Southwark rips up Aylesbury Area Action Plan

Latest blog update on regeneration in Southwark.
 

Southwark rips up Aylesbury Area Action Plan

May 09, 2021 10:05 am

Without consultation, Southwark Council has decided to scrap the 182-page planning document which sets the parameters for its redevelopment of the Aylesbury estate. The so-called Aylesbury Area Action Plan (AAAP) will instead be replaced by a 2-page ‘Area Vision and 5-page ‘site allocation’, as part of the New Southwark Plan.

The decision was revealed in a late background paper for the Examination in Public of the New Southwark Plan (NSP). Described by the government Inspector at the Examination in Public (EIP) as a ‘raft of policies’, the AAAP incorporated 29 policy documents, covering all aspects of the redevelopment, including housing, design, open space and the phasing of the development. It was adopted as the effective rule-book for the redevelopment of the estate in 2010, after four years of extensive public consultation, including its own separate public examination.

Image of front cover of AAAP

The implications of this are significant; while Southwark claim that all the relevant policies in the AAAP will be taken into account by the NSP, so that such things as more generous space standards, more family housing and car-parking for residents are retained, the lack of any prior notice or consultation has raised strong fears that much that was beneficial in the AAAP will not be carried across into the New Southwark Plan.

Zero Carbon Growth

Amongst the policies supporting the AAAP, policy at 3.6.1 requires the scheme to result in ‘zero carbon growth’:

“The development will be designed to result in zero carbon growth, that is, no net growth in carbon dioxide emissions despite an increase in the number of dwellings. This will require buildings which are highly energy efficient.”

While the NSP requires developers to take measures towards achieving carbon neutrality, and has targets for major developments (Policy P69), the very specific requirement that the Aylesbury achieves zero carbon growth will be lost.

Experience has shown that unless such a requirement is exact and explicit, as it is for the Aylesbury, it can be lost when complicated, large schemes are considered for planning approval and the decision is made by balancing out how well the development meets all planning requirements, not just the environmental ones.

Open Space

Policy at 4.5.1 of the AAAP requires that the Aylesbury redevelopment results in no net loss of open space. Again, while the NSP has the strategic target for the borough, to retain and protect all open space, it makes no specific reference to open space requirements for the redeveloped Aylesbury.

This is a particular concern, given Southwark’s welcome new commitment to re-provide all the social housing on the new development, which could put space at a premium. The NSP also allows payments in lieu of providing open space, a get-out that is often used by developers who want to build to maximum density.

Children’s Play/Youth Space

Paragraph 4.5.2 of the AAAP says: “We will require children’s play areas to be integrated into the residential areas. About 3 hectares of children’s play space and youth space will be provided”.

The proposed New Southwark Plan makes no requirement to replace any of the children’s play and youth space.

Campaigners and residents giving evidence at the EIP also pointed out that there were three separate policies for play space and open space in the AAAP (PL5, PL6, PL7), and that they provided space well beyond that which was standard. This generous allocation of space in the AAAP reflects the estate’s design, around an extensive network of children’s and youth play spaces. Campaigners noted that this was part of the family orientation of the AAAP, and that these policies would need equal prominence in the NSP, to make sure that families remained a priority in the redevelopment.

Replacement Social Housing

In March 2019, Southwark announced in a Cabinet report an ‘important shift’ in its plans for the Aylesbury, with the ‘ambition… to see the replacement of the number of social rented homes on the footprint of the estate’. The density and number of homes on Phase 2 was therefore increased, with 400 extra units, up to about 1,250 homes in total.

The New Southwark Plan follows through on this, now saying that “it would now be appropriate to consider an increased number of homes within the land covered by the Action Area Core, replacing all the existing social homes within the footprint of the estate”.

But only 148 social rented units have been delivered so far, with a further 581 council houses under construction on the First Development Site. These leaves about 1,500 social rented units to be built, which is about half of the total remaining development, if Southwark is to replace the Aylesbury’s social rented housing (see Table 14 here).

Meantime, Notting Hill Genesis remain in possession of a planning permission that allows for a loss of social rented units, which points to either further increases in density or a deal with Notting Hill Genesis, as was done for the First Development Site, or some combination of the two.

End of service life?

The NSP described the Aylesbury estate as “characterised by large concrete slab buildings built in the mid-1960s –70s, now at the end of their service life.”

This drew criticism from residents, leading to a change of wording. Further objections during the EIP hearing, argued that the Council had submitted no evidence supporting the claim that the estate was at the end of its service life and had failed to investigate whether refurbishment could be a more viable and sustainable option. This was contrasted to Southwark’s decision to bail out Notting Hill Genesis housing, at a cost of over £200m, after the housing association failed to deliver the First Development site, evidently hit with financial viability problems.

Successful examples of the refurbishment of estates built using the same system as the Aylesbury and which might usefully be examined, can be found on the Six Acres estate in Islington and the Doddington estate in Battersea.

Long delayed delivery

Residents at the EIP also argued that the loss of the AAAP would allow Southwark to gloss over delays to the redevelopment. Southwark insisted that the monitoring provisions of the AAAP would be retained, but in any event the dismally slow pace of progress cannot be disguised.

While various community facilities have been completed, the house building programme has fallen many years behind schedule. Over 2,500 new homes should have been built by now, according to the AAAP’s timetable (Table A7.1), at an average rate of 221 homes per year; in fact, only 408 have been completed, giving a rate on only 40 homes per year.

These figures also take no account of the homes lost through demolition. When this is factored in, the situation is even worse. Southwark will have to build 2,750 homes just to get back to where we were, before demolition began. Southwark claim that this will be done by 2027/28 (see para 31 here), but they then must build 1,500 more homes to reach 4,200 homes and this will not be achieved until 2035 (Appendix 2: Sites Methodology Report pg 60 April 2021).

Campaigners cast some doubt on whether this large net gain in housing will ever be achieved, without which the huge displacement and disruption of the whole regeneration can barely be justified. The additional pressure on the housing waiting list of rehousing displaced tenants was also noted.

The time has come for a rethink….

The Aylesbury Area Action Plan (AAAP) was adopted 10 years ago and was supposed to govern the 25-year redevelopment of the estate. Action Plans are special planning policy documents for big, extensive redevelopments. They require a high level of consultation and the involvement of affected residents.

The Aylesbury AAP is a complex document, with a large evidence base and was only finalised after its own Examination in Public. There may now be good reasons to update it, not least because it comes into conflict with more recent planning policy documents.

But it cannot be right that it is simply discarded, at short notice, half way through the estate’s redevelopment, without first carrying out a proper public consultation. Southwark’s reassurances, given in the EIP, that all the key policies will be carried over to the New Southwark Plan are not good enough, particularly given the sorry history of the estate’s regeneration so far

Any proper consultation must also take into account the slow progress of the redevelopment to date and the urgent need to address the climate emergency. It should also assess the impact of the redevelopment on the residents, the majority of whom are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and what benefits, or otherwise, will fall to them – a point forcefully made by long-term residents, past and present, in the EIP.


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Action on Southwark’s empty homes

Apr 11, 2021 12:00 am

Day of action to highlight borough’s estimated 2,300 empty homes –

Manor Place Depot photoshoot

Manor Place Depot will be one of one of the next sites for a nationwide Day of Action on Empty Homes on Sat 17 April 2021. When we last looked (10 April 2021) at least 14 homes stood empty on a single street within that development. There will a Photoshoot and livestream 11am to 11:30am – click here to find out more and join event.

The Depot is a Notting Hill Genesis development, on the site of the Manor Place Baths, one of Southwark’s most characterful development sites. The baths provided laundry and bathing facilities to Walworth people for 80 years, until the demolition of the surrounding streets and the removal of the local population to the Heygate and Aylesbury estates sounded its death knell in the 1980’s.

Manor Place Depot is also a symbol of much that is wrong with ‘regeneration’ – public land sold off cheaply, for an expensive housing development (starting price £557,500 rising to £882,500) with only a small fraction social rented housing. Only 44 of the 270 units are social rented and most of this was only provided only after Notting Hill Housing, as it then was, was caught out failing to provide the right amount of social rent on another development.

Southwark–London’s empty homes hotspot

Action on Empty Homes has identified Southwark as London’s empty homes hotspot, with a 61% rise in the number of long-term empty homes – up from 1,469 to 2,358 in the year up to October 2020topping the league for London boroughs. And most concentrated empty home areas are in the north east quarter of the borough, the site of three of Southwark’s opportunity areas. The fourth, at Canada Water, has its own concentrations of empty homes.

Number of second homes and Airbnb’s explode

As well as empty homes, Southwark has seen a massive increase in second homes – 3,630 in 2020, nearly six times the number of the previous year. But this could be matched, if not outstripped, by the number of Airbnb whole home rentals, which stood at 2,635 in November 2019. Unsurprisingly these are also concentrated in the north east quarter of the borough, another consequence of regenerations that produce overpriced housing that make for better investment opportunities than homes for local people.

 Lights out on the redeveloped Heygate estate.

More empty homes than households in temporary accommodation

This is all at a time when Southwark has 14,000 households on its housing waiting list, 3,000 in temporary accommodation and plans to increase the already large number housed outside the borough.

So, when we have more empty homes than households in temporary accommodation, ACTION ON EMPTY HOMES is vital.

We must fight for a borough and a city where ordinary people can afford to live; filling empty homes won’t solve the housing crisis, but it must be part of that solution.

#RequisitionEmptyHomes #FillEmptyCouncilHomes #PrettyVacant
#EmptyHomes
#Fillemup
#HomesNeedResidents
#TheWrongHousing


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Appeal against Elephant Shopping Centre development tomorrow

Mar 15, 2021 12:00 am

Challenge against High Court on 16 and 17 March. –

Campaigners to hold Rally in support

The long-awaited Court of Appeal hearing against the High Court decision to uphold the planning approval for the demolition and redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre will be held on the 16 and 17 March 2021. The hearing will be online. Permission to mount the appeal was granted to Jerry Flynn, of the 35% Campaign, who is supported by local campaigners Up the Elephant. David Wolf QC of Matrix Chambers, Sarah Sackman of Francis Taylor Building and Paul Heron of the Public Interest Law Centre represent Mr Flynn.

The planning approval was granted by Southwark Council in January 2019 to shopping centre owner and developer Delancey and the appeal follows an unsuccessful High Court challenge, when Mr Justice Dove refused to quash the planning approval, after a two-day hearing in October 2019.

While the demolition of the shopping centre has begun, the legal challenge has focused on the shortage of social rented housing in the proposed development. Delancey has increased the amount of real social rented homes from zero to 116 units under the pressure of a 3-year campaign by Up the Elephant, but it is still only a fraction of the nearly one thousand in the new development. The social housing could also be at risk, if Delancey doesn’t deliver on the “West site”, not due to be built for nearly another decade.

Campaigners also believe Southwark’s Council’s planning committee was misled as to the maximum amount of affordable housing the scheme could viably provide and that there could be at least another 42 social rented homes, with help of Mayor of London funding.

Over £8000 has been raised to support the legal challenge through a CrowdJustice appeal and the Up the Elephant campaign continues the struggle for a better deal for the many traders who have not been properly relocated.

The online rally, supporting the legal case, will be held on the morning of the appeal and will hear from Mr Flynn, traders, lawyers and trade unionists.

The Elephant and Castle shopping centre appeal rally

Homes for People, Not for profit!

9:30am, Tuesday 16th March

Join the Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84686776386

Meeting ID: 846 8677 6386

The rally can also be seen on YouTube and Facebook.

Jerry Flynn of the Up the Elephant campaign has said;

“Delancey may have already begun the demolition, but the battle for what is to be built is not over. Southwark is not getting as much social rented housing from Delancey as it should, while the need for it has become even more acute. Delancey are not building the homes and new shops that local people need. Their planning permission should be quashed and homes and shops that local people can afford built instead.”

Paul Heron, solicitor from the Public Interest Law Centre, who is representing the campaign, adds:

“We are happy that the matter will now be considered by the Court of Appeal. The case raises a number of important legal issues regarding how local councils should handle these developments. One concern is that Southwark council, and many councils like them, are failing to maximise social housing in these developments. Another concern is that councillors are failing in their duties – far too much power is being given to unelected council officials in the decision-making process. This has to stop otherwise there will be a democratic deficit in planning law”.

Tanya Murat, of Southwark Defend Council Housing, supporters of the campaign, said:

“Southwark Council should now listen to the views of its own residents instead of throwing yet more money on lawyers to prop up the mega profits of its friends in the development industry. This development wouldn’t have gone ahead without the Council’s active support. Councillors should put the needs of homeless and low paid residents above the needs of developers.”


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Tabard Gardens North rooftop extensions – update March 2021

Southwark Council has updated the rooftop extensions programme first mentioned in May 2020, increasing the number of blocks affected from 3 (Betsham, Boughton, Brenley) to 5 (adding Balin and Northfleet), plus a new ‘infill’ block on Tennis Street.

Tabard Garden.pptx

A newsletter to inform residents of these changes has gone out this week , available here:

2021-03-19 – Tabard Gardens – Newsletter vSA