Up the Elephant Public Meeting 19 Nov 2019

Dear Friend

Many thanks to everyone who came along and supported the campaign at the Judicial Review. We had great turn-out – over 40 people – many staying on to hear the case itself. Special thanks to Distriandina for a heartening breakfast!

Now we wait for Justice Dove’s decision, which should be in two or three weeks. In the meantime we must talk about what happens next. Whether we win our lose, there will be much to do, supporting the traders and fighting for an inclusive development that benefits local people.

We are therefore holding a public meeting on Tues 19 November, 7pm, Draper TRA Hall, Hampton Street Junction with Newington Butts
(next to the Santander bike stand) SE17 3AN, more details, including speakers, below – please join us!

Regards
Jerry

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Tomorrow – shopping centre plan goes to court

Dear Friend

A reminder that developer Delancey’s destructive plans for the redevelopment of the Elephant shopping centre will be tested in court tomorrow.

Meet us for a solidarity breakfast of hot drinks and breakfast rolls from 7.30 am at Distriandina, Arch 6 Elephant Rd, just along from the Elephant overground station.

Our coach will stop to pick us up, then rolling round the corner to pick up people from the Metropolitan Tabernacle at 8am prompt.

To reserve a place on the coach please call or text 07792 786 192.

We will travel to the Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, Holborn, London WC2A 2LL and have a demonstration of support at 9am. The case then starts at 10am. You can stay for as long as you wish – the case is open to the public.

Please join us and spread the word – Facebook event page here!

We want as many supporters as possible to come along, to show the strength of our campaign for more social housing and a better deal for traders and a better deal for the local community at the Elephant.

You can read more about our case here.
Hope to see you tomorrow!

Regards
Jerry

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35% Campaign update – High Court hearing looms for Elephant shopping centre

High Court hearing looms for Elephant shopping centre

Oct 17, 2019 12:00 am

Legal challenge goes to court next week –

The legal battle to quash the planning permission for the demolition and redevelopment of the shopping centre reaches the High Court next week, when a judicial review hearing is scheduled for the 22 and 23 October, after being postponed from July. The challenge is supported by the Up the Elephant campaign, the Public Interest Law Centre and Southwark Law Centre, as well as by the 35% Campaign. The challenge will be presented by barristers Sarah Sackman of Francis Taylor Building and David Wolfe QC of Matrix Chambers.

demonstration of support is being held on Tues 22 October 9am, outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL. There is a free coach to the protest – departing 8am, from outside the Metropolitan Tabernacle, opposite the Northern line tube station (text/phone 07792786192 to reserve a place).

Traders are being lost

The High Court will decide whether or not Southwark Council’s decision to award planning permission to offshore developer Delancey was lawful. Delancey proposes to build shops, homes and much else besides, including a new Northern Line tube entrance and new college campus for the London College of Communication. But Delancey’s big plans have very little in them for local people, those who are living and working at the Elephant now.

The much-loved bingo hall has already gone and is unlikely to return. If the shopping centre is demolished it will displace all the traders from the world over who have made the Elephant their home. Demolition will also destroy a social hub for London’s Latin American community and nowhere near enough has been done to mitigate the consequences of this. Latin Elephant, with the help of Petit Elephant, have made a detailed study of what is happening to all the traders and they estimate that almost fifty traders have not been given relocation space and will have nowhere to go.

 Latin Elephant’s detailed interactive map and list of traders with nowhere to go

Much more social rented housing needed

While we are losing the small traders, Delancey’s ‘mixed-use’ development is denying us the one kind of housing we most need – social rented housing. The Up the Elephant campaign has gradually driven up Delancey’s social housing offer from 33 ‘social rent equivalent’ units to 116 proper social rent, but this is still a very small number out of the 979 total number of new homes.

Next week’s legal challenge will argue that Southwark’s Council’s planning committee was misled about the maximum amount of affordable housing the scheme could viably provide. Delancey said it could only afford to provide 116 social rented homes, but we now know that with Mayor’s funding they could give us another 42 much needed homes.

Even the 116 social rented homes promised could be at risk; the devil is in the detail and Delancey has managed to pull the wool over the Council’s eyes, with a legal (s106) agreement that could leave us with little or no social rented housing if Delancey chooses not to deliver the latter part of the scheme, which in any case is not due to be built for another 10 years.

Join Us!

We should be getting something much better than this. The regeneration of the Elephant has already lost us over a thousand council homes, from the demolished Heygate estate. The shopping centre is the last major site within the Elephant and Castle Opportunity Area – it should be making up much more of these losses. The benefits of the redevelopment in the shape of the new tube station and new college campus should not be at the expense of social rented housing.

The Up the Elephant campaign has fought tirelessly for nearly 3 years to get more social rented housing and a better deal for the independent traders; it has shown that we can make gains. As well as the extra social housing, traders have got more affordable retail space, a relocation fund and a temporary facility on Castle Square – but it is not enough to make Delancey’s development one that really benefits everyone at the Elephant.

So, please join us on 22 October to show your support for our battle!

Text/phone 07792 786192 to reserve a coach place.

You can still also donate to our crowdfunding appeal

For a brief history of the controversy surrounding Delancey’s scheme, check out part 1 of Emile Burgoyne’s recently released film – ‘Why do Elephants keep developing?’](https://youtu.be/EQ2M6_vQo2s):

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E&C Shopping Centre campaign goes to court next week

Dear Friend

You are invited to join us on the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre Judicial Review Express!

Our legal challenge against the Elephant Shopping Centre planning permission goes to court next week – on Tues 22nd October – and we have hired a coach to take all our supporters along.

Coach pick-up is at 8am prompt, outside the Metropolitan Tabernacle, opposite the E&C tube station.

To reserve a place on the coach please call or text 07792 786 192.

We will travel to the Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, Holborn, London WC2A 2LL and have a demonstration of support at 9am. The case then starts at 10am. You can stay for as long as you wish – the case is open to the public.

Please join us and spread the word – Facebook event page here!

We want as many supporters as possible to come along, to show the strength of our campaign for more social housing and a better deal for traders and a better deal for the local community at the Elephant.

You can read more about our case here.
Hope to see you next Tues!

Regards
Jerry

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You are receiving this email because you signed a petition and said “I want to help” or you asked to go on our mailing list.

Our mailing address is:

Elephant Amenity Network

18 Market Place
Blue Anchor Lane

LondonSouthwark SE16 3UQ

United Kingdom

35% Campaign update – Canada Water regeneration finally up for approval

Sep 22, 2019 12:00 am

15 hectares of public land, 4000 new homes but affordable housing policy requirements not met. -Southwark Council’s planning committee is set to approve the largest planning application ever submitted in the borough this week, when it considers the redevelopment of Canada Water. This huge 21 hectare site includes the Surrey Quays shopping centre and leisure park and the old Daily Mail printworks. Developer British Land’s (BL) proposals for about 7 million sq ft of development will be considered over two planning meetings on the 25th and 30th September.

The masterplan site is the final phase and main component of the Council’s regeneration of Canada Water and comprises a cluster of tall buildings up to 34 storeys, with a mix of residential, retail, office, workspace and leisure uses. It will include a hotel, student accommodation, cinema and community facilities.

The planning application is in two parts. The first part is the main outline application for between 2,000 and 4,000 new homes plus a large element of non-residential floorspace, while the second, is the detailed application for phase 1 of the scheme comprising 265 new homes, a leisure centre (a replacement for the Seven Islands centre largely paid for by Southwark), plus a petrol filling station.

 Canada Water Shopping Centre (shaded blue), Print Works (shaded green), Leisure park (shaded purple)

The Affordable Housing

The proposed scheme is for a minimum of 2,000 new homes, rising to a possible 4,000 maximum, 35% of which would be affordable (25% social rent, 10% intermediate housing). This is in line with Southwark’s own local plan.

As well as the local plan requirement, though, the Mayor’s London Plan requires a viability review mechanism, to ensure that if a scheme turns out to be more profitable than predicted, then extra affordable housing can be provided, up to a cap of 50%. Canada Water triggers this review requirement because at least a quarter of the site is either public or industrial land, and more affordable housing is expected from such sites.

But Southwark has compromised with British Land on the review mechanism, in breach of housing policy. It is allowing a 40% cap on any increase in affordable housing, instead of 50%, and is also allowing British Land to discount any profit from the commercial elements (office space, retail etc) of the scheme from any viability review.

Southwark justifies this departure from policy requirements on viability grounds. It agrees with British Land’s claim that the scheme can only viably support 11% affordable housing, not 35%, and thus British Land is incurring a ‘risk’ by committing to 35% “given the current day viability position.” This is a familiar line of argument, recently deployed by developers of major Old Kent Rd schemes. Developers claim a scheme is unviable, while agreeing nonetheless to provide 35% affordable housing, but only if there is no review, or conditions are placed on the review. The true profitability of the scheme is therefore never established.

 Extract from the planning committee report

It is difficult to understand why Southwark agrees to undermine reviews with these compromises. If the review shows that no extra profit is made, then the developer does not have to provide the extra affordable housing. If, on the other hand, the review shows enough profit is made to provide 50% affordable housing, then it makes no sense to cap it at 40%. The cap should be restored to 50% and the profit of the whole scheme, not just the residential element, should be measured – it could give us around 400 extra much-needed affordable homes, if the scheme is built to its maximum extent.

Other factors reinforce the argument for not settling for just 35% affordable housing. British Land are receiving a total of £39.1m of public money from the Mayor for the first phase alone. If the Mayor gives grants to developers without ensuring the maximum amounts of affordable housing are secured, then it simply becomes a subsidy for developers’ profit margins.

While the Mayor considers that only the Rotherhithe Police Station is public land, Southwark is in fact the freeholder of 15 hectares of the site – the Print Works and the Surrey Quays shopping centre (for which it collects £400k p.a. in rent and 5% of turnover respectively1), as well as being British Land’s development partner, with a 20% interest in the site’s development, under a Master Development Agreement (MDA).

Finding space for new affordable homes is also becoming increasingly difficult. Last week Southwark approved the purchase of its fifth site in the neighbouring Old Kent Rd area in the last two years alone2.

It would therefore be reasonable to expect that maximising affordable housing on the largest development site in the borough would be Southwark’s top priority on Canada Water, the largest of many large development sites in the borough. Southwark should not just be settling for the minimum its housing policy requires and ignoring the Mayor’s viability review policy.

A little history – British Land

British Land is Southwark’s development partner for the scheme and is one of the UK’s largest developers. It is formerly run but still partly owned by property magnate Sir John Ritblat, father of Delancey’s Jamie Ritblat (see E&C redevelopment and its offshore connections). The Ritblats are one of the Tory party’s top 100 donors.

Both Delancey and British Land were named in the Panama Papers leaks for their relationship to a network of offshore subsidiaries/parent companies.

 British Land’s network of offshore companies

Footnotes

  1. See para 34 of this council briefing paper. 
  2. Sites bought to date are the PC World site, a site on Verney Rd, a site at 1 Ann Moss Way, the former gas works and the B&M Ruby Triangle site. See this thread for more details. 

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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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Title: *

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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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Copyright © 2019 Elephant Amenity Network, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Elephant Amenity Network

18 Market Place
Blue Anchor Lane

LondonSouthwark SE16 3UQ

United Kingdom