London’s skyline is in danger of being dominated by a forest of derelict residential towers (such as Taylor Wimpey’s under construction The Denizen) in 100 years’ time if apartment owners are unable to fund essential refurbishment work, a former leading planner warned this week. Peter Rees, previously chief planning officer for the City of London, said there was a danger funds set aside within apartment service charges for major renovation work on the new breed of private residential blocks would be insufficient to cover what was required. “If future refurbishment cycles cannot be funded by the apartment owners, their investments will become unsellable long before the expiry of their 125-year lease,” Rees said. “In 80, 90, 100 years’ time, I fear we’ll have the Thames lined with derelict towers.”
Those living around Golden Lane who opposed Taylor Wimpey’s demolition of 110 social housing units to build 99 investment flats for ghost home investors (with no on site social or affordable housing), weren’t too surprised by the latest billboards to go up around this developer’s Denizen site. These claim the sales office for The Denizen AKA The Turd is up the road in Golden ‘Street’ (sic) despite the fact it’s in Golden Lane where Taylor Wimpey’s luxury flats are being built on the corner with Fann Street. The hoarding is illustrative of how little the developer knows about the area or indeed cares about it. Just as Taylor Wimpey doesn’t care about the up to 70% loss of light those living in neighbouring council flats have seen disappear from their homes as a result of this building. Or the impact on the park and schools The Turd also overshadows.Read more "Another Denizen Howler From Taylor Wimpey"
Two weeks ago the government published its first ever housing delivery test – which assesses how many homes have been built by every local authority over the past three years as a percentage of the number required. More than 100 town halls fell short of the 95% pass rate, while those with the biggest delivery gaps could face having some planning powers removed next year unless they step up supply. Seven councils are currently missing the 45% threshold which would trigger that scenario, including two London boroughs and the City of London Corporation…Read more "City Should Use The Museum of London Site To Build Social Housing"
City of London councillors have criticised the Corporation for refurbishing the Mansion House while allowing tenants in social housing to suffer “freezing winters” in flats that they claim have fallen into disrepair. The official residence of the Lord Mayor is also used for hundreds of events each year including the annual Mansion House dinner. £1.45m has been earmarked for an external revamp that is due to be completed by 2020. At a meeting of the court of common council last week, Labour councillor William Pimlott said tenants were enduring “freezing winter months in cold flats” in Crescent House at Golden Lane, a 1950s housing estate in the ward of Cripplegate, which is to due to undergo repairs in 2021.Read more "City Of London Puts Itself First & Residents Last!"
Those familiar with the City of London council will not be surprised by the news that after landing a huge grant from the Mayor of London’s housing investment scheme, it has quietly dropped its plan to build 3700 new council homes by 2025. Likewise it would be silly to take at all seriously the claim: “The corporation said its budget for building new homes had come under pressure…” The modest size of this ‘pressured’ budget is a political decision; the Corporation could cease spending the millions in interest generated by its City’s Cash sovereign wealth fund on lobbying for neo-liberal economic policies and instead use the money for house building. However this is unlikely to happen until there is democratic reform of the local authority and the council chamber ceases to be controlled by undemocratic business votes.Read more "City of London’s Neo-Liberal Politics Puts Londoners’ Housing Needs Last"