Retail madness

When we heard the news that local florist Nicki Fiander was to close, we greeted it with mixed emotions.

On the one hand, any functioning shop in Brockley Cross is a thing to be cherished, particularly one which actually makes a positive contribution to the local streetscape. On the other, we never really used it that much because, to be honest, it wasn't the greatest shop in the world. It sold a modest and slightly old-fashioned selection of flowers and very few items for the garden, meaning that there was rarely anything there we wanted to buy.

When we heard that it was closing due to the landlord increasing the rent, pricing the current occupant out of the market, we were a bit surprised. In an area that struggles to attract businesses, on a parade which includes one of the most infamous limbo shops in Brockley and faces the dreaded double roundabout, the landlord was either mad or a capitalist genius, with a clear plan to sieze the opportunity presented by the imminent opening of The Tea Factory and the coming of the East London Line.

The latter seemed unlikely, but when the shop closed without an estate agent's sign appearing and work began to modify its layout, our spirits lifted.

But then, instead of a new occupant, a big sign appeared, advertising the shop to let. But there was no estate agent's details, only an anonymous mobile phone number to call. So we called it. A few times. Each time, we got a voicemail message from a woman who didn't identify herself. We left a message, asking for an interview about the shop. No reply. Until today.

While we were on the phone (to Lewisham Council, about local developments, coincidentally) we missed a call from a sales company based in the Republic of Ireland, giving us a number in Ireland to call, to arrange a viewing. With the prospect of being able to get some clear answers from someone about the shop disappearing over the horizon, we rang back. Voicemail. Three times.

None of this bodes well for the interview. But it bodes even less well for anyone who might be interested in opening a shop there. There is no website for the company marketing the site, no online listing for 9 Brockley Cross, as far as Google can tell.

We'd love to hear from the landlord who thought that upping the rent on a tricky site and then marketing it with an anonymous number directing people to an Irish voicemail account was an effective business strategy. And this experience is not unique. It seems that Brockley is blighted by a number of hopeless landlords, who make it as difficult as possible to open a local business. Next time someone gets your order wrong at a local cafe, remember you should be full of admiration that they even managed to open.

Our quest to speak to someone about the shop's fate continues...

113 comments:

spincat said...

That is depressing news indeed.

I shared your mixed feeligns about the shop but don't want to see it join the ghosts bagel shop and others.

Headhunter said...

Wow, no wonder we have so many empty retail units in Brockley. Nick, you seem to have had contact with the woman who ran the florists, what were her experiences with the landlord whilst she was there? Can she shed any more light on who they are?

If the owner is based in RoI, perhaps they are some kind of buy side financial institution with a portfolio of property and therefore do not care much if anyone rents the property itself.

I went for a walk the other weekend over to the west side and noticed that there is a large block of what was probably social housing on, I think, Arica Rd. The block looks derelict and has been fenced off by the council I guess. Pinned to the fencing is a notice from the council to the landlord/owner which is a company in Bermuda or some such tax haven. the letter outlines something on the lines of - you must develop this land as you promised to do when originally purchased, if not we will take possession and use it as housing.

Perhaps Brockley suffers from this "investment" by financial institutions offshore, looking to invest in property with no interest in the local area.... Or perhaps it's all held for money laundering/tax dodge purposes...

max said...

Headhunter, what you just wrote reminds me strongly of the Convoys Wharf site, it's plain gigantic, it includes most of Lewisham Thames river front, has outline planning application approved and yet lays dormant after having been traded as a commodity on the international market allegedly in exchange for television rights in China.

Tressillian James said...

It's depressing that a business had to close down - when there does not seem to be any concerted effort on the landlord to find a new business to move in.

Especially when it would make a good butchers.....

Headhunter said...

Looking at Convoy's Wharf on the net it looks as though planning permission was given in 2007 to develop it as residential and retail space, however that'll probably fall by the wayside with the property market going down the toilet!

Anonymous said...

I would be very interested to know the name of the company in Ireland, as i come from there and wonder if its a well known real estate firm, or just a shelf company based in the RoI for tax reasons. Given your experience trying to view the property I assume its probably the latter.

Anonymous said...

This might not be the best place to put this but I think it ties in.
For the last 8 months I had been looking to buy a house in the conservation area. I had identified a really lovely one but a few things conspired against me from getting it. It remained on the market and I temporarily walked away.

A few months past and I saw that it was still being advertised - I made some enquiries only to find that the house was off the market now - no surprise there. However I have since found out that the house has either been sold to Lewisham council - or they are renting it from the owner - for the purposes of a halfway house for young offenders who have just left prison (some for violent offences) . While I accept that places like this need to exist, the first thing that came to my mind was, how the the next door neighbours must feel - were they consulted? How will this affect their house price. etc etc?
Can the council really do this without telling anyone, esp the neighbours?

I won't say where this place is but it's in the conservation area and is the most unlikely looking halfway house you can possibly imagine.
Michael

Brockley Nick said...

@Max

Convoys Wharf doesn't have planning permission to proceed - there are a number of objectors to the scheme. But these kinds of delay are par for the course in the UK - not a uniquely Lewisham problem.

The scheme looks pretty good to me, by the way.

Amanda said...

I think I recall the owner of Cafe Neu, suggesting that it was the rents that did for him. Honor Oak is rumoured to be facing a similiar problem with rents with Bar Equal, a really stylish bar and an asset to the area, and the florists 'Into the Fuschia' affected.

I don't what is going on with the Landlord.

max said...

Nick, I see, I thought it had been approved, instead the decision is pending and the application was submitted in 2002 with a target date for a decision set for 14/04/2003!
That's strange, isn't it? I don't think that it's because of objections, any project of that size attracts objections, they just have to be examined for their merits.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I have some info. re the block on residential road, needless to say it has been brought and will be developed. I'm not too worried about it. I think the council wants to take ownership of it again.

Don't forget we may still have that wholefoods shop opening up at Brockley cross... there is positive developments too!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

thats arica rd

Brockley Nick said...

@Max

So if you don't believe that it is just taking a long time to get through planning and past all the objections and other hurdles, what is your theory as to why they haven't pressed on with a huge money-making scheme then?

Tressillian James said...

Michael - where is this halfway house? Given that you have got the information tha tthe council intend to develop it as such, it surely cannot hurt to tell us where it is?

ElijahBailey said...

Er I think that would be rather unethical to so publicly publish such information.

max said...

I don't have a theory about why isn't that land being developed but surely it's a vast plot of land and its value is immense and it doesn't have any more objections than any other development.
I very recently discussed it with a Councillor that is also a member of planning committee and I understand that at Council they are also quite puzzled.

Anonymous said...

honor oak park parade has had problems with raised rents as well. apparently the landlord passed away and the shops are now owned by the estate and managed by wilmotts estate agents. lots of talk on the se23 site about it. they are raising the rents for valuations purposes rather than commercial purposes...

max said...

Nick look, target date for Convoys Wharf planning approval was 5 years yesteday!
Am I wrong or it is now expired and they have to resubmit onw?

Brockley Nick said...

@Max - sounds like it. I suggest I create another thread for this topic at a slightly later stage though, as it's a whole nother conversation!

max said...

Yep.

Headhunter said...

If some of these apparently empty buildings in Brockers really are owned by offshore property portfolio people, then it may be easier for them to leave them unlet, tenants have rights and need servicing and rent needs to be collected which is a hassle for this type of company which is based overseas.

However I'm sure that acc to local laws or something, these investors are required to look as though they are trying to find tenants rather than merely holding it in some kind of investment plan.

They probably consciously bump up rent to unreasonable levels to "evict" current tenants, stick a to let sign in the window and bobs yer uncle it becomes a trade-able resource with few strings attached...

Anonymous said...

I was going to make a similar point Headhunter.

I have heard of situations where after a certain amount of years the tenant has considerably more rights. The solution for property owners of the type referred to is to hike the rent to an unmanagable level.

I used to love Reckless Records on Upper Street, N1. They had to close some years back due to a rent hike and the premises is still empty....

Tressillian James said...

@elijahbailey - unethical to publish an address that is in the public domain? Howso unethical?

I think it is probably more unethical to establish a halfway house for young offenders and not consult the neighbours.

But more tot he point we only have an anonymous contribution to say it is coming - if we know where it is we can find out more

Headhunter said...

Yeah anonymous, I used to live along Upper Street and drop into Reckless Records a lot. A friend of mine who used to live in Chicago came over and was v impressed that we had Reckless Records as it's apparently a real bastion over there too, although I'm not sure it's the same company! It was a shame when it closed. Didn't know it was stilll empty

Bobblekin said...

There will no longer be any relief on business rates for un occupied properties WEF 1st April 2008 - so it is costing Landlords more money to leave these places empty.

Headhunter said...

That's good news, Bobblekin. Perhaps the silver lining in all this is that if property investors are holding onto empty property in the area, they are expecting a boom in value following the Overland line opening etc... Perhaps I'me being overly optimistic though!

Hugh said...

Clearly a money laundry.

PS Wish I had as much free time during working hours as Nickypoo.

Brockley Nick said...

It's called lunchtime.

And as I am sending this riposte from the office, it's sadly not all blogging and lunching.

Hugh said...

What do you do, Nick?

I've come clean about being a soulless corporate adviser whose career priorities are cash and intellectual stimulation - it's your turn.

Brockley Nick said...

Corporate pr. I sold my soul. Just got a lot less for it.

Hugh said...

Mate, you are from the gutter.

Welcome.

Monkeyboy said...

Hugh, What happened to the big "go west young man" move? Or are you a victim of the sub prime debacle...or has she dumped you?


By the way Nick/Hugh, I 'work' for Metronet so am bound to have annoyed most people reading this blog - even more than lawyers and PR folk.

Just back from the pub so forgive any random spelling....

Hugh said...

Monkeylad, if you haven't noticed, prices on prime gaffs are tumbling. We're waiting for the right price and will then offer less. Great time to put the boot into vendors.

Anonymous said...

apparently not though. Family homes are holding their value reasonably well, whereas flats and bungalows are taking the hits. (Depends where you're looking obviously and every property has a different story.)

Monkeyboy said...

Wish I could afford a prime gaff. I'm still stuck on the conservation area borders, dressed in rags and picking through your bins for some stale ciabatta.

Hugh said...

Watch and learn, bubba.

Amusingly, anyone else noticed how the house at the top end of Tyrwhitt Road was originally on at over a million and is now asking 775K - yet still no one wants it?

Hugh said...

Monkeyboy, my chaffeur refers to you as the Scarecrow.

Monkeyboy said...

A million quid! In Brockley! are you 'aving a larff?

obviously he was

Anonymous said...

Easy. That's cos it's on Tyrwhitt Road.

Anonymous said...

Is a Chaffeur someone who rubs the inside of your thighs till they hurt?

Monkeyboy said...

You should hear see what he does on on your calf skin upholstery...disgusting.

Hugh said...

Heh - monsieur le chaffeur.

We had a look at that giant double-fronta on Tyrwhitt on at 1.4 million.

Couldn't afford it but fancied a gander.

Quite nice but it faces the monsta opposite which seems to be full of 45-year-old men living in bedsits.

Anonymous said...

You got away lightly. I wouldn't buy anywhere on that road for anywhere near that money. Estate agents would be laughing all the way home.

(i don't have the money either)

Hugh said...

The house has been on the market for about 9 months. No takers.

Can't wait till large 5-beddas come down to under 800 is good areas again.

This crash needs to get a move on.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't surprise me it's been on 9 months. You said it in your previous posting - bedsit opposite. It's my biggest gripe. There are too many bedsits and doss houses in the conservation area. 1.4 million for what? A bigger house than your smack addict neighbour. F*** that. If I'm paying 1.4 million I want more than a house. I want it in a decent neighbour hood for a start, I want Fresh and Wild, not the nearest parade of shops on Lewisham way.

Anonymous said...

Well there you go.

http://es.homesandproperty.co.uk/se4.html

Richard Elliot said...

I think there is a scheme where Councils can apply for consent to put vacant residential properties back into the housing stock by renting them out.

Does anything similar exist for commercial properties? I am sure quite a few businesses would be attracted by a reasonable rent.

@ Nick 19:26 So what's a job with a lunchbreak then?

Sam said...

The house on Tyrwhitt that hasn't sold isn't the double-fronted one opposite the bedsit (that did sell for over a million) but the single-fronted one at the very top of the road overlooking Hilly Fields bowling green. I'm waiting for the price to drop to £350 so I can buy it (-; I guess it hasn't sold because it is quite dark inside and has been extended to the point of death. But what's so wrong with Tyrwhitt Road - I love living on it!

Tamsin said...

I no longer work in a solicitors where I can ask friendly colleagues to do a search with Land Registry Direct for less than a tenner (alas made redundant a few weeks back!) but if there is someone on this blog with such access you could find out who/what owns the ex-florist.

Commercial leases have rent review periods built into them and, although business tenants have a right to a new lease even when the old one expires (unless the landlord totally wants to redevelop or something)it does have to be renewed at a "current" rent. The landlords can't hike the rents on their own - they have to be in cahoots with evil valuers - and there is the chance to dispute a rent-hike, but that it time-consuming and expensive in itself.

Rent hikes when the market is very buoyant are understandable (if wickedly capitalist)and unavoidable, but to have an existing tenant driven out by increased rent and the property then unlet for ages is an indication that the system is not working as it should.

Sam said...

Tamsin, you looking for a job then? if so, what would interest you?

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - sorry to hear your news. Don't suppose you fancy starting a local butcher or greengrocery?

I can guarantee you plenty of BC coverage if you do!

Hugh said...

Can't you do Land Registry searches online for a small fee these days?

There were two double-fronted houses on at the top of Tyrwhitt, both at well over a million, through Winkworths. There were side by side, I think.

The cheaper one may have sold. The 1.4 million one I doubt has sold, since we saw it only a few weeks ago.

I hear what the anon above says about paying 1.4 million and expecting a posh neighbourhood. That's why we're looking at west London. For a million there you can still get a decent 5-bed Victorian and get fancy extras like the tube and employed neighbours into the bargain.

Tressillian James said...

Houses are selling for over 1 million - recently one went in Breakspears for over that price - it's just that in this market any detracting factors will holdback a sale - not like last year.

Spoke to an advisor yesterday about the Brockley Market. They said that prices haven't moved from the end of 2007 - but have increased since mid 2007 - and now vendors are offering approx £10,000 under the asking price and getting their offer accepted. However the market is still strong - especially in the Conservation area - properties are taking a little bit longer to sell.

As for outlook - they see the current gloom in London being media driven and are expecting to see a static market (price wise) over the next 5 months, then a leveling out. By the end of the year, they expect prices in Brockley to slowly start rising.

The key to this is that Brockley homes are still affordable for what you get - whereas Greenwich and Balckheath homes rose fater last year and so have more of a bump this year. Brockley sees steady growth.

That's what the experts say - make of it what you will..

patrick1971 said...

Re Convoys Wharf: this has been dragging on for years, the entire time I've lived in Deptford (since 1999). It was initially owned by Rupert Murdoch, who planned to move The Sun down there from Wapping. Murdoch decided that the transport links weren't good enough, so put the site up for sale. This is when the current plans for housing/mixed use development came up. They were pretty good, even including, IIRC, a tram going from the site down Deptford High Street to the DLR.

One of the big issues was about the demolition of non-listed but historic warehouses on the site. Then some other nutty pressure group got involved who wanted to build a cruise liner terminal there to encourage tourism (to Deptford!!). This group whose name I can't remember was, IMHO, the worst sort of local pressure group. Their literature was hysterical, their premise ludicrous and they seemed to exist in some sort of world where economics mattered not. They tried to get the development stopped but failed.

My guess is that it's stalled over "small" things like amount of social housing provision and transport. The site currently is only served by one bus route, and of course the council will want fewer car spaces and the developer will want more; vice versa for social housing!

Hugh said...

Brockley conservation area gaffs - the larger ones - are lovely properties but people paying that sort of money and with that sort of gaff expectation also want the right surroundings, not least given that their friends will likely live in more established neighbourhoods, and because they will have compared with houses in other areas that they could also afford.

Brockley's big drawback for such potential buyers is, I think, the fact that the areas outside the conservation area are places such people will never want to go (I've been here 3 years and speak from experience) while the absence of shops inside the conservation area means you can't get a middle-class enclave-type deal going, the way they have in the Bellenden Road area in Peckham, for instance.

patrick1971 said...

@tresillian james: "and now vendors are offering approx £10,000 under the asking price and getting their offer accepted."

That was certainly my experience buying in Crofton Park recently.

"they see the current gloom in London being media driven and are expecting to see a static market (price wise) over the next 5 months, then a leveling out."

This makes sense to me. The media reporting of this situation is irresponsible in the extreme. If you actually read the article closely, house prices are lower than six months ago, but still higher than a year ago. And even if you look back to the early 1990s, people who held their nerve then still haven't lost money. I think a lot of this is a media beat up over a correction rather than a crash.

Tressillian James said...

except, of course - I meant buyers are offering and vendors accepting..

Hugh said...

Calling it a crash or a correction is idle - neither word means much.

Prices are falling, however, even if still higher than a year ago.

Look at how many houses go under offer then come back out. And look at how many have been on for months. Buyers (e.g. me) are waiting for further falls or making low offers. Vendors will accept this in increasing numbers as the message hits home that prices are dropping - they won't want to accept even less by waiting for longer in the hope of a higher offer that won't arrive.

We're through the looking glass here, people. White is black, and black is white.

Brockley Nick said...

@Hugh

"We're through the looking glass here, people. White is black, and black is white."

You wouldn't happen to work for an American law firm would you?!

lb said...

I hear that the flat opposite the 750k house at the top of Tyrwhitt Road - the one facing the park, with a turret on the corner - was on the market for a shade over 100k a few years back. Things have certainly changed a bit.

You're entirely correct, Hugh - and about Bellenden Road, as well, which I'm surprised they haven't actually built walls round by now. Bit laughable, really.

Hugh said...

Nick, I do indeed have the pleasure of working for such a firm.

The quote, however, is of course Mr K. Costner in Oliver Stone's JFK.

Brockley Nick said...

Ahh. King Kev. I should have spotted that. Apologies.

Anonymous said...

Re the Halfway house would not an application be required for change of use...multiple occupancy?

Re Convoy's Wharf it may now be owned by Convoys Investment s.a.r.l. which I believe may have a connection with Hutchinson Whampoa.

Montague Evans were working on the S106 agreement to go before the GLA etc. on the council website it states...

A lengthy series of meetings have been held between officers of the Council and GLA regarding outstanding matters .... Those discussions are continuing, particularly in respect of the approach to the safeguarded wharf. The GLA has asked for further information to be submitted to make the case for the reduction of the wharf area.",

It appears to be in limbo land at the present time, although I did read in 2007 a company might have been shortlisted as 'programme manager'.

A phone call to Richard Rogers (urban guru)or question to Mr. Livingstone may reveal the situation.

Let's hope it doesn't end up like Battersea Power station.

Anonymous said...

My experience of buying property is it's okay to wait for the prices to come down if it looks like it's going to be significant, but if you see something you like - buy it. So you may spend more than you could have if you'd waited, but at least you got the property you wanted. Several years ago I fannied around for far too long quibbling over 10 or 15 grand here and there, even though I was buying a place I knew I was going to stay in for years. It became a matter of pride, playing hardball with the vendors and not budging one inch. I also mistrusted the estate agents and felt they were playing me off the vendors trying to jack the prices up, etc. Ultimately I lost out time and time again and missed out on some great home for a matter of a few grand. After nearly two years of searching I loosened my stance and when I found somewhere I liked (really liked) I made sure I got the bloody thing. If I paid a little over the odds well so be it - I love my home and don't intend on moving anywhere for years. It's a different market now but unless your looking to make a quick buck then if you see something you want go for it. Good places are rare.
P

Hugh said...

Point taken, Anon, but if you can't save money buying a house in the current market, when can you?

And the principle is important. One shouldn't let a vendor rip one off just because living somewhere nice is important.

Never a desperate mover be, as Yoda might have counselled.

Anonymous said...

Yes - it must be more tempting to hold out now I agree. If you're renting it's easy to just sit and see where the market goes. If you're selling yourself it's may be less relevant.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

For whats it worth, i do not think property prices in brockley will go down much. There is still a lot of momentum being generated locally to spur additional regeneration, esp. around the brockley cross area.

In terms of population movements, things are heading the right way. My street used to be dominated by familles who let their kids run about in the street. Now a group of guys 'chillin out' on the wall opposite have been evicted, we have a higher proportion of students living in niehgbouring houses, more professional people with flashy cars and the street is still incredibly quiet.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

And most of the property on my street are still houses which have not been converted, which is probably why they have held their price.

anu said...

Back to Nicky Flanders site: while rushing to the train this morning, i almost ran into a guy who was measuring up the windows of the (former) shop. if i hadn't been late for work (this was about 9.25 am) i would've stopped and interrogated him, of course, but maybe someone else could catch him. He could've been measuring for a sign (above the window?); new window casements; boarding up the window? For better or worse, it seems the site hasn't been abandoned entirely.. .

ElijahBailey said...

"@elijahbailey - unethical to publish an address that is in the public domain? Howso unethical?

I think it is probably more unethical to establish a halfway house for young offenders and not consult the neighbours."

Because I think t would set a precedent for publishing details about all the places round here and I think that would be a step towards this site encouraging nimbyist witch hunting elements.

Such as this one: "It doesn't surprise me it's been on 9 months. You said it in your previous posting - bedsit opposite. It's my biggest gripe. There are too many bedsits and doss houses in the conservation area. 1.4 million for what? A bigger house than your smack addict neighbour. F*** that"

Anonymous said...

Are Studio flats a good indicator the bubble is about to burst?

I couldn't help noticing the increase of studio flats included in planning applications and being offered on the market.

I recall a similar situation in the 1990's.

Headhunter said...

Problem with buying in a bear market is that the selection of property is likely to be far smaller. Anyone who doesn't have to sell will just stay put for the time being. I know i won't be moving any time soon and I'm not going to be affected by any downturn, I can easily afford the mortgage.

The fact remains that there is still a shortage of accommodation for the time being in London (whilst the economy holds and people do not flee the capital). A woman in my office here had an offer in on a house in Wandsworth until last week... Until she was gazumped... In the current "crashing" market.

Anonymous said...

Elijah Bailey, I'm not a witch-hunter. I just don't want to live next door to a load of dossers. Your tolerance levels may be higher than mine but if I'm paying for house at any price I expect a certain level social standard. Not just for me, but for my children too.

Tressillian James said...

@ Elijahbailey" I think that would be a step towards this site encouraging nimbyist witch hunting elements"

That's hardly fair to most of us bloggers who actually are quite responsible souls who are trying to help out in our community and make it a better palce for ALL its residents. If that's your reason for not publishing the address its not such a great one - I hardly think there will be BC readers with torches outside the property.

Then again..anyone got a match?...

ElijahBailey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ElijahBailey said...

So you would like the conservation area to mean more than just a place which preserves certain architectural standards but also one which excludes those who don't meet your criteria of acceptable? People who don't meet your "certain level social standard"?

Anonymous said...

No. Read my last post again.

lb said...

...which states that "I expect a certain level social standard" in return for your money. Seems fairly clear to me, especially as you stated that the presence of "bedsits" (which are not, after all, necessarily an indicator of social status) was your "main gripe" with the conservation area.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Why are we talking about a halfway house? is there one going up somewhere in the conservation area? Its not all that bad you know. if its a small one you will not even notice it.

I used to live in west hampstead. They had a asylum seeker centre comprising of 3 houses on the main road, opposite cafes etc.. No-one even noticed it was there.

Tressillian James said...

Hang -on before we get into another one of these debates - all I've requested is knowing details of the half way house to a) ascertain if the proposal exists; and b) see what the proposal is.

As for Anonymous - surely anyone has a right to not want to buy a house for any reason they care to give - including this one.

Before you reply to me though, my place is a shared house wioth social housing, as I've mentioned before

lb said...

"surely anyone has a right to not want to buy a house for any reason they care to give".

Of course they do. It's their choice, and they can make it for whatever reasons they want. Anonymous, however, seemed to be trying to make out that they had no opinion regarding the social balance of the conservation area, immediately after stating that

"It's my biggest gripe. There are too many bedsits and doss houses in the conservation area. 1.4 million for what? A bigger house than your smack addict neighbour"

Anyway, the proposal - if it goes into multiple occupancy I'm sure it will be made public at some point; perhaps we'll be told (or can find out) at that point.

max said...

@ Patrick 1971 Re Convoy Wharf:
it was News Corp that submitted the planning application and started the ball rolling to develop the site and halfway through the process sold it.
It wasn't the current ownership that produced the plans, they appear to be just sitting on it. Which is a shame.

Anonymous said...

I have no concern with the social balance of the conservation area per se. But the conservation area is always being held up as the most desirable part of Brockley. That may or may not be the case, but what I am saying is that 'desirable' areas to me do not include halfway houses for ex-cons, smack addicts or any other social pariah living next door. I wouldn't pay 1.4 million for a house next to a load of bedsits. Bedsits are not entirely occupied by drug addicts or criminals, but they are often the refuge for a transient population with no long term investment in the area and who may be considered dodgy. For an area that can have houses worth 1.4 million it is a surprise to me that the prices can be this high when you consider that house prices are made up of part what the house is like and part what the area is like. For my 1.4 million I would prefer to live in a smaller house but in a better area.

Tamsin said...

@Sam 9.39
Thank you, that is so nice.

Desperately busy at the moment as my copy-editing work has come out into the sunshine from the moonlight and I am a bit behind on one job with a deadline for Monday and have three others stacking up like London buses. (And then I need to make tudor clothes for myself and my daughter to take part in the Kentwell Hall Annual Recreation (1588 this time - Armada Year).)

However in the medium to long term I am looking for ideally local (i.e. Lewisham/Southwark) and ideally part-time - although neither factor is crucial - work in admin. Probably in education or the voluntary sector. I qualified as a solicitor years ago but do not want to go back to the fee-earning/target driven rat-race that it has now become. I had since the birth of my children done support work in the solicitors office - maintaining the library, administering the trainging schedule, helping on the marketing side etc., but it was a job I had effectively created for myself and is not likely to be duplicated elsewhere.

spincat said...

There are actually a lot of half-way houses and residential facilities of different kinds in Brockley. You might be surprised how many there are - I became aware of them some time back when I worked for a housing organisation (a job well in the past now, but most of the facilites still exist : probably even more now). I live near several and I cannot say I've ever experienced problems as a result.

max said...

Anonymous, remember that all of us are always just one bad decision away from homelessness.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the wise words, prophet.

max said...

That's not a prophecy, it's a reality.

You call people hitting on hard time "ex-cons, smack addicts or any other social pariah". Who do you think you are? Taki?

There's plenty of people with money to spend on big houses that don't think like that. Those that do can well take their money and go somewhere else. They're the real scum.

Anonymous said...

Think you're getting a little silly now. If you're in the market for a 1.4 million house you're a little more than one bad decision from homelessness.

max said...

Does anybody emenber Robert Maxwell?

Anonymous said...

yes.

Hugh said...

It would have to be one really bad decision, like selling Ronaldo to Madrid, or dating Jodie Marsh following her rejection of cosmetics.

Anonymous said...

or dating Jodie Marsh.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I cant see why someone wanting to buy a £1.4m house means that they are scum?

max said...

AP,P&P, after all your bashing about people not speaking English it now comes out that it's you that can't understand it. Do read that again please.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

There should be no comment between AP and P&P thank you very much.

If you're going to criticise people on the English proficiency then at least get it right Mr hypocritical.

Danja said...

There should be no comment between AP and P&P thank you very much.

Those really would come across as mad ravings.

Tamsin said...

and presumably Mr. Hypocritical should have a capital "H" - unless it is one of those frightfully posh surnames with double lower case letter at the start like ffoulks, - Mr. hhypocritical?

(Who would not be buying a £1.4m house opposite some bed-sits. Or maybe they would - it is the nouveau riche who are picky about their neighbours. Genuine county are happy to hob-nob with the poachers in the local pub.)

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

lol. Yes, it does sound kind of weird thinking about it.

I like the country, all that green stuff and things.

Tressillian James said...

...and poachers...they're like benign hoodies, aren't they?

Hugh said...

Tamsin, I've never met anyone who'd willingly pay good money to look at bedsits through their breakfast room window.

Anyway, I wouldn't.

You sound pretty down with the welfare state jivers, sister.

Anonymous said...

I concur with Hugh.

max said...

Question: Who would be buy a £1.4m house with 7 double bedrooms in a good area with good transports to central London?

Answer: somebody that is well off, needs a large house and doesn't have £5m to buy the same house in Chelsea or Highgate or another of the other established areas at same distance from Central London.

---

Mr Andy Pandy, (spelled right I hope), please do call me whatever you want, I am not offended when it comes from you.

You tried to give to my words a meaning that is not there and I exposed your little game with a little joke. I pretended that you can't read English when of course you read it very well, only that often you like to misunderstand in very malicious ways.
Of course at these little games you lose consistently and it is for this reason that I encourage you to insist, I like it when you lose it.
With apologies for this Americanism "make my day, punk".

Tamsin said...

But if it's a matter of getting for £1.4m or £400K a house, space, rooms and garden that you would otherwise pay £2m or £750 for - perhaps...

Why we are all in Telegraph Hill and Brockley rather than Dulwich, Greenwich or bits of Blackheath.

And with ventures like the half-way house that started this discussion - you don't necessarily know it's there.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I would never want to offend you Max, I love the debates we have on here, gets me through the normal working day!

... you do work, dont you?

max said...

I do, much more than I'd like to.

Anonymous said...

APP&P, I believe you meant "there should be no comma" rather than "there should be no comment". Perhaps you need a grammar lesson....

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Well, we agree on something then Max - i'd rather be off doing my phd in economics (and grammer by the sounds of it)

Brockley Kate said...

Group hug everyone!!!

max said...

Yes Kate, let's buy the famous 7 bedroom house and move all in together. It could come very cheap soon.

APP&P, even those that stopped reading the Bible on page 1 will know that work is a curse from God, it came as a package together with giving birth with pain.

Hugh said...

The world was a void, and darkness lay upon the face of the deep

Monkeyboy said...

Sounds like West London.....

Headhunter said...

Apres moi, le deluge....

Brockley Central Label Cloud