Lewisham Gateway: Getting built. Probably.

A quick follow up on recent speculation that Lewisham Gateway would be / has been scrapped.

The line from Cllr Alexander, who's responsible for regeneration in Lewisham is that:

"I know that council officers have been in regular contact with the Gateway developers, Muse and Taylor Wimpey. We have been reassured that they are fully committed to the scheme."

Since the property market downturn, a common tactic by developers has been to continue with their plans but adopt go-slow construction schedules, rather than pull them altogether and risk their development pipelines. It seems reasonable to assume that this is what will happen to the Gateway.

36 comments:

Kirsty said...

Well if things are going well and they are 'committed' then why is the vital section 108 agreement still not signed by all parties, one year on?

max said...

I'd say ""possibly" rather than "probably".
Every development must be examined in its own merits and the Gateway is burdened by an unusually high and very expensive amount of infrastructural enabling work before anything can start. This means that the outlook of its financial viability is less optimistic than most large developments.
The other aspect that must be of concern is also its substantial component of flats thought for the buy to let market relying on expansion at Canary Wharf.
So I'd say that the Gateway is more at risk than other similar developments.
Not that the Council would say so unless it is already clear to everybody (like Gordon Brown saying yesterday that a recession is possible).

Brockley Nick said...

Fair comments both.

nobbly brick said...

I think that quote from HA is several months old at the very least, I've certainly seen it before. But nobody in the Council would be prepared to admit if it had been scrapped anyway, at least, not at this stage.

There is a far bigger picture to this, but that would have escaped your radar Nick...

Brockley Nick said...

The quote's not months old. It's what she said when I asked her about it the other day.

As to whether the conversations she is referring to are old, that's possible. I suspect the developers are in wait-and-see mode. Like so many others. Committed in principle, if not yet in pocket.

But perhaps you can explain the bigger picture to us all?

nobbly brick said...

She's (and Bullock) have repeated it on more than one occasion then, if you prefer. Its the voice of corporate Lewisham.

As far as the bigger picture is concerned, I don't have the privileged access to HA that you have, why not ask her and see what floats to the surface?

Anonymous said...

That would be a great shame! This is Lewisham Council's chance to repeat the mistakes of the sixties by building great swathes of soulless, unsustainable and environmentally destructive PVC ridden rabbit hutches whilst managing to continue the destruction of our heritage!

The Cat Man said...

Lewisham still has heritage?

Brockley Dogger said...

Of course it does. It has a rich cultural tapestry.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

I raised this very issue with Heidi Alexander a while back in full Council - here is her response - apologies for the long posting! However it looks as if the official line has not changed since July!

LONDON BOROUGH OF LEWISHAM
COUNCIL MEETING
16 JULY 2008
Question by Councillor Walton
of the Deputy Mayor
Question
According to recent newspaper reports, on 30 June Taylor Wimpey cut the value of its
land and building sites by £660m and confirmed it is seeking an emergency cash
injection from its main shareholders in the face of what it described as a "significant
downturn" in the UK property market.
In the Officer's Report for the Lewisham Gateway it was explained that with certain
conditions
"the development can support 15% shared-ownership units...a ‘risk sharing mechanism’
has been proposed that seeks to ring-fence a proportion of any residual land value
above specified levels to be directed towards improving the affordable housing offer on
the site. Conversely should values decrease/costs increase then the amount and/or
affordability of the units will fall…"
With these in mind, can the Deputy Mayor estimate the number and/or proportion of
affordable housing that is now expected within the Lewisham Gateway Development?

Reply
The Risk Sharing Mechanism is structured to review scheme values and costs at
two different dates linked to the submission of Reserved Matters (details of the
scheme) against a base case that provides 15% affordable shared ownership
units. The timing of these submissions is not fixed and consequently at this
stage it is not possible to estimate the number and/or proportion of affordable
housing within the Lewisham Gateway development.
Supplementary Question 9
What concerns have you got that the level of affordable housing will now actually be
achieved?
Supplementary Reply
I think at the moment as the reply to the question says, it is very difficult to make an
assessment and clearly the economic cycle is on a downturn in terms of residential
property and commercial property. Officers have been reassured by the consortium,
that they will press ahead with this fantastic development in the town centre and that
they are committed to this scheme. We will be having negotiations as time goes on
around exactly the amount of affordable housing that will be provided. Remember we
are trying to do a number of things; not only are we providing new homes, we are
bringing a new heart to Lewisham town centre, massively improving the quality of the
public spaces there and the quality of local services and shops in the heart of the
borough. Yes of course I am concerned about affordable housing as I am 100%
committed to providing significant numbers of new affordable homes across Lewisham,
particularly homes for social rent. We are looking at a really exciting scheme on
Loampit Vale as well, where we are talking about a significant number of new homes,
including new affordable properties there. I have to say I think it’s very important that
we keep positive about this development. I know that Councillor Walton is a bit
ambivalent concerning the redevelopment ain the town centre given his position at the
Strategic Planning Committee when he voted against the development there. But I
think it’s a fantastic thing to be going forward with and we will be continuing those
negotiations to maximise the benefits.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

And of course, whilst Taylor Wimpey, Lewisham & Muse are committeed to the Gateway, one must also keep an eye as to whether those with the cash are equally committed...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/marketforceslive/2008/oct/06/taylorwimpey.banking

You'll probably be aware that I opposed the plans for Lewisham Town Centre (my reasons are elsewhere) - however I do think it is vital that something more than simple assurances of committment are offered. The ongoing committment by Lewisham and the partners to this scheme whilst admirable is misplaced if it amounts to a simple blocking of the ability of others to bring forward achievable and different visions for Lewisham Town Centre. If it's going to be built, then let's get on with it, if it isn't then please step aside.

All the best

Dean

jpm said...

Notwithstanding Councillor Walton's attempts to bring us news on Lewisham as a whole, perhaps it's not all that bad as we can now focus much-needed attention to Brockley Gateway.
Does anyone know which councillor is responsible for Ashby road?

Anonymous said...

Brockley Gateway? Is that going to be the name of the new tube station?

Suggested other names for the ELL stop:

Telegraph Hill East
New New Cross
Elephant and Chips

Anonymous said...

The Mercury (Sep 3) quiered the future of the Gateway and was told the project will be in 3 phases over 6.

A spokesperson was quoted as saying....

"In the near future there will be a competition held to find the architects that design the first stage.

Those detailed plans will need to be submitted to the council. The start date is not set until that process has really progressed, maybe in a year or 18 months.

At the moment our end date of the whole scheme remains 2012."

At meetings I've recently attended there has been considerably frustration expressed by local residents at the lack of progress.

The area covered by the town centre is due to become part of Lewisham Deptford at the next genral election.

The sitting MP has already been palming off her constiuents from that area...has she also decided not to show any interest in Lewisham Gateway as in 2 years it won't be in her constituentcy.

Is there an MP prepared to ask questions and move this project forward or is it politically to remain in limbo land for the next 2 years?

drakefell debaser said...

The Elephant and Chips would be a great pub name. There was after all a pub in Greenwich called The Frog and Radiator for many years. Maybe the Brockley Barge could reinvent itself, again.

Anonymous said...

The Mercury (Sep 3) quiered the future of the Gateway and was told the project will be in 3 phases over 6 years.

Bea said...

How about "Brockley Green" for the common / station area - should make them remember us all nicely, green veg etc, etc ... (or not maybe!).

jpm said...

I thought the Anonymii had been sent Abroad?

fred vest said...

jesus of brockley realised that although his exodus style driving out of the jews from egypt was something he long desired, he soon had a road to damascus type realisation that most of the substantive or interesting contributions made on this site were in fact from those very same people who were banished, so they were swiftly ushered back in to keep things ticking over

13:24 said...

Fred V - Your paranoid outpourings have the flavour of an inferiority complex about them. Mighty entertaining though. Don't stop, but be nice.

Thanks to Nick et al for allowing the anonymice and unregistered back into the fold. It's an inclusive and liberal (in the best sense) thing to do. I sometimes don't have the courage of my convictions to post under my strange moniker, so sometimes hurl comments from the anonymous sideline. (I'm now registered with the big G, but I've forgotten my password and can't be arsed to sort it out).

For what it's worth, the first thing I felt when the posting requirement changed temporarily, was a sense of exclusion, and that there were a couple of regular posters who seemed to enjoy the new exclusivity.

Projection, hypocrisy, and jealousy? You'll find it all here.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

@jpm - Ashby Road falls within Brockley Ward so that makes it Cllrs Johnson, Phoenix & Walton!

You can write to me offlist

cllr_dean.walton@lewisham.gov.uk

Tom said...

Taylor Wimpey is really rather close to having to restructure its debts. The last thing it wants is to build new, complex developments in risky areas (sorry Lewisham). This one is likely to slide.

The Cat Man said...

Jesus of Brockley? I like it.

What does that make me then?

me me me me, its all I care about - obviously.

drakefell debaser said...

Judas is available..

Tressilliana said...

On the Anonymoi point, I hadn't realised that during our unmoderated phase earlier this week only people registered with Google were able to post. I'd assumed it was just the facility to click on the Anonymous button that had gone. That was what I welcomed. It's not easy to make sense of a conversation between an unknown number of Anons who are arguing with each other or maybe with themselves, for all we know.

lb said...

Not the Gateway! Does this mean that my swimming pool with "active frontage" is under threat?

quick brown fox said...

Nobbly brick - why make a lofty comment such as "There is a far bigger picture to this, but that would have escaped your radar Nick..." when your next post shows that you have no idea what you are talking about?

Bizarre.

I don't know any of the people who run this blog but I think they do a very good job of keeping us informed of local developments, and it's a bit rich to subject them to this sort of petty sniping.

jpm said...

Fred Vest, it was not Jesus of Brockley (or anywhere else for that matter) that 'realised that although his exodus style driving out of the jews from egypt was something he long desired.' It was Paul, following on from his Damscus 'revelation'. [We call it a 'high' these days.]

And let us not forget that Paul was also Saul. Had he himself been anonymous then history would surely have forgotten his contribution. One that 'swiftly ushered back in to keep things ticking over' a banished and named people, in other words the Jews - and not the Anonymii of Brockley, an altogetehr different people(?).

Actually, I too was banished as I could not post.

Thanks to Councillor Walton, I will get in touch.

Cat Man, happy for the drink, but without the debate.

Anonymous said...

Just to chip in on the 'bigger picture' thats referred to, Cllr Walton outlined a part of it, but the bigger picture includes Loampit Vale, Thurston Road and those developments which, whilst they are being undertaken *simultaneously* they will have a profound effect on Brockley. You don't need any special knowledge to recognise this. And bigger still is why 'Corporate Lewisham' as it has been described, is more concerned with being bedmates with bankrupt developers than serving the desires of the community.

max said...

The swimming pool with active frontage is not part of the Gateway development. It's the Loampit Vale development, that's next door but separate.
I wouldn't say that that's in the bag as works should have started by now when instead nothing's happening but it surely has a much lower degree of risk than the Gateway. Firstly it's a much more straightforward development with less people involved in the transaction and then as it's the famous state-of-the-art pool that the Mayor has so much bragged about there's a much higher political stake of the Council, i.e. if works were not advanced by next elections then Sir Bullock would look like a big mug so if there's a financial gap that the Council could fill in then it probably would.

fred vest said...

"What does that make me then?"

Thomas the Apostle

jpm said...

No, Mary Magdelana.

fred vest said...

right so because he's gay he has to be someone associated with sex?

nice outlook there chum

hungover said...

chill vest. jpm and cat are mates, they go for drinks and all sorts.

Tressilliana said...

Seeing 'Thomas the....' on the front page, I'm afraid I immediately assumed '.... Tank Engine!' My children are in their mid-teens now which just shows how deep that brainwashing went when they were toddlers and I was a sleep-deprived zombie.

On topic, I must admit I've never looked at the plans for Lewisham Gateway at all. I remember the last time Lewisham Council re-designed the town centre - it seems like yesterday, so my first reaction is, What a lot of money and inconvenience they would have saved if they'd got it right the last time. I'm sufficiently cynical about our council that I don't have very high hopes that this will be any better. The last re-design brought us the mega-roundabout, the largest police station in London facing the station - welcome to Lewisham! - and the rockery, oops, sorry sculpture, opposite the Library. Utterly inept.

jpm said...

fred vest said...
"What does that make me then?"
Thomas the Apostle

JPM responded, "No, Mary Magdelana." What does that have to do with someone else (presumably?) being 'gay'?

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