November 2009 Archives
...not the beginning, but the end of it's Factory Quarter development, yesterday in Ealing.
Due to the great response to the last Picture Quiz (0), here's Picture Quiz No.3. All you have to do is name the building (along with the unique feature in the basement) to be in with a chance of winning the property industry related prize:
A huge fire riped through Peckham on Wednesday. The fire started on a new build social scheme currently under construction at 5 storeys and being developed by housing association London & Quadrant. It then spread across the road to a large housing estate which it destroyed. I took this photo to the right in August when site visiting which shows the scheme in its early stages, very recently getting under way. Below are pictures of the fire. No details have yet been offically released saying how the fire started and why it was so big. It's just a miracle no one was killed or seriously injured. A fire in nearby Camberwell, only 5 months ago killed 6 and is surely still in the memory of the locals. The BBC has a good aerial video which really shows the extent of the damage. More news stories can be found here.
...is not in Margate, it's next to Fullham's Craven Cottage ground. Following Ballymore's Silvertown Riviera plans, Hammersmith & Fulham is to reverse engineer this site back to it's glory days as an urban beach. Today the site is better known as Bishop's Park, so why was it known as Margate Sands? The name comes not because the beach was frequented by the good people of Margate, it wasn't, but from the sand used to build it which came from Kent and predominantly Margate.
Next year, the flattened "Noho Square" development close to the BT Tower will house temporary allotments after Stanhope, the developer agreed to make part of the land available for a year. This type of thing is happening more and more across the capital as developers try to find some immediate alternative uses for their sites whilst development is put on hold. Land Securities have done it at Park House where 'large entertainment' uses are proposed which includes an ice rink and British Land approached young architects recently to find uses for their abandoned 'cheese grater' tower on Leadenhall Street.
This time the ingenious idea of turning the site into allotments for the local community to use is going to go ahead. Allotments are in short supply across the capital and this is ever so true in Camden too. With just 195 allotment plots in the borough and over 960 people on the waiting list, the estimated wait is an incredible 40 years! This site will provide around 100 plots with 500 people registering their interest soon after the idea was first mooted back at the start of the year. The picture below is what the site currently looks like.
In a bid to reduce heating bills and to promote energy efficiency
devised a new way to provide insulation in the borough
through ... wait for it - abseiling!
The method is being used to install cavity wall insulation as
an alternative method to using scaffolding to scale tower
blocks which takes longer, is more expensive and isn't
very popular with residents as it is quite unsightly.
The use of cavity wall insulation is said to save an average of £80 of heating bills which ultimately reduces carbon emissions and thus benefits the environment in the fight against climate change. There are also benefits to be felt in the summer months when homes will feel cooler.
Work has already started on tower blocks in Holborn,
Picture this, a few years in the future, London's experiencing a heatwave, and you find yourself coming from an exhibition at the Excell centre in urgent need of ice cream and a bit of a lie down. Wouldn't it be great if there was a sandy beach nearby, one with sunloungers, parasols and possibly a little beach bar? These thoughts must have occured to the good people at Ballymore. Their solution - if there is no beach, build one...
The Beach comes complete with up to 1,600 homes, shops, restaurants, employment space etc. Ballymore has got an awful lot of undeveloped land out there including the adjacent site at Minoco wharf, not to mention the Leamouth Peninsula sites, New Providence Wharf, Millharbour, Wood Wharf, Cuba Street, Fulham Wharf, Land South of the High Street Brentford, Nine Elms etc, etc.....
In June 2008 I blogged about The Liberty of Norton Folgate. It's a strange story with a stary cast that includes Tracey Emin, George Galloway and Suggs off of Madness. Baisically it's about a group of locals trying to save their pub from demolition as part of Hammerson's Bishops Place development in Hackney. Read all about it here. The story in 2008 had no ending, it was a work in progress, locals still battling the developers. However yesterday the revised application for the redevelopment of the site, which retained the pub went before committee. Did it get consent? Of course it did. Will it get built? We'll have to wait and see. In the mean time I suspect that every hour is now a happy hour down at The Light.
In June of this year we produced the first Red Book Bi Monthly update, one of the main features of which was a look at the number of halted schemes across the capital. Prior to the credit crunch I'd be struggling to name one or two developments where construction had stopped mid way through, now we can identify at least 30.
This week we're compiling the October Red Book Update. Again halted schemes are a major feature, but we are beginning to see the emergence of a new type of development. The restart.
This is Elmfind's West Heath Place development in April 2009, up to 4 storeys and halted.
But here it is a few days ago and construction has recemenced
I'd like to say something about green shoots at this point, but I'm not going to...not just yet.
What is the forecast for the London residential development market?
The Red Book: Residential Development in London 2012 is out now. For the latest outlook on the London market get your FREE executive summary.