Just across the road from
June 2011 Archives
Just across the road from
Have a good look at this picture of Beaufort Park, there is something genuinely odd about it, but can you see what it is?
Stumped? Here's a closer look:
Look at the "balconies"...that's right it's fake; all an illusion. What you're really looking at is a solid wall.
I can't find any reference to the false fenestration at Beaufort Park on the web. I can't be the first to notice though, can I?
As promised in the previous blog I went to the Middlesex Hospital site this morning to see the proposed plans that have been put on public display only to find this:
I was way too early, I'll return this afternoon. But it wasn't a wasted journey, I did manage to shed some light on the rumours that a "pocket development" was on its way. I blogged about it recently here, it appears that someone had seen a small pre-fab unit on site and jumped to conclusions. Turns out that little pre-fab was this:
None other than the temporary building erected for the exhibition.
The latest plans for the former Middlesex Hospital site went on display to the public yesterday. For a public display it's been very hard to get any images worthy of posting here on the web. I feel a personal visit coming on.
I blogged about the site a few weeks ago here and how the good folk of Fitzrovia were looking forward to a pocket development complete with:
"...vegetable gardens, an orchard, an environmental education centre complete with horticultural workshop and zero-carbon affordable housing".
Turns out they'd really bought in on this gardening idea, and according to West End Extra in an article titled "Save Our Carrots":
"More than a year's work had gone into the project and 800 grow-bags full of manure have already been purchased in anticipation".
And that's not all. As well as the manure they'd also bought gardening sheds, bicycles, seeds and plant pots.
McLaren has opened a new store at the Candy brother's One Hyde Park scheme, and will be selling the recently released road car, the MP4-12C. McLaren has form with supercars, the McLaren F1 released in the 1990s was the holder of the fastest production car for nearly a decade (243 mph).
The newer model reaches a more modest 205, but is marginally quicker to 60 (3.1 seconds as opposed to the F1's 3.2). Neither of these stats are likely to be particularly pertinent when cruising the Kings Road on a Saturday night. It's substantially cheaper than an F1, a mere £168,500. The last F1 to sell at auction went for over £2.5 million, partly a result of the exclusivity (just 106 were made). Plans for the production run of the new model are more substantial, 1,000 units in the first year and 1,500 in following years.
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were there to add some glamour to the occasion, happily (by virtue of being in the same car) they even managed to avoid bumping into each other.
The retail element of the scheme was offered to the investment market for £50.4 million earlier this year, reflecting a 3% yield, but was withdrawn after attracting bids of only £45 million. Rolex and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank also have units at the site.
Land Sec plans to revamp 1-17 Shaftsbury Avenue which may not sound all that newsworthy if you don't know the site. The thing is you do know this site, everyone does:
Piccadilly Circus' lights of course. The redevelopment is internal so this view won't change, at least not for now. However, in other news it was revealed that Land Sec had chosen Hyundai to replace Sanyo on the advertising boards. Sanyo has had a sign here since 1978.
There's a florist on North Harrow High Street that won't sell you flowers, not because the flowers are plastic but because it's not a florist, even though it's called North Harrow Florists:
So what's going on? The key to this is the fact that 20% of the retail units on the high street are vacant, which doesn't look all that good, all that vibrant. So what the local council have done is to fit out a fake shop, not only to liven the streetscape but to give prospective retailers an idea of what's possible. I have heard of this being done before and apparently there are specialist firms that, well, specialise in this kind of faux-fit-out.
Turkish developer Talya Group along with architects 3D Reid and Gultekin Architecture have come up with something a bit different for Canary Wharf; a tower with curves. A scoping opinion was submitted back in 2009 (previously blogged) for the site on Cuba Street, just south of Marsh Wall and the recently completed Landmark development. A full planning application has now been submitted.
The proposal is for a mixed use development comprising two towers (52 storeys/160m) and (40 storeys/127m) to provide 439 residential units as well as a hotel and a small amount of office space. The residential space will be split with 356 units for the private market and 83 social units.
It will be interesting to see whether this proposal ever gets built out and the impact it makes upon the square like, box towers that currently preside across the Canary Wharf estate.
I was up-north for a few weeks lately doing the Pennine Way, or at least a sizable chunk of it from Malham to Haltwhistle, about 120 miles. It's a stunning part of the country, and as far as resi goes, cheap as well. Here's a charming cottage in Mickleton, yours for only £119,000:
Now, with the token property reference out of the way, this is what I discovered:
Insane rock climbers in Malham (look closely, that little dot in the middle is a person):
Limestone pavements (again in Malham) where some episode of Harry Potter was filmed:
They call waterfalls Force, this is High Force:
They don't like moles (warning graphic content):
They have boot protectors (well carpet protectors really):
The golf balls are massive:
The beer gardens impressive:
There are museums of welding equipment:
There is the highest pub in Brittain (does breakfast):
The MOD has live firing ranges the northern borders of which are skirted by the Pennine Way (gulp):
In Haltwhistle, going clubbing has a whole different meaning:
Hadrian built a very long wall:
And there are many, many signs....
Southwark Council Committee members last week granted consent to NEO Bankside, in order for the development to lose its shared ownership units and become entirely private market housing. The decision is likely to throw up the usual arguments of going against creating mixed neighbourhoods, like local planning policies and the London Plan, try to create.
However, after reading the committee agenda, the decision to allow what some critics would call 'super-rich ghettos'; it really does seem the right and only option. The developers argue the case by stating the expected sale value of the homes would be between £440,000 for a 1- bed and £742,000 for a 2-bed flat. Under a shared ownership deal, a minimum 25% share would equate to between £55,000 and £93,000. On top of that service charges will be around £3,400-£4,000 a year for a 1-bed and up to £5,750 for a 2-bed, which would breach guidelines for affordable housing.
Instead of providing 34 shared ownership units, NEO Bankside will provide an extra 18 private units and contribute £9m towards the council's affordable housing fund. With this £9m, Southwark Council estimates it can build 44 homes elsewhere in the borough to replace the 34 homes that would have been provided at Neo Bankside.
As well as that GC Bankside, the developers of the scheme (a JV between Native Land and Grosvenor), get to build out an extra 18 private units at a cost of £9m. Surely a win win.
As regards to the off-site affordable housing, the developer will be building out; construction looks set to speed up soon. So far 4 sites have obtained planning permission which would be capable of delivering 53% of the off-site affordable housing requirement. Further sites still need to be identified to deliver the remaining 47%.
With over 850 resi units Berkeley's Saffron Square development should be the biggest thing on Wellesley Road in Croydon at the moment, but it's not, it's the site directley opposite, Delta Point that's getting all the attention:
Nothing very remarkable here you would think, office building built in the mid 80's bought by Mapeley from Minerva in 2005 for £56.25m and leased to British Telecomm. But it's not the buildings use as offices that's causing all the excitement, it's its use as a film set, specifically the new Batman film set, which is. For a short while this little corner of Croydon will be Gotham, sightings of lead man Christian Bale remain unconfirmed.
IYLO in Croydon, a part built scheme that went into administration in March, has come to the market through Jones Lang LaSalle, acting on the instructions of administrators at Deloitte. It is hoped the scheme will achieve a sale price of around £10 million, a price per unit of around £55,000.
The development of the site started in late 2007, an unfortunate time to be starting a 20 storey landmark building in one of the less desirable outer London boroughs. The original asking prices were between £200,000 and £435,000.
Elephant and Castle, regarding residential development is regularly in the news. This blog has tried to keep up to date with them, frequently blogging on some of the stories here.
However, due to its rather dated shopping centre and poor public realm, as well as the drab Le Corbusier inspired 'streets in the sky', that surrounds most of it, some tend to dismiss it. They shouldn't. The Elephant and Castle, really is, at a tipping point. If done properly it could work, if not, then it will be a hugely missed opportunity.
A lot of people don't realise the Elephant is further north than Victoria, especially those who look at a tube map too literally. With Zone 1 transport links as well, (3 stops on the northern line to Bank and the Bakerloo line straight into the west end), gentrification could well be a possibility.
The newest story comes from the London-SE1.co.uk site, which picked up on a recent report presented to Southwark Councillors on the renovation of the Elephant and Castle leisure centre, situated opposite the shopping centre and the southern roundabout (now a junction). This is the site (below), which Southwark Council are apparently prepared to build a 30+ residential tower, in order to fund the renovation of the leisure centre.
Another tower will also be built out as part of the refurbishment of the shopping centre, instead of the complete redevelopment as previously planned. This can be shown in the renders St Modwen previously produced. These are only a rough indication of their plans...
As well as these developments, Oakmayne Plaza recently started, which will provide 373 residential units and 243 student rooms and plenty of retail space, as well a 4 screen cinema. Here it is, a few weeks ago, with ground works well under way.
And then only last week I reported on the 22 storey Newington Causeway development being granted consent, even with large objections from the Ministry of Sound. Eileen House should follow to committee soon and it will be interesting to see whether this receives the same recommendation and subsequent approval.
Only a few months ago we used to talk of Elephant and Castle and its 'triangle of towers', that being Strata, now complete, the 360London, designed by Foster (recently revived) and Eileen House (in blue). However, now though and going back to the previous mentions of recently envisaged towers, by both Southwark Council and St Modwen, the landscape of Elephant could be a real cluster, if all see through to fruition.
What the Elephant really needs though, is for TfL to get more pro active regarding the upgrade of its tube station. Lifts, over an escalator just won't do, if the population is to rise as expected, and I didn't even mention the Heygate in this post...
It is close to deciding whether to allow Qatari Diar to pay a whopping £78 million towards its Chelsea Barracks development in order to decrease the amount of social units being built. A nice figure that would definitely be welcomed around the borough.
A second deal will net them a more modest £4.5 million - however; this agreement appears to be less of a done deal. According to reports, the billionaire backer, Richard Caring, the restaurant tycoon, who is fronting the re-development of the former US Navy HQ in
However it does look like the developer is adamant in getting the sum reduced, as a new application was recently submitted for a scaled down project, offering only 31 private units. We await the final outcome.
The St George Tower, on the embankment of the Thames, in Vauxhall will soon be London's tallest residential tower and will provide 223 flats over 50 floors. The Pint of Milk test blogged the story of it going under construction here, back in August of last year, and then again here, in April, stating the foundations had completed, and to expect the core to rise dramatically from now on.
Well it has, in April the circular core was at level two, now it's well up to level 14. That's quick.
and if you believe Property Week, 'development began this week'...
A fire broke out at Marconi House on the Strand on Tuesday. Firefighters spent most of the day fighting the blaze, which appeared to be coming from the top floor. The building is currently being re-developed by Galliard into luxury apartments. An exclusive hotel is also being created next door by Sol Melia.
|To access the Land Registry pricing click on view to be taken to the buiding record on EGI - the pricing can then be found in either building history or individual unit details|
|Address||Post Code||Location||Unit Match*||Sold Prices**||Full Details|
|The Northchurch Building, 316-318 Essex Road||N1||Islington||O||view|
|Wallpaper Factory, 142-144 Offord Road||N1||Islington||P||-25%||view|
|The Island, 75 Preband Street||N1||Islington||O||view|
|The Focus P1, 42-50, Chase Side||N14||Southgate||P||-8%||view|
|The Focus P2, 52-54, Chase Side||N14||Southgate||P||-7%||view|
|Cazenove Court, 67-87 Cazenove Road||N16||Stoke Newington||P||-3%||view|
|131, St John's Way||N19||Archway||P||-25%||view|
|IPSUS 01, 2-6 Hardwicks Way||SW18||Wandsworth||O||view|
|*A tick in this column means some or all of the Land Registry pricing has been matched with detailed pricing in individual unit details|
|**The average price difference between Land Registry sold prices and LRR asking prices (%)|
I visited St Paul's Cathedral over the weekend, an experience I thoroughly recommend doing. The 580 odd steps it is to the very top of the dome is all worth it, especially when the sun is shinning. Here's the evidence.
I even managed to fit in a bit of site visiting.
I was then fortunate in being in the right place at the right time, when the military flypast went by as part of the Queens official birthday celebrations. There were 6 elements with 25 aircrafts, the last element of course being the red arrows.
Southwark Councillors narrowly voted 4 to 3 to grant permission to this tall residential tower, at 89-93 Newington Causeway, in Elephant and Castle this week. The scheme was actually presented at committee a full 18 months ago, but was deferred on fears around noise. An assessment was then carried out, due to the location of the Ministry of Sound nightclub, situated just over the road, who had objected to the scheme. Just 38 residential units will be provided, with some office space.
This is not the only scheme the Ministry of sound have objected to either, the developers of Eileen House, a much bigger proposal and even closer to their own doorstep (see image below) will have looked on intriguingly at the outcome of this decision.
The study carried out in conjunction with the noise levels though, didn't deter Southwark granting permission, only in adding conditions to the scheme. These include a condition requiring that all bedroom windows are to be non-openable, in order to protect against entertainment noise 'break out' from the club. Here's a map showing the sites in question, the Ministry of Sound club in blue, Eileen House in yellow and 89-93 Newington Causeway in red
Glenkerrin, the developer behind the City Pride pub site on Marsh Wall, E14, went in to administration last month owing Irish bad bank Nama around £582million (EGi story). Administrators at Grant Thornton have wasted no time in appointing Knight Frank to sell the site to try and recoup some of that debt. The City Pride scheme if built out would have become the tallest residential tower in the UK with 430 residential units and 203 hotel rooms across 62 floors.
The sale is also tied with another site in Docklands, Island Point, which will provide the off-site affordable housing provision. Both sites are attached with a single planning application but are being offered as either a single entity or as separate lots. Knight Frank is said to be trying to get around £40m for both sites, this comes after Glenkerrin paid £32m just for the City Pride site back in 2008, at the height of the market.
Here's a render of the proposed 215metre tall tower, which now looks increasingly likely will stay as this, just a render, and never realised.
The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) today unveiled 52 sites it plans on disposing of, in the hope private developers will build out, and greatly improve housing stock numbers. Its 'development and land disposal strategy, published today, accounts for 2,023 acres of land and could provide up to 3,000 homes. For more on the story see EGi News.
The above figures however are for England, as a whole. The landholdings it owns within London and plans of disposing of equates to a measly 232 hectares of the total 7,438, or just 3%. Only 4 London sites will come to market through the HCA's Delivery Partner Panel (DPP).
Catford Greyhound Stadium, Lewisham: Planning permission for 589 residential units.
Trenchard House, Westminster: Possibility of 115 mixed tenure units.
St Clements Hospital site, Tower Hamlets: Screening submitted for 300 units.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital site, Tower Hamlets: Screening submitted 180 units.
The last two actually, both the Tower Hamlets sites came under my radar recently, when I noticed screening applications had been submitted by the council and at the same time. Not normally would a London borough submit screening applications for sites in its remit and so this was quite odd.
The reason why they have done, on this occasion though, now suddenly becomes clearer. Future developers hoping to buy the land have a much clearer picture of how many homes they will be able to build out, they can then do their sums to see if it works out, and whether there's any profit in it for them. It also ups the value of the land considerably, just like a site with planning permission would. The only question then, why didn't Westminster do the same?
If you're a developer and are interested, there's even a 'Build Now, Pay Later' payment model, the government really do need to up their housing completion stats.
It's not often a property company describes their own assets as not of 'outstanding quality', nor do they often state they "do not possess sufficient 'special interest' - architectural, historic or group value". That's because British Land, owner of the highly successful Broadgate Estate and whose quotes belong too above, would prefer it if their highly successful asset would not be, like English Heritage have recommended. Broadgate Square is the actual space being proposed for listing and prefer is most definitely an understatement. British Land has hit back though, at English Heritage and make in my mind, quite a resounding case.
They stated, "The Arena, ice rink, sculptures and open spaces that are most associated with Broadgate will be retained and are not under threat. Indeed the proposals seek to further enhance the public spaces with improved permeability and enhanced new landscaping. The design was approved unanimously by the City of London in April and was supported by CABE." They also went on to state, "English Heritage did not object to the scheme", so why are they kicking up a fuss now? All a bit strange really. EGi News has more.
On another note, British Land will be hoping they will not be added to this image below, an interactive map of all listed buildings, including parks, ancient monuments and world heritage sites and the like, put together by English Heritage. The feature covering the whole of England, allows the user to delve further into each record, which is full of excellent detail.
West Ham could be leaving their Upton Park home, not for the Olympic Stadium but the newly named Westfield Stadium. That's according to construction enquirer. Apparently the Stratford City developer has held talks with the club about sponsoring the stadium. Naming rights could be worth around £20m, which would go some way to the £100m costs of converting it into a football ground. The £20m figure though is likely to drop substantially if West Ham are languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship and don't look like getting back to the Premiership in the near future. If it's League 1 they're in, the stadium deal will most probably be off altogether. Football changes quickly...
You think residential space in London is tight? New York takes it to a whole new level in the shadowy world of sub-letting. Here are a few extracts from adverts posted on Craigslist:
"We are a house of makers, doers, and artists. One of us is an installation artist, another is a writer and hot rock singer, one is a printmaker, one is a southern fashion designer, one does special effects makeup."
"Couples/cigarettes/drinking totally ok, but NO PETS."
"I smoke in the kitchen, but only there and a heavy curtain blocks the door."
"1br - Open House!-Curtained living room available from June 5, female only"
"It is a shared, converted 1 BR, Upper East Side apartment. The converted area can be hidden by a curtain. I tend to stay in my room when at home, and would never encroach upon your space."
"I am a German guy in my thirties with a small but very cozy and warm apartment to share on the Upper East. I sleep on a futon in the living room; you have your own private room with a window going out to the fire escape."
...and perhaps most sinister of all:
"There is a cat you will be caring for."
More on the story here.
Did you know that Lewisham has the smallest Thameside frontage of any
Convoys Wharf - Hutchison Whampoa - 3,500 residential units, a primary school, doctors' surgery, renovation of the Grade II listed warehouse, and three tall buildings (40, 32 and 26 storeys).
Marine Wharf West - Berkeley Homes - 532 residential units, plus space for shops and businesses, with proposed buildings ranging in height from one to eight storeys, and landscaping to the former route of the Grand Surrey Canal.
Cannon Wharf - London Business Centres - 650 residential units(including two tall buildings of 20 and 23 storeys), a business centre and children's nursery.
Surrey Canal - Renewal - 2,500 residential units - 1,300 permanent new jobs and new community facilities.
The Wharves Deptford - City & Provincial plc - 905 residential units and space for non-residential purposes (with proposed buildings ranging in height from 4 to 18 storeys), and landscaping and public open space.
Neptune Wharf - Hatcham (Neptune) Ltd - 199 residential units, commercial space, a pedestrian route between
Add all those up and it comes to well over 7,000 units. Not as big as the Royal Docks/Silvertown Quays/Leamouth Peninsula über-site I envisaged in a previous blog, but pretty substantial nonetheless.
We keep on banging on about The Shard being the tallest building in Europe, turns out we were wrong, there's a taller one in Huddersfield, sort of.
Emley Moor transmitting station (below) was completed 40 years ago, standing 330.4 metres it is 20 meters taller than The Shard.
OFCOM is now saying that because it's got an observation platform that counts as a habitable room making this a habitable building and therefore a legitimate rival to The Shard. Hmmmm.......
Islington resident William Lyttle, more commonly known as the 'Mole Man' and who excavated 100 cubic meters of earth from underneath is own home over a 40 year period has died, (well last year in fact). The 60ft long tunnels he burrowed had to be filled in by Hackney Council with concrete, in an attempt to stop the property collapsing. Still owing around £400,000 to the council towards costs, administrators have now submitted applications to recoup some of that back. The site currently looks like this...
A first application was submitted in September for the demolition of the building and the provision of 8 residential units which was subsequently refused in November. Planning officers said it would result in the "loss of a building of local townscape merit, which is a heritage asset and makes a positive contribution to the special historic character of the De Beauvoir conservation area".
New plans lodged just a couple of weeks ago, were to again demolish the building and build 2 town houses this time, instead of 8 flats. Here are the two applications together.
It will be interesting to see whether the planning department will budge on the demolition of this building in a conservation area, as it is they who will be pocketing the profit. Locals in the area are also keen to see the building stay and refurbished instead with one resident stating to the Hackney Gazette "The new plans are an improvement on the previous hideous and oversized block of flats, but would still result in the loss of the existing building. The Mole Man's home is unique to the area, being the only example of double-fronted, back-to-back Victorian villas in De Beauvoir and a real piece of our cultural and architectural history - it will be a real pity to lose it".
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Residential Update – August 2012
We take a look at the inner boroughs at the mid-year point from the applications and permissions in the planning pipeline, the starts and completions in the construction pipeline and ending with a flavour of the sales and pricing situation.
Red Book Executive Summary – May 2012
An in-depth review of the current state of the London residential development market across all 33 London boroughs from planning and construction pipeline to sales and pricing.