Objections Plot 15 Convoys Wharf

Plot 15 has been brought forward, with some non-private affordable housing in Phase 1.

Revision in the application to be a slightly higher affordable rental number to intermediate ratio%.

The OPP is for 85% private and 15% affordable, giving 3,500 units.

The 15% non-private affordable is spread across the whole development as “site wide”.

The OPP divides the affordable in to 2 parts as 70% shared ownership to 30% affordable rent.

The is the opposite of LB Lewisham Core Strategic Policy 1:

Target is 50% affordable, overall, with a mix of 70% as social affordable housing to 30% intermediate. Along with Family sized housing, of a preferred mix of 42% being 3-bed or more.

The RMA for Plot 15 fails to satisfy this Core Policy.

Clearly the numbers of bedrooms is not appropriate for L B Lewisham, where the Policy need is for 3/4/5 bedroom units, rather than the offer predominance of 1 or 2 bedroom units.

Within a Housing Waiting list of 10,000, the need is for decent family sized accommodation.

The RMA for Plot 15 fails to satisfy this and is unlikely to make any dent on the Waiting List numbers.

Intermediate housing (shared ownership) itself is a form of private ownership by allowing a low ‘share’ (typically 20+%) to be bought typically with a mortgage and owned, along with renting the much larger majority of a share. Aiming to achieve the full ownership over a period of time.

A developer and the builder (Housing Association London & Quadrant) of the intermediate housing will make a higher return (and by building in a higher quality) than the built affordable rent housing.

No genuine social housing. The ‘social housing’ is at London Affordable Rent (LAR), set at a 60% of private market rate (in Lewisham), that will be up to 50% higher rent than LB Lewisham Council social housing (like for example that on the adjacent Sayes Court estate). In addition, no details are given about the security of tenure, in years. Nor the Service Charges that will apply.

Aesthetic and Design. A chronic failure to provide the people of Lewisham with the type and quality of building and housing that it deserves.

The way the building is aligned, being south of the access road, creates a clear social division between the ‘rental affordable’ section of this development; to the north, all of which will be private.

Insufficient attention has been paid to enjoyment long vistas and views and a sense of open space in the orientation of the building. This contributes to the sense that this block is not part of the rest of the Convoys Wharf development, as 85% private apartment, and is in fact a ‘poor quarter’.

Adjacent transport/access route will make this Plot 15 noisier and even more densely crowded than elsewhere on Convoys Wharf.

The overall style of building has an ‘anywhere’ feel.

Despite the architect’s seemingly intensive research into the Georgian and Victorian character of Deptford High Street. It is hard to fathom the principles of ‘bottom’, ‘middle’ and ‘top’ in the design.

The choice of materials creates a dark and looming presence, when seen against the backdrop of the existing light grey, low rise, aesthetically and quietly harmonized Sayes Court Estate.

Size and shape of the properties are ‘boxes for profit’ rather than well considered pieces of architecture. Significant details of local aesthetics, e.g, tiling, which might have informed the design and detail of Plot 15, have been ignored, or missed.

“The Client Brief is for the building to be an affordable housing block for both intermediate and social housing tenures. Whilst the building will be tenant blind, there will be a physical separation between the two as they will be managed separately.”

Reveals a “built in” discrimination. This fails on Equality.

Residents Garden. The idea, by an external consultant, has merit. Yet it is only for 0-5 yrs children, it is located right next to the existing Sayes Court estate; but has a walled barrier to deny external access. It is only meant for Plot 15 residents. Local children and other visitors are not allowed in – yet they can hear and see the intended activity.

The RMA again fails on Equality.

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