Achilles Street Stop and Listen Campaign
Updated FACT SHEET July 2017- Full Version (FACTS 1-7) click here: Factsheet July 2017
Fact 4 – Lewisham Council has failed in its duties as a landlord and managed the decline of the Achilles Street area
Lewisham has failed in its responsibilities as a landlord to maintain and upkeep the buildings (homes and businesses) in the Achilles Street area. When buildings become run down because a landlord has neglected them it is called ‘managed decline’; and this is what Lewisham has done to the Achilles Street area. The Council is now using its own failings as a landlord as an excuse to demolish the decent and structurally sound homes and businesses in the area.
Fact 5 – Lewisham’s plans for the Achilles Street area have been designed by private property developers
Lewisham’s plans for the Achilles Street area are based on a report by Savills (a private
property developer), which was submitted to the government in 2016. In the report Savills argue that local authorities should go into partnership with the private sector (meaning property developers like themselves) to ‘redevelop’ housing estates in prime locations across London.
Savills idea of ‘redevelopment’ (most people call it social cleansing and gentrification) is to demolish so-called ‘sink’ estates and in their place build high rise, high density ‘urban villages’.
The designs that Lewisham have presented at the four token ‘consultations’ are identical to case studies in the report by Savills. So why Lewisham (a Labour council?) wants to destroy a long standing community and participate in a ‘redevelopment’ project that is first and foremost designed to boost the profits of private property developers, is only a question that they can answer.
Fact 6 – Redeveloping the Achilles Street area will not address the shortage of council housing in Lewisham
To redevelop the area Lewisham will have to go into partnership with a private property developer. This means the vast majority of the new homes (currently estimated to be between 350 and 450) will be private, for sale and rent at market rates. Private property developers always use ‘viability assessments’ to reduce the percentage of social/‘affordable’ housing in any new development; and this has consistently happened in projects across London. The Lewisham Gateway project, for example, had a target of 20 percent ‘affordable’ housing and through viability assessments property developers managed to get away with building no ‘affordable’ housing at all. This was in spite of the fact that the property developers for Lewisham Gateway were given the land for nothing by the Council and on top of this they received £22 million of public funding (£20 million from the Homes & Communities Agency and the Greater London Authority and £2 million from Lewisham Council). So by going into partnership with a private property developer to redevelop the Achilles Street area Lewisham could ultimately end up reducing the number of council homes in the borough.
Notes and Sources from the Achilles Street Stop and Listen Fact Sheet : Factsheet Notes & Sources July 2017
Here is Lewisham Councils response to our fact sheet -which doesn’t address any of the key facts 2017.07.26 Lewisham Council Response