Friday, 17 January 2014

Convoy Wharf latest plannning report Jan 2014 Labour Party putting developers interest before Community AGAIN!

If you have any one has any doubt about Labour party being unfit to stay in power after May, just read this submission on latests part of the Convoy wharf planning stage and ASK why Labour party on Lewisham council refuse to support any of these proposals...Clearly People Before profit must get councillors elected in May or we will see as part of this developer friend agenda  the wholesale sell off , of Council homes across the borough..
Convoy wharf planning submission from Lewisham People Before Profit

Planning application Reference.DC/13/83358

16 January 2014

The Big word
 sound bites prior to the last general election was big society and localism, empower communities to have a say on planning and help map out the area and communities in which we all call home.
Over the past 13 years plus local residents, business and community groups have been vocal and involved in working with the large number of community groups seeking to Insure Convoy wharf reflects Deptford’s Proud and historic Heritage and local residents place within.
People Before profit whilst supporting all the other groups having a voice this evening wish to focus on what we believe are awesome opportunities from this development that are not being  reflected in the extensive 184 page plans, for example.

With the average wage in Lewisham of £29.476 per year and with studio apartments set to start from £300.000 it is hard to see how any local resident with the average wage will be able to purchase any flats on this development unless we look at the wider picture and the Long term.
People Before profit would urge this Council to remember that Lewisham Council was at the forefront of fair housing  in the 1960s, supporting Self Builds, Green Homes and Co- operatives, we would urge you to insure Affordable homes are built that remain affordable, and for this we would urge you in supporting a clause in the lease of all affordable that states they can only be let back to the Council and that any future sale can only be bought by low paid, this would insure these homes would not be able to be bought by Buy to Let investors and would be affordable forever. This week’s report by the GLA highlighting the fact 50% of all council homes sold are owned by buy to let Landlords must insure this proposal is agreed and implemented on all affordable developments using Convoy as the Landmark to change.

Only the Council is aware of what housing is most needed and we would propose that the Council under pressure to reduce its  agreed council policy of number of affordable units to change this to Square footage instead of Units, this would allow the council to use these homes for disabled people, Large families or elderly seeking to move to a smaller home to free up much needed family homes, instead of 40 studios when family homes or disabled units may be what locally we need.


The Plans include agreement with Selchip to turn Lewisham Rubbish into low cost fuel bills for the private home owners, we see this as an opportunity to give all residents who will have 13 years of misery whilst all this work goes on, a share in this low cost energy and would further ad we would support EU directives encourage developments of this scale to use the roofs to generate low cost Green energy for all local residents, not just Convoy Wharf green roofs would not deflect from the design and would ad real values as people across the spectrum are aware of Utility price rises and the need to act and find alternative sources of energy.


The time and scale of this development means that this could be a wonderful opportunity to eradicate the 55% youth unemployment figure in Deptford by working with Lewisham College and others to be trained in all the skills this development will need, whilst carrying out a full borough wide skills assessment as already agreed by full Council to keep traffic down to a min by employing as much as possible from the local community we would request assurances are taken to stop as what happened in the Olympic park of fast numbers of cheap Labour being moved into caravan’s on site and then called local residents , key must be tight monitoring and checks to insure at every level job opportunities are given to local workers

Environment ;

The Risk assessment on sight highlights the fact that the local water supply is at risk of contamination and that Asbestos could cause very real concerns as the dust in the air over 13 years could cause very, real health impacts on local residents in an area with amongst the worst air quality in the Country and already below EU legal requirements, we would Urge you to insure that air Quality monitor is installed as a matter of Urgency so air quality can be monitor before the development is under way and as a way of measuring the true effects on local residents health during the build.
We would want more real effort to create a real Green Space that is good for wild life not a couple of trees and a few benches, the Landscaping must reflect sense of History whilst bring real opportunities for wildlife to thrive. We would also wish that you would request as part of these proposal that the River is made more accessible for the community to access and enjoy.
Access to the site is poorly stated in the report and fails to address the Fact Evelyn street can hardly cope within the present volume of traffic and we find it odd that these proposals only take into account Convoy wharf and none of the other substantial developments presently under way in Deptford which will lead to a far greater negative impact on the health of Local residents than this report states, we are also Alarmed that the main proposed access to this site is via Oxstalls road which is the Home of one of the largest primary schools in the area and by using this as main access route puts our children in very real danger , we would therefore urge this committee to insure Large delivery’s are made by River and not trucks

Commercial space;
We like many are alarmed that the gentrification of Deptford is pricing out many small  business and the huge number of artists and creative sorts that make Deptford home, the Faircharm eviction of an entire warehouse of artists priced out by expensive development is testament to this. We would urge you to work with Mayor Johnson  in turning Deptford into a Green Enterprise zone the EU has announced million s of pounds in funding for local councils who seek to Manufacture build and develop Green projects in their own areas, we believe a Green Enterprise Zone would Turn Lewisham into a Borough of Opportunity and a model that could take all its families out of poverty green enterprise zone would create thousands of real well paid long term jobs for both young and old and would not distract from the Developers financial aims and objectives, Tesco Metro stores seem to be the only people able to afford the huge rents these new Shops are asking, Smaller units and looking at the Green Business agenda would be of benefit to community and the developer, the argument that these Stores bring jobs no longer stacks up. The Tesco Metro on Creek road only has scanning machines and a security guard, whilst the new Waitrose only offer 9 full time jobs and the rest as of last Friday were all on 16 Hour contracts. Clearly the proposals in our submission are based on creating a strong sense of Community, taking our Community out of poverty and address both the housing and Jobs crises in the borough in a way that is sustainable without  being too costly for the developer to object
Convoy Wharf is  OF GLOBAL IMPORTANCE, ITS Historic importance unquestionable.. This opportunity must be one in which it reflects London housing need and is not just another opportunity for a company based in another Country on making billions avoiding its tax liabilities  and selling 40% to overseas buyers with no real benefit to London.

Ray Woolford

On Behalf of  Lewisham People Before Profit 
follow Ray on twitter@Raywoolford

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