Tag Archives: Heygate

More Heygate Community Gardens paintings

Just a small selection from some of the other Heygate Community Gardens wall paintings and drawings that are dotted around the allotment area.

Oh and we can’t forget this great collaborative effort!

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Community Restores Heygate Murals After Council Vandalism

After Wednesday’s appalling council vandalism of the Heygate Community Garden murals and graffiti, local gardeners, artists, ping-pong players and other lovers of the green public space spent the last few days waving their magic hands over the ugly grey paint and restoring the artworks back to life. The Chopstick Houses piece is nearly back to life.

Here are two of the murals that we hadn’t time to photograph before the Council decided that splashes of grey paint irregularly applied was nicer than these colourful images. The one on the right was even made by a kind of famous-ish Belgian street artist or so we heard!

The nice pink Elephant was the first to be restored back to good health. A few more waves of the magic hands and she will be as pink as she was before as will the artist who put so much time into painting her on the wall. Well done everybody.

Council Spitefully Vandalise Heygate Community Gardens

Yesterday the Council in its infinite and omnipotent wisdom decided to carry out another (1) aggressive attack on the popular Heygate Community Gardens by spitefully destroying the colourful and thought-provoking artworks that have been brightening up the dull spaces within. As part of  people’s amazing efforts to keep the place public and enjoyable local artists have been welcomed in to use the old walls of houses as canvases to paint murals, graffiti and street art on. As you can see from the pics these were a collection of lovely, considered and sometimes wry artworks created for the benefit of all.

Yesterday, under the direction of Andrew Ashaye (Heygate & Aylesbury Case Management Officer), the Council aggressively decided to return the walls back to uglier and now badly painted over blank walls once again.

It was noticeable that they mostly singled out for painting over the large and thoughtful pieces around the Community Gardens and pond. As you can see from above however the rest of the estate is still covered with scribbles, tags, obscenities and so on but these remained up after the Council had done it’s paint slapping. We ask the questions: What possible offence can be caused by the Heygate murals and with what mindset does the Council operate with to come and destroy local artists work without even any warning or debate?

LET THEM KNOW THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE: We suggest that if you feel that this was an unnecessary, wholly unaccountable and aggressive act that you make your feelings known to those who carried it out and to CC in your email Peter John and Fiona Colley, who are the leading Council lights in the Regeneration Dept.

Write to:
Andrew Ashaye – andrew.ashaye@southwark.gov.uk
Peter Johnpeter.john@southwark.gov.uk
Fiona Colleyfiona.colley@southwark.gov.uk

For more than two years local people have been using the green spaces within to put into practice what the Council has been twiddling their thumbs about and that is how the space within the Estate can be used for community benefit whilst the bureaucratic stages of regeneration grind ever slowly on. Called ‘interim use’ it means that instead of sealing up the giant forest within the Heygate to await demolition in two or three years time (2), the space is maintained for exactly the sort of the thing the Heygate Community Gardeners have been doing there all along.

Not only does the act of growing flowers and vegetables, giving out free allotments, keeping chickens, running a pond, having growing and planting days, seed swaps and also showing films and having small social events maintain exactly the kind of things that grows communities, it also acts as a deterrent to crime inside the Estate. Leaseholders living on the estate have not been burgled since the community activity started something that had been a regular occurrence before.

All of this local effort and hard work comes from a desire to actually see the Heygate site as still part of the public space of The Elephant area and to maintain the enjoyment to be had at wandering amongst the 400 plus mature trees inside. As part of these acts of growing and nurturing, the work done by artists inside the estate has been welcomed and enjoyed by all involved in the Community Gardens. They were an integral part of keeping a community spirit alive against the whims and anti-social behaviour the Council engages in that pretends to care about community benefits but by it’s actions shows nothing but contempt for local people and how they make this a much needed reality here and now.

NOTES:
(1) REPEAT AD NAUSEUM, AD ABSURDUM
!
In March 2012, the Council came to the gardens and stole the pump for the pond and were threatening to remove all the exhibition stands and other objects by which we thought they meant the chairs and tables people use. It was pointed out to them that that ‘the council’s time and resources might be better spent on things including basic estate maintenance and cleaning‘. They argued that they would ‘continue to monitor the general health & safety on the site prior to demolition works taking place to ensure that the site also remains safe for the remaining residents‘. We had to laugh as the remaining residents are the only ones doing any actual looking after the site whilst the Council does nothing to the collapsing walls, holes in the paving and so on.


Before                                                           And After…

(2) OAKMAYNE DEVELOPERS ENCLOSE COMMUNITY PARK FOREVER!
This is exactly what is happening at the vast Oakmayne development site at New Kent Rd / Elephant Rd, right next door to Heygate. The site has now sat undeveloped for 6 years now. A couple of years ago without any local consultation The Council agreed to let Oakmayne destroy and seal off the popular open green space next door despite protests from local users and especially the Latino community who used it at weekends for football games. This part of the Elephant’s public lands now sits destroyed and enclosed as Oakmayne struggle to find the finances for the daftly-named Tribeca Square – New London scheme.

Lend Lease Monster Outline Planning Application – Responses and Objections

We try not to duplicate stories and responses to regeneration plans in The Elephant area that are put up on other local websites but it’s very useful to point in their direction.  So, here, we will share some links with you to the fantastic and detailed personal and community objections to the Lend Lease Outline Planning Application which is due to be heard before the Council later in the year. That’s the planning app for the knocking down of the Heygate Site and for the ‘regeneration’ of a massive chunk of the northern end of Walworth Rd across to New Kent Rd. With no real commitment to replacing the now empty 1100 Heygate Estate homes with genuine affordable housing, this Masterplan is seriously rubbish as it seeks to pile on loads of private homes on that essential close-to-the-Tube Zone 1 property developers dream site. Not to mention the unaccounted effects that increasing the local population by thousands will have on on local schools, transport, doctors and so on.


Wally Rd – From independent shops to chains?

It’s also true that once those who can pay £500,000 for a two bed apartment come in droves to the area, then the Starbucks, Pizza Express and Wagamama chains will arrive close behind and push out the local independent cafes and stores as the landlords see they can make a killing on rent increases. Then Walworth Rd will look and feel like any other boring chain-filled high street and not the diverse and fantastic place it has been for donkey’s years.

• Lend Lease Outline Planning Application objections and responses:

Elephant Amenity Network response
Peoples Republic of Southwark response
Richard Lee personal response (PDF)
Adrian Glasspool personal response (PDF)
Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations and Local TRA’s (PDF)
Southwark Living Streets (PDF)

The Outline Planning Application can be seen here. Warning! It’s made up of 191 documents and so is this almost impossible to comment on unless you have loads of time on your hands and an encyclopaedic brain and a big pencil. But I guess that’s the point really.

You can object to it in a much simpler form by visiting the Elephant 35% Campaign site here and using their online objection form. Their summarised objections are as follows:  “…that the development proposes no affordable housing and no renewable energy generation. The council’s planning policy states clearly that the development should contain a minimum of 35% affordable housing and at least 20% on-site renewable energy provision. I also object to the loss of the large number of mature trees on the site, the high number of parking spaces and the failure to provide essential cycle-route and public transport infrastructure. Finally, I object to the privatisation of the public realm on the site and loss of community facilities.”

Lend Lease takes corporate governance very seriously

Lend Lease, the Australian development company, as you may know by now is the Council-chosen developer behind the knocking down of the Heygate Estate and the proposed regeneration / gentrification of The Elephant. Luckily for us, “Lend Lease takes corporate governance very seriously” says Robert McNamara, the chief executive of Lend Lease in the Americas.

April 25th 2012: Bovis Lend Lease fined $56 million for fraud

“A U.S. subsidiary of the Australia’s Lend Lease Construction has admitted to a 10-year overbilling scheme on New York area projects and will pay $56 million in fines and victim restitution, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Bovis Lend Lease, as the subsidiary was previously known, has its largest U.S. office in New York City, where it employs more than 1,000 people and has worked on projects such as the September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan and the Citi Field baseball stadium in Queens.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges it had a “systematic practice” between 1999 and 2009 of billing clients — often government agencies — for hours its workers had never worked.

“Today’s proceedings mark the culmination of a three-year investigation into a systematic pattern of audacious fraud by one of the world’s largest construction firms,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice Fedarcyk said in a statement.

Prosecutors said that the former head of Bovis’ New York office, James Abadie, 55, pleaded guilty earlier on Tuesday to charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Abadie faces up to 20 years in prison. An attorney for Abadie, Stephen Kaufman, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Bovis agreed to pay $56 million in penalties and victim restitution as part of a deferred prosecution agreement made public on Tuesday.

The agreement showed Bovis had accepted responsibility for the fraud and was cooperating with investigators. As part of the agreement, the company would put in place new internal controls to prevent any future misconduct.

“Lend Lease takes corporate governance very seriously and is committed to the highest levels of ethical standards,” Robert McNamara, the chief executive of Lend Lease in the Americas, said in a statement. “We accept responsibility for what happened in the past and have agreed to continue to make restitution to the affected clients.”

Bovis agreed to pay $40.5 million in penalties as well as $13.6 million and $2.5 million to victims of different sets of schemes, the deferred prosecution agreement showed.

In one scheme, Bovis lied about employing construction companies owned by women and minorities to qualify for public projects in New York and New Jersey, court documents said.

The Bovis overbilling scheme concerned projects such as the construction of a criminal court in the Bronx, as well as work on the Brooklyn federal courthouse, the very building in which Bovis was charged”.

Source: Reuters

“Re-blooming-generation!”

The Guardian, July 6th 2012:
‘Let’s move to Elephant & Castle and Walworth’

What’s going for it? It’s had the terrible misfortune to be regenerated twice: once, in the 1960s, to convert its poor residents into car-driving modern citizens; and again today, to reprogramme them into the kind of latte-supping pedestrians you see on architects’ drawings. But it thrives regardless. Though the eponymous roundabout and shopping precinct grab the attention – you can’t miss them – turn the corner on to Walworth Road and what planners and developers didn’t regenerate first time around has magically survived. A miraculous scrap of relatively central London that isn’t wall-to-wall Stradas. You want a thriving, chain-lite high street? Here you are. Even the precinct is like an anti-Westfield, all Colombian cafes and Nigerian nail bars. While tucked behind are little gems: blitz-surviving Victorian terraces, a proper street market, a great dance centre, incredibly good schools. Re-blooming-generation, I ask you. Who needs it?

Full Article Here!

Consultation Is A Hoax! Local people speak out.

Soundings / LendLease The Hub aka The Snub – Abandon All Hope Ye Who Dare To Enter!
Earlier this month, local residents and campaigners submitted a great pointed letter of complaint to Soundings who have been managing the consultations for Lend Lease’s regeneration of  Elephant and Castle. The letter was also sent to Sarah Gaventa, who has been the Chair of the LendLease created (and so entirely toothless and merely going through the motions) Regeneration Forum. The full letter is below:

                 Dear Soundings

Re: Elephant and Castle Regeneration Consultation

We are writing to you because we feel that there has been a serious misrepresentation of the amount of affordable housing to be built in Phase 2 of the Heygate redevelopment during the preplanning consultation that Soundings has conducted.

At both the exhibition in February and the Housing Workshop on 29th Jan the local community was told that Lendlease would be submitting an outline planning application that would include 25% affordable housing. This has proved not to be the case; instead Lendlease will only be building ‘as much affordable housing as is financially viable….’ This is in both the Planning Statement and the Housing Statement (8.1.4). The planning case officer has confirmed that the 25% minimum is not part of the application.

We will not labour the significance of this – instead of a guaranteed minimum of 600 affordable homes this development, when complete, could have no affordable housing at all. However whether this is good or bad is not the point of our complaint – it is that local community has been given no opportunity to gives its opinion on the true proposals.

Pre-planning consultation is part of the planning process. A report on the number of meetings, attendance etc. is usually part of the planning application. This report should now state that the local community was neither informed nor consulted about the amount of affordable housing and this should be taken into consideration by the planning committee. As the facilitator of the consultations we believe that it is Soundings responsibility to make sure this happens.

Yours sincerely

Jerry Flynn (ex Heygate resident, Elephant Amenity Network member)
Peter Stevenson (Crossway Church, Heygate Estate)
Adrian Glasspool (Heygate resident, EAN member)
Mark Tubbs (local resident)
Paul McGann (local resident, EAN member)
Lindon Rankin (local resident)
Katherine McNeil (local resident, EAN member)
Steve Lancashire (local resident, EAN member)
Chris Morris (local resident, EAN member)
Celia Cronin (Balfour St, EAN member)
Liliana Dmitrovic (Peoples Republic of Southwark)
M Pathmnabhan (Rockingham Estate)
Peter Davis (local resident)
Richard Lee (local resident, EAN member)
Jon Dennison (local resident, EAN member)
Hector Castells (local resident)
Luke Miller (local resident, EAN member)

Soundings Reply:

Thank you for your letter of 29 May in connection with the Elephant and Castle Consultation. I forwarded this immediately to Lend Lease for their comment. The response from Mr Deck is that the 25% provision set out in the Regeneration Agreement with Southwark Council remains unaltered and whilst it may not be mentioned specifically in the Planning Statement or Housing Statement it is specifically referenced in the Draft Section 106 Heads of Terms in the Application.  The public consultation events associated with this application have all reiterated the provision of a minimum of 25% Affordable Housing. Given the above explanation we believe that the consultation has been adequate and appropriate. I do hope this throws some light on the matter and I am sorry if the application documents have led to any confusion.

Kind regards
Steve McAdam

Jerry Flynn: ‘Nit-picking by Soundings and Lendlease cannot alter the fact that the promised minimum of 25% affordable housing is not guaranteed by the outline Heygate Masterplan application nor the fact that there has been no consultation with the local community about anything less than 25%.  This would require  2 simple questions being put to people – ‘are you happy with less than 35% affordable housing (the policy minimum)?’ and ‘are you happy with less than 25% affordable housing (the Lendlease promise)?’  The lack of consultation on this is good grounds for objections to the application.’