Tag Archives: Lend Lease

Spotted on Heygate Estate this week!

Southwark Notes In-house Creative Interns (No Wages, daily Pot Noodle and a Kit-Kat thrown in) spotted these this week on the Heygate Estate. If we are honest, they did make us laugh!

Makes a nice change from what we call the endless ruins-porn photos of Heygate that multiply day by day on the Internet. Oh..the beauty of ruins / brutalist concrete / sublime urban decay / South London safari in the wilderness.. etc etc! Blimey it’s like no-one ever actually lived, loved and died there and it’s like no-one is still living there now!

Council Says Council Not Vandals

This week’s Inside Housing magazine picked up our ever circulating story of the Southwark Council vandalism of the Heygate Community Garden paintings and murals. Here at the Notes we found it interesting that they managed to get a response from the Council whereas no replies were forthcoming to loads of people who mailed the Council complaining about this willful and spiteful attack on the efforts of local people. Does that mean that it’s easy to ignore local people’s communications but appearing in Inside Housing in a way that makes your actions look really daft to other housing and local government professionals needs some sort of reply? Answers on the usual postcard, please.

Anyhow, this was the Council reply to Inside Housing:

Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport, environment and recycling, said: ‘Like most councils across the UK, it is Southwark Council’s policy to remove all graffiti where it occurs on council land, or with the landowner’s permission, and to continue to maintain regeneration sites before demolition. This will include further graffiti removal across the site. Overall, we’re really keen to get on with the serious business of the regeneration of the Heygate, which is what the majority of local people want to see happen.’

Three quick points on this:

1) It wasn’t just any old graffiti that was badly painted over! It was a targeted attack on all of the murals and paintings specifically around the Community Gardens and pond.

2) Here are some recent photos of the Council’s tip-top job on Heygate of continuing ‘to maintain regeneration sites before demolition’:

The photos below show two of dozens of holes and rubble left by each flat after contractors came to remove the gas connections.

3) We wonder if Barrie Hargreave’s is attempting to smear the works of all the local people active on keeping the Heygate Community Gardens open for all when he describes how the Council wants to get on with ‘the serious business of the regeneration of the Heygate, which is what the majority of local people want to see happen‘. We can assure him that what people are doing on Heygate is an incredibly serious business. Those people are also highly aware and dubious of any attempts by the Council to play off their ‘majority’ against the local people who continue to enjoy the public green spaces within the Heygate.

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

Demolition-A-Go-Go: Take Your Pick!

We noticed two notices side by side in the window of the Lend Lease / Soundings The Hub on Walworth Rd today. That’s the place where some kind of supposed ‘consultation’ on what local people want happens but in the main it’s a place where the developers tell you what they are going to do. The two notices are as follows:

1) Save Manor Place terrace,  a campaigning leaflet from the Walworth Society seeking to save the 1875 Victorian buildings on Manor Place, Walworth from demolition – ‘some of the last remaining Victorian buildings constructed on the site of the Royal Surrey Gardens‘. Details here and here:

2) Southwark Council notice of Outline Application for the ‘demolition of all existing structures and bridges and redevelopment to provide a mixed-use development comprising of a number of buildings…between 2300 (min) and 2462 (max) residential units... at ‘the Heygate Estate and the surrounding land bound by New Kent Rd, Rodney Place and Rodney Rd,  Wansey St, Walworth  Rd and Elephant Rd“. Details here:

Nice to see Lend Lease and Soundings supporting moves to stop the trashing of the Walworth by developers.

You get me? *-)

Update: July 12th – both Manor Place leaflets now not in the window.


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.’

25% Affordable Homes in E&C Masterplan Conspicuous By Absence

In temporary lieu of a new article from us about the cynical use of  ‘financial viability‘ of Lend Lease’s E&C regeneration scheme against any actual affordable housing they might have promised (25% of homes built), we present a graphic summary of above events.

The Affordables: Part Four

Our own Southwark Notes Regeneration Noir comic is back! Pass it on!!

Elephant Leisure Centre Consultation Made Even Simpler