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Proposed Development - The Sidings, Railway Rise, SE22


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EDITED 2/12 exhibition gave more details - proposed car free, 376 student rooms, 52 affordable home (shared ownership, housing association rent), 700m2 light industrial. Stated Melbourne Grove 50% vacant units - my count is 2-4 out of 19 unused.

 

OIRIGNAL POST

There is a propose redevelopment of the Jewson's Builders Yard, Railway Rise - behind Grove Vale Library and East Dulwich Station. 

Looks like hundred of new homes, student accommodation. Unclear if car free or not. Two access - one Melbourne Grove (north end), and Railway Rise. Buildings look to be 5 - 7 stories high. Scheme will likely overlook The Charter School East dulwich, residents on Abbotswood and Featherstone Mews. Increased footfall and vehicles especially on Melbourne Grove (north).

Development website here - https://thesidings.whatyouthink.co.uk - very skimpy on details. 

Public exhibitions - Thursday 4-7pm 30 November and Saturday 11am to 2pm 2 December United Reformed Church (corner of East Dulwich Grove and Melbourne Grove.

Do go along, take a look, and give your views. 

 

Edited by James Barber
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750,000 new people (net) arrived in the country this year. 

We need to build homes to house these people.

The school and the railway line are already overlooked by a timber yard. A timber yard that has massive lorries going up and down a road to it that is already there.

Get on and build I say.

Or not. Fewer homes means higher prices for homeowners like me.

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I agree we do but how do we ensure building standards are high? The need for housing just seems to be an open ticket for developers to build rubbish and charge huge amounts for it. My fear is the council are so desperate to tick boxes that they turn a blind eye. I still cannot understand how the Solomon's Passage fiasco occurred, built in 2016, it had to be all torn down four years later as dwellings not fit to live in.

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The website doesn't really give much detail as to precisely what is proposed so the public meetings will be interesting from that perspective.  At a summary level though it looks as though this is predominantly a high rise development of student lets.  The developers seem to be pushing this with the idea of moving all the students into their accommodation will free up all the family houses that they're currently taking over.   Realistically East Dulwich hasn't had many students for years - shared houses tend to be young professionals and so this angle feels disingenuous.

The affordable housing bit is 'interesting' as they say that 80% of the family housing will be affordable (no info as to what this actually means) - but don't specify how many houses are going to be built.  Suspect the answer is relatively few.

My immediate thoughts are that this area is one that has been earmarked for development for a long time and what we need locally are more affordable family homes - so 3/4 bed properties.   That is not what is being proposed here.  instead they're proposing high density student accommodation with virtually no greenery / outside space and a huge roof terrace. If this development does go through it will be a missed opportunity to use a reasonably substantial chunk of land for affordable housing that would meet the needs of local families etc. 

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Is there some reason why they are focussing on student-accommodation - is there a planning loophole they get around by doing so? I am not entirely convinced by their rationale that by building student accommodation that this will free-up family homes as students will vacate those houses....that seems a bit of a stretch to say the least...

When they refer to commercial units are they suggesting retail units - when you click on the commercial part it talks about light industrial and affordable workspace.


Does anyone else suspect that these plans have been drawn up to satiate planning requirements and will probably change dramatically if they get permission?

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Student accommodation is very popular with developers at the moment because per sq metre it makes more money. Look at similar developments along the old Kent Road, and in Peckham. 
affordable generally means 80% of market rates. a new four bedroom family home maybe £4000 a month - affordable version of that would be £3200 a month you would need an income of over 100 K to be eligible for that.  The location is ideal. It’s otherwise unused land in a long strip. But let’s see if Southwark Council does its job on insisting on at least 35% social housing watch this space. 

Edited by alice
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Very strongly in favour. 

Regarding the likely prices (and related 'affordable housing' argument): Of course, the prices/rents are likely to be very expensive. It is a new build in a very nice area with excellent links to Central London. Relatedly, we have severe shortage of homes and very high land prices. Collectively, these factors mean any new developments, especially attractive ones in good locations, will be expensive. 

This is particularly exacerbated by sustained high immigration over recent decades, and particularly recent years. 

Caravans in mid-Wales would be very cheap, but logically this does not mean that all new builds should be caravans in mid-wales. 

The fact they'll be expensive just shows the demand for them will be high (i.e. they are popular and needed).

I doubt I could afford the prices being suggested, but if such a development was blocked, what will happen to the people who would otherwise have bought there? Such people would still need somewhere to live and would thus bid to buy less attractive properties, outbidding poorer people. 

The people likely to buy in this development will be wealthy. That seems undeniable. But such people would inevitably move from where they are currently living (probably trading up). This will release existing accommodation into the market, helping those less fortunate. 

 

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@steve32 - did you read the bit about the majority of it being student accommodation?  Assume with a corporate landlord  on an individual room basis?  

I'm really pro development of housing on that land - but think its important that its developed to meet a need and that need is for housing  - understand the biggest need locally is for 3 or 4 bed properties. 

 

They talk about retaining the Jewsons site and its a bit vague whether there will be other light industrial / non residential use - the only assumption i can make is that there is some kind of grant or zoning benefit to this - anyone know?

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@northernmonkey yes I should have commented on that. I was a touch surprised by the focus on student accommodation since I'd not expected such a demand for that locally. 

On a more 'national policy' level, I'd look at limiting HE expansion in London and encouraging HE growth in other, particularly poorer areas of the country. We have some world-class universities in London (LSE,UCL,Kings etc) which obviously should be retained, but perhaps numbers fixed at their current levels. 

I think my point broadly stands in that university students being located on this site means they won't be located elsewhere, thus reducing the need for transforming family homes into student flats. 

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I think we're all surprised by the proposal for student accommodation - there isn't a university nearby so it isn't really needed here.   The idea that family houses in East Dulwich are being used as student lets doesn't really accord with my experience either.  We have shared houses locally for young professionals  but not students.  

From a council perspective, not only does it not address the housing need locally, but students don't pay any council tax and bring a high drain on services such as GPs locally for chunks of the year, so I don't really see the advantage. 

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I'm in favour but agree that it would be better if it wasn't student accommodation. Not that I have anything against students; I was one for many years 🙂 

I believe that in the bizarre way that UK housing works its easier from a planning point if view and also cheaper to build student housing; the financing model is also easier. I'm not sure the site would accommodate more than a few houses so I'm afraid that seems like a pipe dream to expect that from Big Builder. It would be nice if they could flats

 

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1 hour ago, northernmonkey said:

I think we're all surprised by the proposal for student accommodation - there isn't a university nearby so it isn't really needed here.   The idea that family houses in East Dulwich are being used as student lets doesn't really accord with my experience either.  We have shared houses locally for young professionals  but not students.  

From a council perspective, not only does it not address the housing need locally, but students don't pay any council tax and bring a high drain on services such as GPs locally for chunks of the year, so I don't really see the advantage. 

good point... no universities but plenty of schools. The area needs family homes for all these kids, not student housing. 

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I think rather than 'it would be better if it wasn't student accommodation' its more that this should be opposed.  There isn't a need for this locally, there will be a significant impact on the area if it goes ahead and the building scale / size is too big compared to other local development.   

Also worth remembering that there is additional development proposed in the area behind the solicitors on Melbourne Grove and where the doctor's surgery used to be as well as the Greendale fields development. Family housing is what is needed locally and this should be pushed.  Once a commercial landlord owns an HMO with 100s of residents there is no going back and re deciding that in reality that wasn't a good idea and it really should have been homes for people rather than student lets. 

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Maybe we are missing the point - maybe the plan is for medical student accommodation - Kings is within walking distance and is a huge teaching facility but the focus on student accommodation does seem a little odd so I am sure there is some background we are missing and the fact they are trying to convince people that these students will mov out of homes that will then be converted back to family homes is fanciful at best!

 

 

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There is a lack of student accommodation in London, according to this article there are 4 students chasing every student bed so there is a need.  Suspect it's a case of if they build it they will come to east Dulwich rather than a case of students already in East Dulwich moving in.

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/london-student-housing-shortage-research-a-level-results-b1100984.html 

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Based on what colleagues seeking private rentals tell me, the situation for renters looking for homes is even worse. 

Realistically building student accommodation here may indeed be a 'build it and they will come' - but then where will they go - 100s of students trying to get on trains from East Dulwich station with the reduced capacity and frequency or on the already full busses at peak times?  The density of population proposed is likely to be an issue.  Its well beyond any other proposals that would take place,

This location has been earmarked in the Southwark plan for some time as a location for house building so to turn it into student accommodation (when the nearest universities are perhaps the South Bank or Greenwich) feels like a missed opportunity for a full development of residential properties with the necessary amount of affordable homes specified. 

Essentially the student part feels like yet another attempt by developers to get round the requirement for affordable homes - this time by re categorising the site potential 

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Things may have changed since I was a student but I didn't tend to go in with 8am commuter crowd...

King's College would be a simple change at London Bridge for Charing Cross and UCL, Birkbeck, SOAS etc are not much of a walk. 

The buildings look about the same height as the school and the M&S building 

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They're really going for the hard sell on why we should care about this.

The bit about new PBSA properties freeing up local houses for families in nonsense. A very important factor to developments like PBSA and BTR is the development's proximity to transport links. It's unlikely that the students that would be occupying these spaces attend the nearest university or even live in East Dulwich. "By providing accommodation for them it is hoped the houses will return to family occupation" - The Savills article I link below reports that 5+ room houses to let have dipped by over 31% since 2019. Know what's a really good way to free up housing for families? Just make more housing for families.

PBSA properties are fantastic investments because the occupants can never own, the demand continues to be strong due to low supply, which pushes forecasted rental growth. Here's a really good Savill's publication on PBSA from earlier this year: https://www.savills.com/research_articles/255800/346721-0

I'm all for new homes being built, but this development should be pressed to drop PBSA and simply provide more homes available to individuals or families to purchase, and not just provide rental income to owners in perpetuity.

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3 hours ago, h3+ said:

Things may have changed since I was a student but I didn't tend to go in with 8am commuter crowd...

King's College would be a simple change at London Bridge for Charing Cross and UCL, Birkbeck, SOAS etc are not much of a walk. 

The buildings look about the same height as the school and the M&S building 

Based on the renderings, the proposed building is actually much taller than the school or the M&S building (7-8 storeys vs 4 for the school and 3 for the M&S building ). Completely out of line with the neighbourhood. High density too (because student housing), so the impact on the neighbourhood would be massive.

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