It’s the same old story again I’m afraid. Another new and expensive development of flats is to be decided next week near a deprived and neglected estate in Greenwich borough. And once again, Greenwich Council have opted to not give a penny to nearby estates as heavily criticised council job scheme GLLaB swallows funds again.
In recent years sums allocated from developers through Section 106 total:
- GLLaB £40 million+
- Local Community – £10.9 million
- Health – £10.5 million
- Parks and Open Space – £7.2 million
- Public realm – £8.9 million
This time the scheme is Saxon Wharf on Norman Road. Aside from the customary money for affordable housing and carbon offset schemes, the only solid figure for where developer income will be spent is Greenwich’s job scheme.
I covered plans for this new development when they were first announced back in March. It’s 16/17 floors and 145 homes on Norman Road on what is currently a skip storage site.
Meanwhile an estate nearby us scruffy and unwelcoming, as are many others within a wider radius:
A fraction of £145,000 for GLLaB could plant some trees, open up the space, improved lighting and paving, a mini play park and even provide a spot for a takeaway kiosk. Passing footfall is growing fast due to many new homes along the Creek and the DLR station nearby.
Something for local people who see huge developments in their midst.
Over the last week I asked former council leader Denise Hyland (and Abbey Wood cllr) why £1.3 million to be given to Greenwich Council via Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy payments – from a recently approved block in Abbey Wood estate – will see zero allocated to the estate by Greenwich Council. GLLaB gets £400,000.
The reply states that developers and council officers make the decisions. Publishing details after is not enough. That does not help deprived areas – cllrs need to fight for their areas and policy permits that.
Surely the electorate vote in politicians to speak up for residents and determine policy for civil servants to follow. There’s no reason for Greenwich’s planning authorities to be sending so much to GLLaB according to their own policies.
The guidance for how money is spent, named the CIL Regulation 123 list, includes 12 areas for spending:
There’s nothing there to justify GLLaB (which has many issues according to users emailing me) taking the bulk sum time and again to the detriment of estates, parks, better streets, health or education.
This week Greenwich Council are advertising for Ikea via GLLaB. Is this really needed?
Be a part of something new. @IKEAUK are opening up in Greenwich and seeking a facilities co-worker with excellent facilities management, maintenance and customer service skills. Apply by 21 December. https://t.co/yEAGwLNg3w
— Royal Greenwich (@Royal_Greenwich) December 13, 2018
A fairer allocation and split of income is possible under RBG policy but not enacted – and income is in the tens of millions each year. Some areas on the CIL 123 list are overlooked nine times out of ten. GLLaB is almost always there claiming the bulk.
GLLaB, lets not forget, is an organisation that has seen heavy criticism from users and recently advertised zero hour jobs alongside those with days of unpaid training, alongside not offering the London Living Wage.
I can’t think of one other London council that neglects parks and estates, to name just two areas, to such an extent whilst shoveling so much to a job agency – let alone one with such issues.