Murky Depths

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Grove Park

Trailer home plan targets nurses and key workers

Interior

A plan has been submitted to provide temporary trailer homes for key workers over a period of five years at a spot near Grove Park.

Trailers

The applications states the micro homes could be used for “short term NHS emergency health worker housing”. The applicant makes no bones about the size, calling them “18 tiny dwellings”.

Homes are so small it appears that standing upstairs is extremely difficult. Construction is offsite using Birch Plywood before being wheeled in.

Cramped

The site is tucked away beside a 24 hour railway depot which services Southeastern trains, and is likely to provide a noisy existence. Rail depots are not quiet places overnight.

Near rail depot – almost looks pleasant until remebering how tiny these trailers are

The application states rents would be 80 per cent of local rates for a one bed flat despite their very small size. That would price these trailer homes at around £800-£1000 per month in this location. Given the target occupant would earn £30,000 a year maximum – and often less – that is a substantial amount for an isolated trailer next to a noisy rail depot.

Location beside busy railway depot

It is generally accepted that a third of ones income should go towards housing costs. Someone on £30k takes home £2,003 a month excluding student fee repayments. £800 is above that threshold of a third. A key worker on £20k would really struggle to afford such a basic home.

Access to the site

And that take home pay excludes student loan repayments – a commonly seen oversight despite fees now existing for some time. Employees such as a nurse on a Plan 1 student fee repayment plan will pay an additional nine per cent of their income in repayments on earnings above £1,615 a month.

The application states:

“The intention is to partner with a local Registered Housing Provider who will either own and manage or just manage the units on behalf of the NHS workers or associated essential key workers. We are in discussion with the ‘Evolve’ housing
association who are active locally”.

If this doesn’t show gratitude to key workers after recent events I don’t know what does.

Click here to view plans.

 

 

13 Comments

  1. mave

    I can guess where this is, they have tried lots of ideas..

  2. Graham

    It is not only student loans that are deducted it is also the staff members contribution for the NHS pension scheme so your probably looking at take home pay on £ 30,000 around £1900.00 after tax national insurance and pension contibutions.

    A static caravan/prefab type building all on the same level would give just as much accommodation and have two or three bedrooms. I think the rent for this trailer homes is too high bearing in mind they are one bedroom and it is difficult stand up on the second floor bedroom area,

  3. Derek Small

    Nice one Murky. I was going to mention pension contrib also. Sounds like somebody out to screw the NHS here. Def not vfm. Also check out the entrance paths, nursing staff etc walking down here leaving before 7am for 8am starts in winter pitch black, and returning in the dark too. Not pleasant or safe. Site looks liable to easy break ins too, and young staff have valuable tech usually. not too diff to break into plywood! Wonder if estate agent would use word ‘tiny’! Not exactly a good seller. Better idea-wildlife sanctuary, Grove Park needs its green spaces, could be great for local schools. or an allotment- in dire need for more with current economic crisis. No big money/large margins for developers though-what a shame my heart bleeds.

  4. CDT

    To be honest they look like horse boxes to me and do not look that safe and secure.

    I agree with Derek Small the area they would be located in is not ideal for our hard working NHS staff who often leave very early in the morning to go to work and return home again late in the evenings. The area is dark so not good at all in the winter months.

    I like Graham’s idea better with static caravan/prefab type single storey building which can be two or three bedrooms for NHS workers with families or for NHS colleagues sharing to help with rental cost as the rental cost of the units at £800 is to high for NHS workers.

    The proposed location still remains a major problem with out the area being landscaped and having street lighting etc installed to make the area safer

    The proposed trailer homes are the sort of trailer homes you would take to events where you may be required to stay over night or for a couple of weeks rather than for long term stays.

    I like the idea of providing homes to our hard working NHS staff though. That is a great idea and very much appreciated.

  5. Jack

    Pathetic proposals and an insult to key workers and NHS staff.

    NHS staff also don’t need static caravans. There’s enough investment going into modular housing, for better schemes to come forward. At the end of the day, the only solution for key workers, nhs staff and the wider public is increased delivery of social housing and actual affordable housing not the products current gov. is trying to push to appear as affordable.

    Until they get their act together gov. should also stop right to buy, since you can’t replace properties lost through right to buy on a like for like basis.

  6. Kit

    Wow, after essential workers carried this country on their backs through the pandemic, this is the best we can do for them?

    Tiny homes can be charming but these are too expensive, too noisy and as other commenters have noted, unsafe.

    We can do better, surely?

  7. Charles Calthrop

    Tiny homes are a thing in America but its as much a lifestyle choice as a necessity. Most are designed by the owners so it’s theirs free and clear – they’re not rented. You find people on hard times (lost job) living in one but near a friend or family and often in the front yard. The upstairs isn’t designed for standing, it’s akin to a VW sleeper hood rather than a dedicated first floor.

    The other thing to consider is that the cutesy diagrams fail to show how little storage space there is. Most of the unit doubles as storage (stairs are typically slide-out drawers) and this design doesn’t incorporate a washing machine – pointless for anyone working in a clinical environment.

    Lastly it will be horrendously cold and noisy in there and a sitting duck for looters, burglars and any thugs who can simply kick in the door and ransack or torch it in under 30 seconds.

    The NHS did more to defend this country than any soldier since WWII. Iraq and Afghanistan were unnecessary wars fought overseas – COVID-19 was an invader on British soil. In the army you have weapons, backup and an enemy you can see. In the NHS you couldn’t see the killer, and it could be on any surface or inside any person. Army goes to war with night vision and ballistic armour while the NHS can’t get plastic aprons or a parking permit. That trailer park has only one purpose – make the developers a fortune at the expense of people who lived in fear for six solid months but did more to protect us than any MP alive today.

  8. Disgusting is what I call it. No chance that Lewisham council will turn down the application.

  9. CDT

    I doubt it anonymous201481 sadly. Also being made of wood I do not feel they would be safe enough.

    Sadly the days where the NHS/Health Authorities used to provide purpose built Nursing and Doctor accomodation for Doctors and Nurses living in areas away from the Hospital and beyond reasonable daily travelling distance have long gone.

    Private rents are beyond reach for many single NHS staff and other Key Workers to afford.

    The current units proposed for this site are too small for peeople to share to help with the cost of renting.

    • Graham

      I agree CDT housing cost are a major part of peoples that work income with cost of fares on top it is not easy for single people to be able to afford to rent in London on incomes around £30,000. before Income Tax Natioal Insurance insurance and Pension Contibutions are deducted,

      I feel for our hard working NHS staff and othet Key Workers.

    • anonymous201486

      ‘Sadly the days where the NHS/Health Authorities used to provide purpose built Nursing and Doctor accomodation for Doctors and Nurses living in areas away from the Hospital and beyond reasonable daily travelling distance have long gone.’

      Indeed. Do you remember the rather grand nurses’ accommodation on Vanbrugh Hill? I have just seen that a two bed flat in the converted building is on the market for £650,000.

      • CDT

        @anonymous201481 I do remember the rather grand nurses accomodation on Vanbrugh Hill. If my memory serves me right it used to be called The Woodlands or somethimg like that.

        £650,000 for a two bed flat in the converted building.Wow you have to be on a very high income or have a property to sell to be able to afford to purchase that flat !!

        • If memory serves, supplemental nursing accommodation was built at the bottom of Restell Close, but this too is now private flats.

          The price of property is out of control, but £650,000 for a spacious two bed flat compares well with the millions that some of the nearby houses command. The house nextdoor to my childhood home in Humber Road sold for over £1.5m recently.

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