With scaffolding beginning to come at some blocks in a new Thamesmead development from Peabody, I noticed how cost cutback appear may have impacted upon buildings.
So I did a little Google search to try to compare images – and then discovered prices for new homes. And they ain’t cheap. Peabody are looking at over half a million for a three bed. But that’s a house right? Nope. That’s for a flat. Of course they hope to entice people into paying over the odds with Help to Buy.
Shared ownership will also be expensive if Peabody’s previous development plot opposite Belmarsh is anything to go by. The Housing Association are asking for £70k for a 25 per cent share. In addition to the mortgage a “buyer” would then need to pay rent of £481 a month and then a service charge per month of £157. After nine months Peabody hadn’t sold all homes despite a severe need for housing. They are simply too expensive.
Peabody also recently announced the demolition of an adjacent area to Tavy Bridge – and social rents will rise their too. Sale prices are not yet known.
It’s taken nearly a decade to even begin to build at sites they took over from Gallions Housing Association. Despite a housing crises, progress has been extremely slow. Politicians seem to love Peabody though despite how slowly they move – and are pictured at every PR event going. Their PR blinds much of the media too. Uncritical articles abound in the broadsheets.
Peabody are currently seeking approval for 1,750 flats in west Thamesmead near Plumstead station alongside Berkeley Homes. TfL are in line to receive only a third of money requested for transport improvements, and the NHS far less than requested. Some earlier mooted claims such as removing the gyratory have been dropped.
There were worries that designs would be “value engineered” when Peabody announced a different contractor, and it’s still pretty early to see what the differences will be from earlier plans.
In 2019 I covered this issue, as original architects were dropped for a new design and build contract.
As more scaffolding comes down it’ll be interesting to see if buildings match the quality of initial submitted plans and designs.
A new library is coming which appears of good design though has already been cut back in size – and Bexley Council’s library service is now in meltdown with many existing libraries due to close.