Thamesmead Housing Zone flats on sale for £662,500 – as residents miss out on income

Properties at a new 1,750-home development from Peabody and Berkeley Homes are on sale for up to £662,500 for a flat as Greenwich council decisions see related income lacking for local residents.

Developers will pay a low rate of £40 per square metre in Community Infrastructure Levy funding to the authority to fund services, with a rate set in 2015.

Render of development

Unlike the £70 rate adopted in most of Greenwich borough (which is one of the lowest in London) it wasn’t Greenwich council but the Planning Examiner who set that £40 rate in this eastern part of the borough. However, by 2018 Greenwich could have increased it. They committed to a review which never appeared to happen. Most councils that also set a low rate in one part used far higher rates in more expensive areas to offset income. Greenwich Council could have gone for £230 psm in the west of the borough but chose £70 psm.

Both decisions contributed to a loss of millions, with other London boroughs covering Zones 2-4 often tens of millions ahead in revenue for services due to applying a higher rate for developers to pay.

The 2015 Greenwich CIL report which determined totals paid by developers stated “The Council makes a commitment in its supporting information document (CE9) to a review within three years of implementation”.

2018 review commitment made in 2015 report. There was no change unlike other London boroughs and being far below estimated income

A review around 2018 would have seen – at the very least – an increase £50 per square metre in the area where 1,750 homes are to be built, as the Mayor of London was in the process of reducing his CIL rate from £35 psm to £25 psm in Greenwich borough offering the ability for the borough element to rise.

Even if we take that baseline of a £10 psm rise, when applied over 1,750 homes that is a sizable sum now lost to borough residents for a whole range of possible services and infrastructure improvements. However, other boroughs that have revised have tended to increase rates by far higher sums even without a reduced Mayoral CIL applying to their areas.

Haringey have three zones and revised the lowest up. Certain area have far higher rates to compensate low rate area. Result is income far in excess of Greenwich borough since 2015
Section 106

The failure to gain additional CIL income compounds issues with how they allocated the other main source of funding – Section 106.

As covered extensively on this site last year, plans to improve the wider area and links to Plumstead station and local shops by substantial alterations to a three-lane gyratory were scrapped. Not one penny of Section 106 will now be spent on improved pedestrian and cycling links to the nearest station which also serves many bus routes, nor local shops. That ignored two council reports (and one then in draft and now adopted) on encouraging people to walk, use public transport and encourage sustainability.

Gyratory set to remain

Requests from residents for answers are being rebuffed. When some councillors have been asked about the issue, they state low rates applied to developers in 2015 were the best they could secure, which is contradicted by the 2015 Planning Examiner’s report.

There’s also silence from the council on why no revision took place in 2018 despite a 2015 commitment to do so.

Failure to revise CIL rate alongside S106 allocation decision ensure no improvement to pedestrian links to station, bus routes and shops

This has ensured millions of income has been lost, with Greenwich sitting near the foot of income from this key source of funding since 2015.

They now state they will look to revise rates four years after committing to in 2015. It’s a long process that can take 18 months at least, and many more millions could be lost before it happens.

It’s all the more odd in a time of harsh cuts from central government not to secure every penny they could.

 

 

 

As a private renter with a young family, the cost of living is extremely high.

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Thank you

John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

10 thoughts on “Thamesmead Housing Zone flats on sale for £662,500 – as residents miss out on income

  • January 31, 2022 at 3:25 pm
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    It’s an interesting location, sitting besides HMP Belmarsh, Plumstead bus garage and a bunch of industrial units.

    Will this project be cancelled or scaled back?

    Reply
  • January 31, 2022 at 8:11 pm
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    Yet again, Labour failings and there inept councillors are causing neglect on a large scale. Why aren’t they pulling there weight to ensure funds are paid to better our Public Realm, Green spaces, Estates? Income, Real investment upgrades to better this Borough… Vote for change instead of this tired neglectful Party on May 5th.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2022 at 11:52 pm
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    Such a lovely area – nestled between the bus garage and Belmarsh prison… In other news it looks like there is some Labour flight happening. Why is the councillor for Peninsula moving to West Thamesmead in May? Apparently he ‘lived’ there years before. Obviously now lives in Greenwich…

    Reply
  • February 1, 2022 at 9:17 am
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    I grew up on the estate, many who are there don’t want to sell as the amount offered isn’t enough to move else where.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2022 at 12:06 pm
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    Is somebody high at Berkeley Homes: £662,500 for a flat in Thamesmead? I guess that those will be bought for “investment” purposes and never actually occupied, although it is always possible that it will be turned into a rental and some clueless person will find themselves marooned in an unlovely location.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2022 at 1:18 pm
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    The aim is to sell many abroad as well as entice people via Help to Buy to overpay.

    The marketing videos don’t mention location except to state “Royal Greenwich” and Crossrail. They don’t state there’s a far closer station that’s horrible to reach.

    This was always likely of course, but at least Greenwich could have maximised income derived from the development for residents and better services. To fail to do so in a deprived area during austerity is baffling at best.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2022 at 7:22 pm
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    The promotional materials claim it’s a 10 minute walk to the Woolwich crossrail station – surely this is false advertising? You’re not getting to Woolwich crossrail from this plot in 10 minutes unless you’re an Olympic-standard walking competitor. How are they allowed to print that?

    Reply
  • February 2, 2022 at 3:10 pm
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    Welp these flimsy flats make my 2bed with a garage and garden look vvv attractive even if I throw on an extra 150k with those prices

    Reply
  • February 2, 2022 at 3:12 pm
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    The pic shows a nice tree lined path instead of the concrete heavy murder alley that runs alongside the south side of the bus garage. Ha!

    Reply
  • February 2, 2022 at 7:09 pm
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    wow even tory bexley would do more to secure some dough from developers to aid areas.

    Labour in Greenwich are so weird. they spout a lot of Labour values but dig a milllimetre below and they do so little to help communities when chances are there

    Reply

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