From London SE1:
Lend Lease "still very interested" says chief executive, Dan Labbad.
"We believe that we're close to the bottom of the market in the UK . . . It's the right time to invest in regeneration schemes which is why we are very interested in our position at Greenwich, our discussions at Elephant & Castle and also being involved in Stratford for the medium to long term,"
Despite this, Mr. Labbad said 'significant barriers' still existed for 'entry' including the credit market, and a suitable partnership with the government.
Meawhile . . . The two Caryatids sequestered in the little garden in the middle of the estate, have been moved out. The two caryatids (a column carved in the shape of a person, in this case an imitation of the stone lady statues on the Parthenon) were carved by Henry Poole in 1885 and decorated Rotherhithe Town Hall, until bombing destroyed the Town Hall building in 1945. The caryatids survived however, and were installed on the Heygate.
I discovered the two stone ladies last year, but had no idea of their history. They seemed totally incongruous in the conext of the estate, but they were a nice touch nonetheless. If you looked into the little garden from the right angle, the green blocked the towers on either side, and you could imagine you were somewhere else entirely.
Also, from the Independent: London: City of Broken Dreams: reports that East Euros made desperate by the recession are squatting the Heygate. The council claims that there are no squatters on the estate (of course). But if the deal with Lend Lease is NOT signed, I wonder if the whole estate will be taken over? Who would stop them?