Monday, 27 July 2009

Deal Still Not Signed . . .

From the Southwark News: 

The council is continuing it's exclusivity agreement with Land Lease, the Aussie developers, but no deal has been signed. The Labour opposition accuses the Lib-Dem/ Conservative council of ceding control of the regeneration process and says: 

Regeneration in Southwark is now in total chaos, with an Executive totally out of their depth, the director of major projects resigning [see page 3], and still no deal on the table. There has been a massive lack of political leadership, and this failure rests firmly with the leader of the council, who has so far dodged any accountability, instead blamed everyone else, but still delivered nothing, and just the promise of more dither and more delays.

The council, however, says that everything is still on track despite the 'worst recession any of us have ever seen' and affirms that everyone will be moved off the Heygate Estate by the September deadline. 

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Paint the Heygate

The person behind this has made his/ her site invite only (why?) since I last checked it a couple of days ago, but supposedly there is a campaign on to paint the heygate estate.

It was unclear from the site whether this would be the painting of the whole estate, one building - or perhaps just one flat - but it seems the organizer wants to bring in several renowned artists to 'paint the heygate'. 

From a letter, he/ she sent to Southwark Council:

I have six world renowned well known urban artists (local and overseas) who have told me personally that they want to come down to paint the Heygate and work with this local community. Imagine the possibilities.

They list this video by Sony Bravia as an inspiration . . . 

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Lend Lease Back On Board.

Seems Southwark Council and Lend-Lease, the Australian developer whose exclusivity deal for the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle lapsed earlier this month, have reached a new agreement, just in time for the July 22nd deadline. 

From 'bd, The Architect's Website': 

It is not clear how long the new exclusivity agreement is set to last, or when work will actually start. 80% of the Heygate residents have been moved out, and demolition is set to begin next year (last winter, demolition was supposed to start, well, now). 

The drama continues . . . 

Monday, 20 July 2009

Heygate Residents Furious at being forced off estate before deal is finalized.

From the South London Press: 

   1000 people have so far been rehoused off the Heygate Estate, but many more remain. The council does keep up regular patrols with wardens and make an effort to keep the estate clean. But that doesn't make it any easier or less bizarre for people to live on an almost empty estate - and to be forced out before the Council can even be sure the redevelopment will go ahead. 

From the article: 

A council spokeswoman said: “The rehousing of residents and demolition of the Heygate will continue as planned.

“The deal with Lend Lease is not over.

“A decision will be made at the council’s executive on July 21.”

She said all tenants would have to be off the estate by September.

She said: “A phased demolition [of the estate] is due to start in 2010, as was always planned.”

 So by September, the estate will be completely empty - and if the deal falls through, what then? Will some 1200 housing units sit empty in the heart of one of the tightest, most expensive rental markets in the world?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

One Mile Away . . .

Meanwhile, a new play is being written, featuring the Heygate Esate: 

From the Website: 

One Mile Away is a new play about a one-mile-radius area of London, being created by playwright Kat Joyce and theatre director Nathan Curry. It was commissioned by literature development agency Spread the Word

From Parliament to Elephant, Vauxhall Farm to Lower Marsh, Kat and Nathan are collaborating with many local people to build a literary picture of the many narratives in this complex area.  Kat will be weaving all the ideas into a new play, which will be performed by a professional cast in the summer.

In Spring 2009, Kat and Nathan will be running free writing workshops for local people who want to share their stories, contribute to making a new piece of theatre and learn about creating drama from our own narratives.

Anyone who has a connection to this area or a story to tell can contribute to One Mile Away. Share your story with us.

Elephant and Castle Redevelopment in Question

This from BD The Architect's Website: 

Southwark Council meets with Lend Lease on July 22 to discuss options. A council spokesman did not say whether the council would be discussing the project with any new developers. 

Meanwhile, the 44 story '360 London' remains stalled due to 'challenging market conditions', leaving another empty pit. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Lend Lease Agreement Lapses

The exclusive agreement between Southwark Council and the Australian development firm Lend Lease Inc, for the Elephant and Castle redevelopment lapsed this week - without an agreement. 

In South London Press: Elephant and Castle Revamp In Doubt

Southwark Council admits that the recession has made a deal 'more difficult' but is confident that the economy will pick up 'in the medium term' and a deal can be reached. 

If it does fall through, it will be the second time a deal has fallen through. In March, 2002, Southwark Land Regeneration (SLR) also failed to reach an agreement with the council. 

   In the meantime, whither all those empty buildings? Will they be demolished this summer, as scheduled? What then? 

   I wonder if the Heygate will become one vast squatter's paradise in the year (or years) to come . . . 

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

More Photos from the Heygate . . .

A photographer named Anthony Wallace posted this short Photo essay called Sealed Up in a magazine called 'actuphoto'. He writes that he discovered some workers sealing off another empty flat while he was exploring the estate. 

"Inside, an old armchair had been left behind during the evacuation. The sunken seat cushion conjured up images of who had sat there and what kind of people had occupied the flat up until the previous day. 

The head of the welding team granted me permission to photograph other flats whilst they were being sealed. I found myself emphasizing with the abandoned objects and decided that I would collect one as a representative of each property. 

These photographs are a way of preserving the living spaces and some of the memories entombed in them.