I hope that Mark Boleat will resign after his accusations that anyone who objects to new developments are 'selfish middle class nimbys'. People in Bowater House objected to the Denizen because it doesn't replace the key-worker homes which used to be on the site. We wanted decent affordable housing here not unneeded luxury apartments. The Bernard Morgan re-development is a perfect example to show why Boleat's ideas will just lead to even more suspicion of corruption within the planning and development industry.
Mark Boleat is a councillor who does not represent local people, he does not live in the City, he was voted in on the business vote. Not only did speak in favour of the development at the Planning and Transport Committee meeting he also voted to Approve it. Knowing it contained no affordable homes and the 106 agreement was half what it should have been. One of his arguments to approve was that Taylor Wimpey had lost so much money already because of the delays in it coming to committee!
Boleat was also on the Police Committee and Property Investment Board during 2014 and 2015 when the decision was made to both close and sell the Police Section House. If Planning Guidelines had been followed then this development should have 33 affordable homes. It is being marketed in Hong Kong as The Denizen, a block of luxury apartments, containing a private cinema and marble floors. The expense of all this unnecessary luxury and the fact that TWCL paid £30.4million for the site means that they can’t afford to meet the Local Plan requirements and the City of London and Mark Boleat have accepted this excuse.
Was Boleat involved in the decision to sell to TW for £30.4million? I don't know but if the City accepted such a huge amount for the site did they accept also that TW would not be able to afford the Local Plan's requirement for 30% on site or 60% off site affordable homes?
Where does that leave Boleat's argument that local people and democratically elected local councillors are stopping developers providing much needed homes? Most of the City's councillors don't represent local people and so we get the Denizen which breaches so many of the Local Plan's guidelines and provides only unnecessary unneeded luxury investment properties being marketed in the Far East. The planners justified the breached guidelines by saying the public will benefit but have never explained how.
You can read about the luxury apartments and the private cinemas and games room in this brochure produced by Taylor Wimpey.
If you'd like to stop this development please support our Judicial Review application and donate to the Crowd Justice fund here Crowd Justice Save Golden Lane
This could prove to be a test case, exploring whether the City really has made mistakes and whether its planning process needs to be more democratic. Local people need to be represented by democratically elected local people who know the area and what is needed. There were 182 objections to this development and all have been ignored. The 13 committee members who voted to approve don't know this area, many have never visited the GLE or the park. The vote was close, 10 members voted against. The main discussion in committee was about the unacceptably low affordable housing contribution and yet 13 committee members still voted in favour of Taylor Wimpey and this monstrosity. Why?
After ten years of austerity the Denizen is morally, politically and aesthetically offensive.
We are relying on crowd funding to win this case, even a small donation of £10 will be enough if enough people donate.
We must protect our community from this monstrosity and use the site for much needed decent affordable homes.
This is the Denizen, overshadowing Bowater House, the Jewin Church, the park and school.