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Did you know???


Redrow, the developers of the former YMCA in Fann Street, will hold a public exhibition on proposals for the re-development of the site from 

4pm - 9pm, Tuesday 3rd December at St Giles.

With development scheduled to commence in January 2015, it's a potentially good opportunity to get us off to a good start in approaching this particular re-development and draw together key partners - the City, the developer, the BA, RCC and Residents in Crescent house and others on the Golden Lane Estate.

BE THERE OR BE IN THE DARK

Text taken from a post on Barbicantalk. Thanks to them for putting this in the public domain

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Thanks for sharing Bill.  I aim to be at the meet.

For sure.  Received my flyer in the post today.

Christine I'm not sure 'uneasy' covers it!  Deeply concerned more like.

I'm not sure under what arrangements the Corp can opt out of EU rules on tendering for contracts over a certain amount - but then the City has always seemed to me to be a law until itself.  Given we pay the administrative costs of every bit of flipping tendering the Corp does re the estate it does seem extraordinary that such a prime site can be handed over just like that.  I wonder who will profit from this deal if it goes ahead. 

It's very hard (impossible, I find) to find any useful information on the City Of London's website about development activity which is designed to inform residents.  One wonders if this is deliberate or just poor web design.  I'm not sure who the latest Consultation and Engagement Officer is or does  (Ian Dowsett kindly advised me that Ms Keegans had left when I was getting no response to my e-mails to her).

Local democracy in action?  Hmmm....

Christine Clifford said:

We emailed to ask if Redrow were consulting on a speculative basis as we were not aware of a tender. The reply was that Redrow have entered an agreement to develop the sute subject to planning permission.

It seems the Corporation have dispensed with tenders for important redevelopmens as in the West Smithfield case now under Judicial Review. Is anyone else uneasy that the Corporation just enter agreements with companies to redevelop without wide tendering to get the widest possible options on new housing etc. I can see Redrow are consulting but what if the proposals are boring or unaffordable for all but those on £80k. Let alone the desperate need for social housing
I vaguely remembering hearing about a year ago that several schemes were being discussed before this was chosen. Perhaps our alderman would know more?

Rachel - you are right, the redevelopment was not handed to Redrow on a plate, there were (from memory) at least 4 contenders for the redevelopment and Redrow were selected. The process involved considering bids for alternative uses from residential, eg hotel use. The whole project is still subject to planning permission being granted for the change of use of the building from hostel use to residential. 

Thanks for keeping us informed David.

David Graves (your Alderman) said:

Rachel - you are right, the redevelopment was not handed to Redrow on a plate, there were (from memory) at least 4 contenders for the redevelopment and Redrow were selected. The process involved considering bids for alternative uses from residential, eg hotel use. The whole project is still subject to planning permission being granted for the change of use of the building from hostel use to residential. 

Yes, thanks for the info David!

Jean McMeakin said:

Thanks for keeping us informed David.

David Graves (your Alderman) said:

Rachel - you are right, the redevelopment was not handed to Redrow on a plate, there were (from memory) at least 4 contenders for the redevelopment and Redrow were selected. The process involved considering bids for alternative uses from residential, eg hotel use. The whole project is still subject to planning permission being granted for the change of use of the building from hostel use to residential. 

Good to attend and hear the developers plans. Will they keep their promises though?

In case anyone was not able to attend the exhibition today, just sharing what what I learnt..

  • Redrow has already been awarded the contract by the City Of London for redevelopment of the YMCA building and have signed a lease for the building.  (I did not know this prior to today although I've just read some of the postings above where this was already mentioned.  See more details at the end of my posting below...)
  • The existing building had 218 bedrooms.  The proposal is for 90 flats of 1, 2 or 3 bedroom size.
  • This would then be managed as part of the existing Barbican residential estate.
  • There are no social housing units planned for the building.  Instead a section 106 levy would be given to the City.  (I have heard - but do not know the legitimacy of this - that the income - or part thereof - from selling the lease to the building would be this money that is to be allocated to social housing.)
  • Initial designs include a rooftop extension which infills the top two storeys and adds on an additional three new storeys.
  • There will be no additional car parking spaces.  Residents will be able to sign up for existing Barbican car park spaces which are currently under utilised.
  • There will be 1 cycle storage space per flat but that has not yet been designed in.
  • They are in talks with Eon about linking into the Citigen district heating system.  (I found this interesting as I know from - I cant remember whether it was John Todd or Eddie Stevens - that the City has also considered linking into a local district heating system and potentially reverting to communal heating on Golden Lane Estate which might be a cheaper alternative for supporting social tenants who are struggling with fuel poverty.)
  • The bottom floors which were the old amenity spaces are the least developed in their current plans and while they are hoping to convert these to flats, this is the most uncertain part of the development at this stage.
  • They are collecting initial feedback now from residents and other stakeholders, with a view to putting forward a planning application in Spring 2014.  This would then aim for building work to start end of 2014 taking 18 months to 2 years.



So I did the a quick google search (per Jean McMeakin comment above - I agree the CoL website doesn't alway help in finding things, but it's always worth using google to find it for you!) and immediately found the minutes from the 18 June 2013 Finance Committee...

http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/g597/Printed%20minut...

  • The Finance Committee did resolve at that meeting to award the long lease of 150 years to Redrow Homes Limited.
  • The CoL are set to receive £28 million for the lease.
  • It's not clear to me but it looks like clause (d) requires for additional payments to be received if Redrow manages to sell the properties for more than a total value of £72 million, or if their redevelopment increases the net internal space to more than 60,000 square feet.

Here is the website that Redrow are using to publicise their plans...  http://fannstreet.co.uk/

It has a link for more information on the proposals (the link does not seem to be working at the moment), and provides the ability to submit a response to their consultation (it does not state what the end date for the consultation is so get your responses in now if you want to).

Thanks for the update and added info.  Very disappointing that there will be no social housing included in the redevelopment though!!!

p.s. Perhaps Redrow should be invited to attend next week`s GLERA meet???????????

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