Council meetings

Agenda item

Besson Street Development Proposals

8.   Besson Street Development Proposals


8.1    Cllr Millbank introduced Jeff Endean and Rachel George from Lewisham Housing Strategy Team to talk about the plans for Besson Street which is the site beyond the community garden.


8.2    Geoff explained that the presentation outlines the current proposal for the development of the Besson Street site and this is part of the council’ strategy to develop as many new homes across the borough as possible.


The presentation is attached to the minutes.




Q.     Will there be cycle parking provided and will there be improvements to the junctions?


A.     Rachel confirmed that there will be provision for cycle parking. The planner would need to look at the junctionsand we would need to consult on this


Q.     Can you clarify rent levels?


A.     Jeff clarified that the proposal is that all of the block is rented


8.3    Jill expressed concern that New Cross Gate Trust were finding out about the % at this meeting as this is not what had been discussed previously. They were expecting that 1/3 would be council rented.


8.4    Cllr Millbank & Rachel apologised and explained that there had been some changes made that day.


8.5    Jeff explained that these are affordable homes with rents capped at 35% of national minimum and London living wage. The reason that the council is looking at this model is that they can offer these rents and that they will be able to keep properties in the rented sector. If these were social housing they would become subject to right to buy.


Q.     How is the community going to benefit?


A.     - Rents will be capped at 35% of wages.

         - There will be long-term income for New Cross Gate Trust from retails premises rental.

         - The council will make money which can be invested further in the   community.

         - The Health care Centre is part of the plan.


Q      The Telegraph Hill Society did not know about this, how widely has it been published?


A.     Rachel explained that this is early days yet and will go to planning until spring 2016. This general proposal will go to Mayor & Cabinet on 9th December. Cllr Millbank added that this a pre-consultation phase.


8.6.   You talked about office space, but there is loss of workshops and other employment space. There are many Goldsmith graduates who would like to stay in the area but cannot find adequate, affordable workshop space. The potential in income is then lost from the area.


8.7.   Rachel stated that the office space mentioned is the way that we plan to generate income for New Cross Gate Trust, we will look at the wider provision on the site and are already working with Goldsmith’s around the provision of workshop space locally.


Q.     Is this a done deal?


A.     Cllr Millbank confirmed that the land is owned by Lewisham Council and they are working in partnership with the New Cross Gate Trust to deliver a project that meets everyone’s needs.


8.8.   Cllr Sorba confirmed that change in details had been very recent. He is behind the proposal for the Council to be landlord with the profits going to providing services for those that need them, however he feels that the balance is not quite right and he will be lobbying regarding this.


Q.     The interim use for the model market was not for Lewisham businesses. How can we be involved to ensure that it is for this development?


A.     Residents will be consulted and involved in interim agreements.


8.9    Jill Mountford expressed concerns that the development would lead to gentrification. Jeff replied that the intention is to avoid this by providing long-term rental properties for local people on the register that will not be sold off to repay the loan for building social housing.


There being no other business, the meeting closed at 9.00pm with no declarations of interest.


Note: These are not verbatim minutes so questions and answers have been summarised.



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