Friday, June 24, 2005

Convoys Wharf Update (South London and global capitalism)

From Creekside Opportunity, on Convoys Wharf in South London's Deptford:
Having invested the princely sum of 4 quid with the Land Registry Creekside Forum is proud to present the supposedly confidential Convoys Wharf sales agreement. Not the most exciting reading but we thought you really ought to know the contents.
As explained below the applicants do not regard 3,500 residential units as quite enough.
When paragraph 4 of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange announcement of 18 May 2005
''On 13 May, 2005, the Vendor and the Purchaser have also entered into the Profit Participation Agreement pursuant to which the Purchaser will pay, and the Vendor will receive (i) the Additional Payment which is of an amount determined in accordance with a pre-agreed formulation set forth therein based, inter alia, on any additional area over which planning permission comprising private residential housing is obtained prior to the prescribed deadline;...''
is read in conjunction with the attached contract it becomes clear that neither News International nor CIS intend to proceed with the planning application as it is currently constructed. The additional area in the announcement clearly refers to land designated for employment in the application. There is nothing unusual about big planning applications in London being followed by a flurry of smaller applications to increase the amount of residential units; however, developers are normally extremely careful not to give any indication of their intention to do so before the main permission has been granted.
Although the local planning authority, the London Borough of Lewisham, has resolved to grant permission the matter has to be referred to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Prescott MP.
Mr Prescott has the power, which is frequently used in relation to applications of this size and also on applications affecting London's Safeguarded Wharves, of which this is one, to call-in the application for ministerial decision. Under the call-in procedure there is a public inquiry chaired by a planning inspector, usually an experienced town planner or planning lawyer. The inspector writes a report containing a non-binding recommendation and then the Minister decides whether or not to grant permission.
A report compiled by LB Lewisham officers, which was considered by a committee of councillors who resolved to grant permission on 26 May 2005, contains a figure of over 1,500 jobs. This figure, supplied by the applicants is based on a workers:floorspace ratio. In the light of the above the job numbers will have to be revised downwards at any public inquiry.
See Committee report Page 31, paragraph 6.4.3

This should be in the local papers next week so prepare your letters of outrage now.
Bill Ellson of Creekside Forum said:
'News International and their prospective purchasers have shot themselves in the foot.
The applicant's real intentions are now clear; In an area of high unemployment they wish to minimise employment land.
They have misled Councillors, council officers and local people.
They should withdraw the planning application and apologise to all concerned. '

Notes
* A photocopy of the contract was obtained from the Land Registry for 4 quid.
* News International purchased Convoys Wharf from the UK Ministry of Defence in 1980 for 1,600,000 quid. A remainder was purchased in 1986, again from MOD, for 340,000 quid.

Regards
John and Bill, Creekside Forum

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the insite regarding refused planning matters. Planning permission in order to have some form of planning gain will always make money for the site owner. We can explain further the issues on refused planning so stop by and compare opinions.