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Old June 24th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #1241
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Originally Posted by potto View Post
loving the wasteful two-story houses, the ugly garage and tall 1950s block outside of the development site.
But it looks niceer doesnt it. Which is what matters because the residents dont live in the places and dont use the facilities. All they have to do is look at it. And this is infinitely better to look at than the bladerunner inspired pubescent nonsense turned out last time.

If you want to do your thing and pack hundreds of people into tiny little boxes then at least make them attractive to look at. Otherwise all the normal people living in normal accomodation adjacent will keep blocking it.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #1242
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Originally Posted by Octoman
bladerunner inspired pubescent nonsense
It's like your completely oblivious to contemporary London architecture.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:57 AM   #1243
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It's like your completely oblivious to contemporary London architecture.
I beg to differ, most contemporary London architecture is not so unattractive, and mostly aesthetically appeasing. More to the point it's to found in settings more suitable than Chelsea, which is defined by a unique style of Victoriana more than anything.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 11:40 AM   #1244
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I don't see why Chelsea should be so special as to prevent the building of affordable units and a housing scheme built in a contemporary style that has proven to be a success elsewhere in the capital.

Let's not beat around the bush here- the people of Chelsea are snobs who care of nothing but themselves and their lavish lifestyles. If they had their way (and do) they would be happy to ban all 'commoners' from their area of town, live in a ghetto and remove themselves from the realities of 21st century life. They are the real problem with urban issues in London and quite frankly it's time they were the ones having to deal with the upheaval that the less wealthier are facing having to move out of London due to a lack of affordable housing.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #1245
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Sounding a bit communist there, but you are kind of right. London does need more homes for everybody.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 06:45 PM   #1246
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Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
I don't see why Chelsea should be so special as to prevent the building of affordable units and a housing scheme built in a contemporary style that has proven to be a success elsewhere in the capital.

Let's not beat around the bush here- the people of Chelsea are snobs who care of nothing but themselves and their lavish lifestyles. If they had their way (and do) they would be happy to ban all 'commoners' from their area of town, live in a ghetto and remove themselves from the realities of 21st century life. They are the real problem with urban issues in London and quite frankly it's time they were the ones having to deal with the upheaval that the less wealthier are facing having to move out of London due to a lack of affordable housing.
Hmmm. I say let the market decide. I've never liked initiatives to diversify local areas in terms of affluence by brute, central-government force. It's for that reason that I've never liked the "affordable housing" initiative, since the classic way to devalue house pricing is to build more housing stock and restore/repair existing housing stock, not arbitrarily declare that some stock must be cheap. London prices will crash eventually, market forces will see to that, and I don't think comparatively incompetent local-administrations should frankly butt out. You are undoubtedly right that diverse local communities are desirable, but that does not necessarily imply that every single community should be diverse.

Moving on from Darjole's point, I don't think we yet have enough info to judge this development. At the moment, the debate seems to have devolved into one of classical versus modern, which is not uncommon of course, but has little to do with the actual development. I for one think the massing looks alright, and that it seems to broadly fit the character of the area. The real killer for this kind of development is usually its materials, and there is no way to tell what they will be like from what we have.

As a final note, "townhouses" need not necessarily be "wasteful". If this development (and I'm not saying it will) adopts the Dutch model of lots of tightly packed, narrow terraced houses of 4-5 storeys, then an awful lot of households can be crammed into a comparatively small space. Moreover, the British distaste for apartment life is too intrinsic to be easily shrugged off. Maybe in fifty years, possibly sixty. Culturally, the British have never really taken to flats in the way that other countries have. It's not really fair to expect the developers to develop flats when they can raise a much greater premium in Chelsea for building houses. I for one would definitely support the making of said houses taller and narrower, as per old Dutch townhouses, but the very fact of houses being developed is not necessarily a death knell for density. Unless of course some users have an ideological objection towards houses, in which case I fear I cannot help but disagree.

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Pastiches are not uncommon throughout British history. The Victorians pastiched Gothic, with Neo-Gothic. Is Neo-Gothic the equal, in either material or splendour, of real Gothic? No. Does that make the Houses of Parliament or St. Pancras bad buildings? No.

Similarly, the Georgians pastiched the Romans and Greeks, with their neo-classicism. Arguably, this copy is nowhere near as good as true Greek/Roman temples. That does not make Nash and Cubitt anything less than masters of their art.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #1247
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Hmmm. I say let the market decide. I've never liked initiatives to diversify local areas in terms of affluence by brute, central-government force. It's for that reason that I've never liked the "affordable housing" initiative, since the classic way to devalue house pricing is to build more housing stock and restore/repair existing housing stock, not arbitrarily declare that some stock must be cheap. London prices will crash eventually, market forces will see to that, and I don't think comparatively incompetent local-administrations should frankly butt out. You are undoubtedly right that diverse local communities are desirable, but that does not necessarily imply that every single community should be diverse.
Housing is too important to be left completely to the market though as it has a significant social impact. Markets aren't always self-correcting, that's a myth, as issues relating to supply, demand, legislation and so on vary considerably, not to mention external socio-economic and political factors. Even Adam Smith noted this, but people on the right who have bastardized his name ignore it.

There hasn't been a massive reduction now despite a weak and relatively unstable economy since 2009. Whilst it is in the long-term interest of the country for lower prices - not least so consumption and investment can spread - it isn't for the current government, who have electoral and political reasons for nothing worse than stagnation, which affects policy. Also, a major difference between now and previous cycles is that housing has become a globalised commodity and a form of investment. The removal of barriers and capital controls have changed the environment in which it operates. As such, international capital which is unaffected by conditions in Britain vastly increases the demand side, yet the supply element remains localised.

I do agree that some kind of centralised government agency seeking to correct house prices is wrong (and i am also against affordable housing), but we can use a variety of tools to change the situation. We need a pro-active government solution, although on a local level, so empowering urban bodies. This would require a huge change in governance though.

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As a final note, "townhouses" need not necessarily be "wasteful". If this development (and I'm not saying it will) adopts the Dutch model of lots of tightly packed, narrow terraced houses of 4-5 storeys, then an awful lot of households can be crammed into a comparatively small space. Moreover, the British distaste for apartment life is too intrinsic to be easily shrugged off. Maybe in fifty years, possibly sixty. Culturally, the British have never really taken to flats in the way that other countries have. It's not really fair to expect the developers to develop flats when they can raise a much greater premium in Chelsea for building houses. I for one would definitely support the making of said houses taller and narrower, as per old Dutch townhouses, but the very fact of houses being developed is not necessarily a death knell for density. Unless of course some users have an ideological objection towards houses, in which case I fear I cannot help but disagree.
The Dutch townhouses are great, I wouldn't mind seeing a London version. I also would like to see a standard design of mansion blocks (at least 10 stories) and then have them rolled up across Central and inner London, the sort you see in NYC and BA, but a bit more modern. This would save on design costs as well as time.

Although it is true Brits haven't taken to flats in terms of apartment blocks, London is somewhere between 30-40% foreign, whilst of those classified as British citizens, you count first generation immigrants. I guess there are also plenty of British people who have moved to London and like flats. Basically, I think, certainly in central and inner London, it should be easier to get apartment blocks built. It appears to be moving that way.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #1248
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Yes indeed, mansion blocks are great, and certainly fit the character of the area.

And yes, London as a whole certainly views the flat in higher esteem than in Britain generally, but in Chelsea and similarly premium-priced areas in that region, houses seem to be capable of generating much higher prices than the same building cut into n number of flats.
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Pastiches are not uncommon throughout British history. The Victorians pastiched Gothic, with Neo-Gothic. Is Neo-Gothic the equal, in either material or splendour, of real Gothic? No. Does that make the Houses of Parliament or St. Pancras bad buildings? No.

Similarly, the Georgians pastiched the Romans and Greeks, with their neo-classicism. Arguably, this copy is nowhere near as good as true Greek/Roman temples. That does not make Nash and Cubitt anything less than masters of their art.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:03 AM   #1249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
I don't see why Chelsea should be so special as to prevent the building of affordable units and a housing scheme built in a contemporary style that has proven to be a success elsewhere in the capital.

Let's not beat around the bush here- the people of Chelsea are snobs who care of nothing but themselves and their lavish lifestyles. If they had their way (and do) they would be happy to ban all 'commoners' from their area of town, live in a ghetto and remove themselves from the realities of 21st century life. They are the real problem with urban issues in London and quite frankly it's time they were the ones having to deal with the upheaval that the less wealthier are facing having to move out of London due to a lack of affordable housing.
Thankfully London isn't run by communists. So none of this is going to happen.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #1250
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Let's not beat around the bush here- the people of Chelsea are snobs who care of nothing but themselves and their lavish lifestyles.
Fallen out with your hero Richard Rogers?
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Old March 1st, 2012, 12:53 AM   #1251
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Any updates?
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Old March 1st, 2012, 01:49 AM   #1252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
the people of Chelsea are snobs who care of nothing but themselves and their lavish lifestyles. If they had their way (and do) they would be happy to ban all 'commoners' from their area of town, live in a ghetto and remove themselves from the realities of 21st century life.
The population of the Royal Borough is around 170,000. Your description may fit some of them (though of the handful I know, it certainly fits none); it's a bit absurd to apply it as a generalization to all 170,000.

Interesting to note it's also the most densely populated borough in the country.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 11:15 AM   #1253
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yes but the people who ran the campaign are. I think that was the point.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 11:16 AM   #1254
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Thankfully London isn't run by communists. So none of this is going to happen.
sadly in this instance it is run by an out dated monarchy
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Old March 1st, 2012, 02:56 PM   #1255
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Townhouses throughout London have been converted to flats. I think that says something about what the market wants. Even in places like Eton Square where the super rich have huge appartments they are appartments made from former townhouses and these are often bigger in sq meters than each former townhouse.

For the rest of us it's often not appartment vs house. It's appartment vs a room in a shared house. Or purpose built appartment vs ridiculously small, poorly sound insulated house conversion. Once we have lots of decent appartments which people can afford perhaps the argument appartment vs house has some merit. For now, we aint there yet.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 03:04 PM   #1256
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Even more striking is the number of semis turned into house shares with no living or dinning room. Go to somewhere like Dollis Hill and many of the semis are like this, the families who the builders built the homes for have left.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 01:03 AM   #1257
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Rant warning her! (:

Why do we need affordable accommodation in London?

Many a time I have seen a map of social deprivation, unemployment, child poverty and it is heavily concentrated focused on Inner London. See here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datab...y-riots-mapped

This is only made possible by social accommodation, otherwise these areas would be packed with city workers.

Who does it benefit?

Coming from a humble/poor background myself I would have hated to been brought up in Tower Hamlets, which seems to be devoid of any open space at all for the most part! And the sheer density of the place is overbearing, note Chelsea & Kensington are denser still but the architecture is not so overbearing as an ocean of dreary council flats.

I was relatively lucky to have been brought up in Brentwood, which has some very smart council estates and is swamped for green space and tress. However some where like Harold Hill similarly is spoilt for trees and open space with some spectacular forest surrounding the council house suburb.

The houses in both Harold Hill and Brentwood council estates are of a very good standard too. Even Basildon is a nice place compared to Inner London!

It's different if you are not poor, then it's edgy and fun but when you are surrounded by poverty and you yourself are poor that is just depressing!
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Old January 28th, 2013, 11:49 PM   #1258
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Controversial Chelsea Barracks scheme on hold as UK economy stalls

-- Link to Guardian article --

Qatar has put its biggest single investment in London on hold, citing concerns about the British economy. The gas and oil-rich state has placed the £3bn Chelsea Barracks housing development under review and a source close to the project said that while it could still go ahead, one option was to sell the site without building what has been dubbed a "Gucci ghetto" of 450 luxurious residences and 123 affordable homes.

Qatari Diar, the emirate's property arm, has planning permission for the scheme, which includes seven-bedroom mansions as well as one-bedroom flats. But today the £1bn site stands empty with weeds growing through the concrete. "It now seems a huge gamble to deliver all of this," a Qatari source told the Guardian. "[The developers] will take their time and see how the numbers stack up in due course." He added that while the scheme could still be built, "they could sell [the site] any time".

The rethink of the Qataris' flagship project comes as the latest UK economic data show Britain heading for a triple-dip recession. Qatar is now the richest country in the world per capita and already owns 80% of the Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, all of Harrods and the US embassy in Mayfair and is joint owner of the Olympic village and the Shell Centre on the South Bank.

But no office lettings have yet been announced in the Shard, and concerns about the future appetite for luxury homes in London mean the risk of pouring a further £2bn into construction in a stagnant economy has caused concern in Doha. Britain's economic data has also compounded fears that the emirate overpaid when it gave the Ministry of Defence (MoD) £959m for the site in 2007. "The strategy is under review," confirmed a Qatari Diar spokeswoman. "[The developer] is taking advantage of the opportunity to review and respond to the context of the prevailing economic environment in preparing for the next stage of the development."

Qatar's wariness also stems from its reluctance to cause further controversy in the UK, the Guardian understands. Qatar's purchase of the site in the oligarchs' playgrounds of Belgravia and Chelsea was made for geopolitical gain as well diversifying its wealth – Qatar has said it is part of a strategy of using property investments to "redefine Qatar" and "create a sphere of influence in London".

But when Qatar published its original designs by the modernist architect Richard Rogers in 2009, Prince Charles personally wrote to the prime minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, complaining the scheme was a "gigantic experiment with the very soul of this city" carried out by "brutalists". He urged Qatar instead to "bequeath a unique and enduring legacy to London" and the letter was published as part of a bruising high court battle that was uncomfortably high profile for the secretive emirate.

Rogers was fired and the prince's architectural advisers were appointed to help draw up a brief to select a more traditional design, which royal aides have endorsed. With the replacement designs remaining controversial and Qatar counting Britain as an important ally in the politically and militarily volatile Gulf, Doha does not want to cause further problems with powerful neighbours, the Qatari source said.

The decision to put the scheme on hold is seen as so sensitive that it has not been communicated to key consultants on the project. Architects commissioned to draw up the masterplan, including the designers of the Royal Opera House, Dixon Jones, have not received instructions for over a year and Westminster city council, which granted planning consent in the summer of 2011, has been kept in the dark.

Local and national politicians had hoped the development would help alleviate London's acute shortage of affordable housing. When the site was being sold by the MoD, the then communities minister, Lady Andrews, said affordable housing units would contribute to solving "the enormous housing stresses in London". If the scheme were to be built, the Qataris would also be due to contribute £78m to Westminster city council's housing fund.

This week the site was desolate. Instead of bustling construction, buddleia sprouted from concrete and guard dogs prowled behind barbed wire-topped hoardings. "I'm not sure anyone outside the Gulf knows [what's going on]," said a consultant working on the scheme. "When I ask the guys from Qatari Diar [in London], they just shrug their shoulders. It received outline consent in late 2011 and some work was done moving things forward with detailed designs. Those designs were sent to Doha and that was it. They paid about £1bn for the site and maybe that was just pin money to them. It doesn't make sense to me. I look at what is on offer at Chelsea and I think people would snap it up."

A source who was until recently working on the project said: "It's odd they're not doing anything because the residential markets are really rolling right now." Located in what estate agents call the "super-prime" SW1 postcode area of west London, many of the flats would sell for more than £10m, a price bracket that has seen a 40% rise in prices from the market upturn in March 2009 to June 2012, according to data from the estate agents Knight Frank. The number of sales in SW1 rose by 29% between 2011 and 2012.

The Chelsea Barracks site is in a very wealthy area that has been largely insulated from economic decline. Luxury cars such as Ferraris with Swiss number plates cruise past exclusive furniture boutiques such as Linley, which is owned by the Queen's nephew, and Michelin-starred restaurants. In the last two years a third of properties sold in the SW1 area were purchased by British citizens, while 34% were bought by people from Russia, former Soviet republics and the Middle East.

The lack of activity has been a mixed blessing for local opponents of the project, with some delighted that there is no building happening and others concerned at the uncertainty. "We're selling London out to the Qataris and they're not coming up with the goods," said Georgina Thorburn, chairwoman of the Chelsea Barracks Action Group, a local group opposed to the development. "A lot of local people have been very stressed out by this project, particularly the older residents, who worry about the impact on their lives. I'm not talking about the rich, but people who have been in the area a long time. They're the ones who want news."
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Old January 29th, 2013, 12:30 AM   #1259
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I wouldn't worry. As soon as the affordable housing requirement law is dropped in the next couple of months I expect everyone will be all hands to the pump to sprinkle London in Gucci Ghettos.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #1260
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Charles' reference to 'brutalists' is absurd, and for the 'unique and enduring legacy' I reckon we can expect mediocre pastiche.
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