London Olympics 2 Years To Go: A vision for housing

The always excellent Guardian correspondent Dave Hill has today – which in case you had not noticed marks two years to the day until the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics – dug out an interesting interview.

The Olympic Legacy set-up under Baroness Ford has been doing some solid work in its first year – not least in binning the ludicrous concept of effectively dismantling the main stadium after the Games.

By definition, there’s little concrete that the Legacy company can do until after the Games except plan.

In this interview, taken from Estates Gazette, they outline a vision for up to 10,000 family homes which ought to demonstrate to the likes of Croydon Council how properly to spend hundreds of millions of pounds of public cash, rather than on “prestige” projects like unnecessary new Town Halls.

“The overwhelming feedback from pretty much everyone was we want to see a greater accent on family housing, as that is plainly the part of the housing mix that is most needed in east London,” says Ford.

Read more and follow the links through to: 2012 Olympics: Baroness Ford and Andrew Altman on creating ‘a great London estate’ in the park | UK news | guardian.co.uk.

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2 Responses to London Olympics 2 Years To Go: A vision for housing

  1. chaseddy says:

    The council in Croydon is trying to bring 600 private sector homes back into use and plans to build 65 new family homes this year. If you multiply 665 by the amount of London boroughs (30) you would get 19,950, so some might say Croydon Council was already doing more than its fair share for housing.

  2. On a couple of factual issues, chaseddy (and by the way, we don’t usually allow anonymous posters on this site – so you might want to sign in with your real name next time):

    1, There are 32 boroughs in London, plus the City of London.

    2, The 10,000 new family homes in the Olympic Park are not initially being provided by any borough (and they may not ever be part of any council’s housing stock), although by any measure, 10,000 over three or four years is considerably more than 65 in one year.

    But this is not about numbers, it is also about quality of housing. If you read the Estates Gazette interview that this item links to, it makes various points, including:

    *that the OPLC is “favouring lower-density neighbourhoods rather than tower blocks”;

    *that “What they have aimed for… is ‘family terraced housing, great neighbourhoods, crescents and squares, parks and housing around canals and the 1.9 miles of waterways at the site – the neighbourhoods that make London a great place to live’.”

    *that London Mayor Boris Johnson is influential is steering OPLC’s plans towards a mixed housing plan “the idea that expensive neighbourhoods can sit cheek by jowl with affordable neighbourhoods”.

    *it states, “As such, they plan to package up small housing sites for around 200-300 homes and sell them to a diverse selection of developers and housebuilders.”

    *And “Ford and Altman propose to use part of the Olympic Park site as a kind of test bed for these non-profit-making property trusts, popular in the US and Scandinavia, which are owned in perpetuity by the local community so that they can rent out housing at affordable prices.”

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