Inside Croydon was banned from yesterday’s “pre-launch” of Vita, the yuppie flats development with Poor Doors being built in Ruskin Square.
So these are the pictures, and the pricing details, which Places for People – who are managing the development on the site next to East Croydon Station – didn’t want you to see.
Places for People’s PR company ignored our request for an invite to the “pre-launch” and refused to answer our questions about the Apartment Apartheid they are introducing to central Croydon.
As we reported earlier this week, the scheme includes a segregated entrance for the occupants of around three dozen one- and two-bedroom “affordable” homes which are being included in the development as a condition of being granted planning permission.
But that didn’t stop Inside Croydon from accessing yesterday’s reception in AMP House, where it was announced that the developers will be putting the rest of their 161 apartments on the market at a range of prices up to £621,000.
That’s the price for two-bedroom “Type M” apartment No 2103, with 965 sq ft of space on the 21st floor… But beware: even these inflated prices are “subject to change without notice”.
London has a housing crisis, with record numbers of homeless and on council waiting lists.
But the homes being built at Ruskin Square will not be housing any homeless Londoners; they are aimed squarely at the overseas, buy-to-let market. Four properties seemed to be reserved for eager “investors” while we gate-crashed the Places for People event.
And the developers even have the audacity to flaunt a tenuous connection with John Ruskin, the influential Victorian social thinker and philanthropist who lived in Croydon. Ruskin would have had no truck for the social division promoted by Poor Doors in this “Vita” scheme, which looks set to generate around £140 million in property sales for the developers.
But what is Croydon’s Labour-run council doing to prevent developers introducing Poor Doors in their multi-million-pound scheme? Absolutely nothing.
“Unfortunately there is nothing we can do where planning consents have already been granted,” was the one-line, shrug-of-the-shoulders response from Councillor Paul Scott, chairman of the council planning committee, when asked about the Vita Poor Doors.
Hardly the sort of principled reforming zeal which a socialist like John Ruskin would have recognised.
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