£621,000 is price for a flat in Croydon’s Poor Doors scheme

Inside Croydon was banned from yesterday’s “pre-launch” of Vita, the yuppie flats development with Poor Doors being built in Ruskin Square.

The Vita residential launch for Ruskin Square, staged in AMP House yesterday. PLaces for People banned Inside Croydon from attending

The Vita residential “pre-launch” for Ruskin Square, staged in AMP House yesterday. Places for People banned Inside Croydon from attending

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.

What the developers of Vita on Ruskin Square have failed to appreciate is that John Ruskin would have had nothing to do with the hypocrisy, greed and social division created by their development

What the developers of Vita have failed to appreciate is that John Ruskin would have had nothing to do with the hypocrisy, greed and social division they propose

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.

A potential buyer examines the Vita models: "And what's this secondary entrance for here?" she seems to be asking

A potential buyer examines the Vita models: “And what’s this secondary entrance for here?” she seems to be asking

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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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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6 Responses to £621,000 is price for a flat in Croydon’s Poor Doors scheme

  1. We need to explode the myth that any of these properties are for people on average incomes.

    Even the ‘affordable’ ones accessed from your ‘Poor Doors’ entrances will be sellling for about £480,000 (80 per cent of the market price of around £600,000). I suppose you might be able to buy 50 per cent of an ‘affordable’ home in a co-ownership deal, but it would still be a financial stretch. Don’t become sick, or have an accident, or lose your job; the arrears will soon mount up.

    So now we know the cost of buying a home in central Croydon, the question for Alison Butler and her Labour councillor colleagues remains: what are you going to do about the provision of housing for hard-working people on average incomes?

  2. Rod Davies says:

    On the premise that a mortgage limit used to be 3 times combined annual salary, it would require an income of some £207,000 p.a. to afford one of the average 2 bed units. Even Croydon’s CEO might struggle to afford one.

    No wonder the elite, that these must be marketed to, don’t want poor people sharing the same front door! If your annual income is 5 times the likely combined income of the average Croydon household you hardly want to associate with them.

    It would be like Harrods being forced to share their premises with Primark.

    And may one ask what will the monthly rents be for the social / affordable housing units?

    • As we reported earlier in the week, there’s to be 36 “affordable” properties in the development – some of them rented, others shared ownership.

      The £621,000 flat is not the average price in the development, but the highest priced flat in those listed at yesterday’s event. Nor would it be offered to anyone seeking an “affordable” home.

      There were one-bedroom flats lists at £288,000 and £292,000. But as you and David Callam have noted in his comment, if someone wanted to buy one of these with a mortgage, they would need £29,000 as a deposit and a combined annual salary of the order of £85,000.

      These cheaper and smaller – 532 sq ft – properties set the bar for a notional sale price for “affordable” flats in the development at around £232,000.

  3. Peter Rogers says:

    I want to buy one of those lovely flats, I hope I live to be 291 (and still don’t have to walk in the poor door)

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