Friday, 20 June 2014

South Kilburn a yuppie dreamland 'Manhattan style'?


Queens Park Place from Londonewcastle on Vimeo.


Estate agents are well known for renaming neighbourhoods to make them more socially acceptable - Shepherd's Bush as Holland Park West springs to mind.

Now a corner of South Kilburn, the wrong 'side of the tracks' from Queen's Park is being marketed as Queen's Park Place:
Queen’s Park, an urban village in North West London, is one of the capital’s better-kept secrets. Looking at its amenities and ambiance, it’s no surprise local residents like to keep the place to themselves. Just 7 minutes to Paddington and 15 minutes to Oxford Circus by direct Underground line, the area has a bustling High Street and an historic 30-acre park named in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The vibrant community spirit is evident in the eclectic shops, park, gastropubs, restaurants and especially in the weekly farmers’ market, voted the best in the UK.

Now, the secret’s out, as a new residential development is putting Queen’s Park on the map. Just a minute’s walk from the local Underground and Overground station, Queen’s Park Place is a collection of 116 contemporary apartments and penthouses designed for metropolitan living in a Manhattan style. With private balconies or roof terraces overlooking private courtyard gardens, secure underground parking and an impressive lobby with 24-hour hotel-style Concierge services, the development sets new standards in contemporary design and quality.


Beneath the super-sell is the reality of the gradual gentrification of London. The removal of poor people as developers build for the rich, especially overseas investors,  property prices and rents rise, and housing becomes increasingly unaffordable.

Just look at the video and see if it reflects the reality of Brent.


29 comments:

  1. This is yet another example of the 'social engineering policy' of Brent Council. The 'hidden' agenda that has been prevalent for several years.

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  2. Counciil homes are demolished and only 40percent of new homes built will be social/affordable Housing.
    I wonder How many council homes are being demolished to build 800 homes brent labour have promised to build in the next few years

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  3. Council homes demolished for only 40 percent of new builds.
    How many councils will be demolished to achieve the 800 new homes promised by brent labour?

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  4. Spot the difference - here's the sell for Woodberry Down in Hackney: 'Woodberry Down is a new luxury development in North London, located on the banks of the New River and West and East Reservoir overlooking more than 42 acres of tranquil open water. New phase Skyline coming soon'

    http://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/new-homes/london/finsbury-park/woodberry-down

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  5. 'Before Woodberry Down began its metamorphosis into Woodberry Park, it had 1,555 social rented homes: 78.5% of the entire estate. By the time it finishes, it will have only 1,088 socially rented homes. That is a huge drop in a borough that already has more than 15,000 applicants on its housing waiting list – many with a family. True, there will be another 1,177 “affordable” homes – although many leaseholders on the estate told us they couldn’t afford them. Nearly 60% of the overhauled site will be private homes' - a lengthy but worthwhile read on Hackney's Woodberry Down Estate, including interviews with local residents

    klou.tt/1m6v597wo5wdv.

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  6. Sadly for you lot, we dont live in a Communist Utopia. London has grown to become the most desirable city in the world in terms of property and as a result, prices have risen and will continue to rise. When cities are invested in, previously poor areas are gentrified, Shoreditch and Hackney being relevant examples, and i somehow doubt you bemoan gentrification as you sip your boutique coffees in Hoxton square in the midst of a violent crime rate that has halved in the last two decades. Stop complaining about an unavoidable and welcome improvement to an area and go do something meaningful, like hugging a tree, at least until the proletariat rises as Lenin predicted, after that everyone's houses will be just as crap as yours.

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    Replies
    1. LOL. Poor you. Unable to think for yourself

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    2. Posted by a developer, or a developer's stooge?

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    3. Im neither Im afraid, just a Londoner (although i split my time between the London house and the oxfordshire one) whos revelling in watching his city become more affluent, safer and less shit looking in general.

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  7. Ah, 'Communist Utopia - that old red (!) herring. And always the sneering suggestion of envy/champagne socialists/tree huggers. Get a life, 13.38.

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    Replies
    1. I actually do have a life. My life includes 4 holidays a year and a great big house in Primrose hill. I like my life.

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  8. Posted by a developer, or a developer's stooge?

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  9. FYI 13.38 above - letter in today's Guardian (I await your condemnation of those who read the paper) from the London Borough of Haringey's former architect, John Murray

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/23/khrushchev-flats-housing-for-all

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  10. Brent and Islington amongst 14 local authorities without a single 'affordable' home for sale according to report in yesterday's Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/houseprices/10924235/Only-86-homes-for-sale-in-London-are-affordable-report-finds.html

    Wonder what Anonymous 13.38 above makes of that - or will s/he now accuse the Torygraph of being a Leninist rag?

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    1. Over 20 affordable flats are being built as part of the Queens park development. Do you feel better? Now wipe those tears and go kick a beanbag around or protest against something or whatever it is that you chaps occupy your time with

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    2. Hello again chaps, just had a chat with a developer friend of mine and he told me something rather interesting. This scheme is providing over 20 affordable apartments to the kind people of Queens park. the previous building provided precisely zero,
      what this essentially means is that this article and the all the comments (with the exception of my pragmatic, bordering on genius input) are essentially a bunch of morons complaining about a change to an area that is positive from literally every angle. Consider yourselves vanquished treehuggers, now back to the pit that spawned you.

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  11. Dear anonymous, you may well be the owner of 2 houses and a friend of developers, but you obviously have no knowledge of the area you claim to be writing about. Regeneration of South Kilburn was sold to residents (of which I am one) on the understanding that it would lead to better housing for us. In fact, it has led to former residents having to move out of the area because they cannot afford the new housing. Instead we have housing built for sale on the far East market for investment. In my humble view housing should be just that, not a commodity. Believe it or not, some of us liked the neighbourhood. Regeneration is changing it beyond recognition and "social cleansing" is a kind description of what is taking place. As for you comment about 20 "affordable" apartments, there are so many problems with this statement it is difficult to know where to start. Firstly, what is your definition of "affordable"? Is it Boris Johnson's one of 85% of market rent? In which case, of course, it is way above what most residents of South Kilburn can afford. Further, the fact that on that one site 20 affordable units (even if they should be affordable) are being built does not answer the issue of the overall development, where there are less social housing units than previously - as I said above, resulting in former residents having to leave London. Maybe you'd also like to defend the developers who have treated existing residents with contempt through the whole process?

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    1. I dont for a moment expect to find much support from this kind of forum, I suppose the fact that I spent significant time in catastrophically poor nations has hardened me to this type of issue somewhat, the housing market in this area has become popular and so prices have risen and those incapable of affording them are being forced to other, cheaper areas. Not many countries have a safety net for these people like ours does, not a single person will become homeless as a result of this building and not a single person will die. Therefore, i propose you put your humanitarian caps to one side and accept this development as an element of a process happening all over London, that cant be stopped and benefits some and affects some negatively. Its the course of things and frankly theres a lot worse going on, both domestically and abroad

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    2. It is nice for you to suggest we all be gracious, as we are not living in a poor country. However London and UK is developing along the lines of a poor country. That is poor countries are only poor because the top 1% own all the wealth and plunder it. UK is going the same way if we do not put a stop to it.

      If wages more than doubled there would be little need for affordable housing as more people could afford a home. Plus if it were illegal to own multiple houses and rent them out, homes would not be used as a substitute for hard work.

      That is the truth of the matter

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    3. your opinions are so utterly polarized to mine that theres really no convincing either of us. I suppose i'll just have to retire from the debate in the knowledge that the situation itself is very much in favour of those with my opinion. I wish you chaps all the best of luck in keeping Queens Park poor and saving the Amazonian tree sloth or whatever else it is you do.

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    4. I fail to see why the council should provide anyone but the most destitute with any housing subsidy at all. Go to Harelsen, go to Crickelwood, look at Kilburn high road. This is what public housing does to areas. It ruins them. Previously vibrant mixed communities turned into sink holes of poverty. We need less public housing, not more. The problem comes when getting a house means convincing the government you are poor enough - thats when the spiral down took off. All housing is affordable - to someone. Those someones becuase the locals of the future and those that can't afford it, locals somewhere else.

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    5. Err, that's an odd comment. If everyone's wages doubled, all the houses would double in price and those at the bottom still could not afford them. That's how inflation works, I'm afraid

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    6. It is now how inflation actually works.

      It is only your assumption that by doubling wages would result in a doubling of house prices.

      Your assumption is not valid as why have house prices risen dramatically in the past few years, but wages for most have stayed stagnant ?

      We have to rethink economic theories and is why I intend to progress to PhD.

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    7. to the anonymous chap who said I was 'on the wrong side of history', you are assuming that my claim that the situation was in my favour has nothing whatsoever to do with popular opinion, property prices will continue to rise and London will continue to become a more affluent city no matter how many strongly worded blogs you churn out.

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  12. It seems that our smug self-satisfied dual-property owning commentator might just be on the wrong side of history: "'Half want house prices to fall': poll reveals major shift in London housing market" http://bit.ly/1pDDUi1

    Social apartheid isn't a good idea.

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  13. Another Mahattan, this time in the east - tonight's Evening Standard:

    How Islington is recasting itself as a ‘mini-Manhattan’ http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/blue-sky-building-how-islington-is-recasting-itself-as-a-minimanhattan-9562478.html

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  14. This is a much more complex issue than either of the sides of this debate suggest.
    The new development is actually in the South Kilburn Development Area. That area is gone now but money was allocated to improve South Kilburn and what actually happened seems to be that the money was completely wasted. I would really really like to know what happened to that fund and how Brent allowed the funding to just waste away..

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  15. South Kilburn Regeneration is a long term project that once complete will provide all current tenants with new homes at social rents. There's no conspiracy, it's all there in public documents. Phase 1 is already complete and tenants have been moved accross into new properties already. All the rents are set at normal social rent levels. On top of this extra housing is being built for sale. Some of this is to gain some extra income to pay for the regeneration and some is being sold on a shared ownership basis to people of lower incomes. This is a good thing and will transform the estate but also keep the community.

    The new building in this article is indeed being marketed to overseas investors and does only provide 20 'affordable' homes. Brent say this income from this building will help pay for the regeneration. Regardless of this, it is an addition to the current number of homes (there was no housing on the site it is being built on). I'm not completely comfortable with this, but surely it's much better to replace the old decrepit homes with newer buildings

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  16. The Guardian has caught up:

    "In north-west London the developers behind Queen's Park Place are more upfront about how its 28 affordable and 116 market-rate homes will co-exist – its marketing website says the external appearance will be uniform across all properties – or "tenure blind". But inside the building the two types of resident will be treated very differently: "Affordable tenants will not have use of the main private residential entrance, private courtyard gardens or basement car and cycle parking. Services including postal delivery and refuse storage are also divided."

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/25/poor-doors-segregation-london-flats

    Scott Bartle
    @MapesburyGreen

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