One of the undisputable upsides to regeneration is the number of ‘new’ community facilities like the ‘new’ library at Canada Water and ‘new’ leisure centre at Elephant and Castle. However, what is easily forgotten is that old libraries and leisure centres were demolished and sold off to make way for the new ones.

Former Rotherhithe library & civic centre (left), former E&C leisure centre (right)

What is also forgotten is the cost of these new facilities and who pays for them. Southwark likes to claim that the new facilities are funded by financial contributions from developers, but the reality is that this funding represents just a fraction of the cost of the new facilities. The ‘Castle’ leisure centre at the Elephant cost nearly £30m to build, towards which regeneration partner Lend Lease is contributing just £3.5m - in fact the Council agreed this payment in-lieu of Lend Lease’s ‘One the Elephant’ development providing any affordable housing. The new Canada Water library cost £14m to build which was entirely Council funded - no contribution from developers whatsoever.

The new library and health centre to be built on the redeveloped Aylesbury estate are direct replacements for the existing medical centre which is being demolished and the East St library and Wells Way library which are being closed. Furthermore, the new library and health centre is being entirely funded by Southwark Council. Its development partners Notting Hill and Barratt Homes are not making any contribution towards them at all.

Aylesbury Medical Centre, East St Library, Wells Way Library, Aylesbury Learning Centre

Planning application documents show the extent of the community facilities being lost through the Aylesbury estate’s redevelopment.

Likewise, the new Camberwell library is a replacement of the one that was closed down in 2015 and has been funded exclusively by the Council.

Former Camberwell library (left), new Camberwell library (right)

Selling Southwark’s adult care services

The Council’s budget for regeneration is one of its largest outgoings. This year it is spending £23m on the Aylesbury estate regeneration alone. Meanwhile, the Council is making drastic cuts to other services and frantically selling off premises used by them.

For example, the Council has cut a staggering £39m from the current year’s budget for education and adult care services alone. Here are some of the adult services buildings that have been, or are being sold off or closed down by the Council’s current (Labour) administration:

It is not just adult services that are being subject to ‘modernisation’. Southwark has sold off both Bermondsey and Peckham Town Halls; Harper Rd Social Services Centre; Castle Day Centre; Whitstable Day Nursery; Abbey St Children’s Home; Willowbrook Community Centre and the Wansey St Homeless Hostel:

Besides selling off its community and social services facilities, the Council has been busy selling off its council estates, its Town Halls and street properties. In 2009, Southwark Council introduced a policy of selling off every council home that becomes void and is valued above £400,000. In 2011 this was reviewed by the incoming Labour administration which reduced the threshold to £300,000. Here are some of the properties sold at auction by the current (Labour) administration under this policy:

Council House Address Sold Price Date
28 Liverpool Grove SE17 2HJ unavailable 15 Feb 2016
66 & 68 Ambergate St, SE17 3RX £965k Dec 2015
8 Oakley Place, SE1 5AD £575k Nov 2015
122 Fort rd, SE1 5PT £620k Nov 2015
2A & 2B Longley St, SE1 5QQ £651k Nov 2015
56 Brayards Rd, SE15 2BQ £525k Nov 2015
47 Hollydale Rd, SE15 2TE £590k Nov 2015
6 Borland Rd, SE15 3AJ £566k Nov 2015
3 Hichisson Rd, SE15 3AN £550k Nov 2015
23 Costa St, SE15 4PE £920k Nov 2015
131 Southwark Bridge Rd, SE1 0EY £1m Jun 2015
21 Chapter Rd, SE17 3ES unavailable Feb 2015
10 Copleston Rd, SE15 4AD unavailable Sep 2014
109 Ivydale Rd, SE15 3DT £355k Apr 2014
34 Peckham Rd, SE15 8QT £550k Apr 2014
79 Grosvenor Terrace, SE5 0NN £262k Apr 2014
28 Wilson Rd, SE5 8PB £345k Dec 2013
21 & 23 Park St, SE1 9EQ £2.9m Oct 2013
109 Chatham St, SE17 1PA £486k Sep 2013
143 Copleston Rd, SE15 4AQ £563k Sep 2013
148 Lynton Rd, SE1 5RB £436k Jun 2013
20 Crofton Rd, SE5 8NB £341k Jun 2013
41 Hayles St, SE11 4SU £585k May 2013
92 Lorrimore Rd, SE17 3NA £531k May 2013
6 Hayles St, SE11 4SS £475k Feb 2013
47-51 Peckham High St, SE15 5EB unavailable Feb 2013
Badminton House, Quorn Rd, SE22 8BH £1.9m Feb 2013
10 Pellatt Rd, SE22 9JA £376k Feb 2013
52 Landcroft Rd, SE22 9LD £229k Feb 2013
11 Philip Walk, SE15 3NH £201k Feb 2013
10 Rye Hill Park, SE15 3AA £225k Dec 2012
61 Pynfolds, Jamaica Rd, SE16 4NU £210k Dec 2012
67 Graces Rd, SE5 8PF £227k Dec 2012
12 Grosvenor Park, SE5 0NQ £450k Dec 2012
194 Choumert Rd, SE15 4AB £446k May 2012
139 Copleston Rd, SE15 4AQ £226k Mar 2012
29 Oxenford St, SE15 4DF £275k Mar 2012
10 Marsden Rd, SE15 4EE £223k Dec 2011
4 Crawthew Grove, SE22 9AA £270k Dec 2011
37 Avondale Rise, SE15 4AJ £180k Sep 2011
16 Pennethorne Rd, SE15 5TQ £141k Sep 2011
92 Dawes St, SE17 2EB £150k Jul 2011
2 Henslowe Rd, SE22 0AP £220k Jul 2011
231 Lordship Lane, SE22 8JF £184k Jul 2011
61 Cobourg Rd, SE5 OHU £404k Jul 2011
241 Queen’s Rd, SE15 2NG unavailable May 2011
3 Choumert Grove, SE15 4RB £354k May 2011
16 Lanbury Rd, SE15 3DB unavailable Feb 2011
37 Kincaid Rd, SE15 5UN unavailable Feb 2011
30 Bird in Bush Rd, SE15 6RW £123k Feb 2011
126 Southwark Park Rd, SE16 3RP unavailable Feb 2011
94 Dawes St, SE17 2EB £150k Feb 2011
144 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HD £250k Feb 2011
13 Consort Rd, SE15 2PH £200k Dec 2010
10 Chadwick Rd, SE15 4RA £310k Dec 2010
10 Marmont Rd, SE15 5TE unavailable Dec 2010
180 Underhill Rd, SE22 0QH £170k Dec 2010
6 The Birches, Grove Park, SE5 8LL £750k Jun 2010
54 Naylor Rd, SE15 1QQ unavailable Sep 2010
25 Nutcroft Rd, SE15 1AG unavailable Sep 2010
12 Peckham Hill St, SE15 6BN unavailable Oct 2010
38 Peckham Hill St, SE15 6BN unavailable Oct 2010
45 Swinburne Court, SE5 8ER unavailable Oct 2010
42 Tayside Court, SE5 8HD £140k Oct 2010
153 Dunston’s Rd, SE22 OHB £200k Sep 2010
44 Darrell Rd, SE22 9NL £170k Oct 2010
141 Fort Rd, SE1 5PZ unavailable Apr 2010

The Council has not just been selling off council homes, it has also been selling off commercial and other properties it owns.

For example it owns a number of pubs in the borough. This is the Oriwu Spot pub on Champion Hill in East Dulwich, which the Council sold to developers for £170k in 2012.

Oriwu Spot pub - sold by the Council to developers in 2012 for redevelopment

This is the Uxbridge arms on the Rockingham estate at Elephant & Castle. It was sold by the Council to developers in 2013 for just £400k. It is currently being demolished

Uxbridge Arms on Rockingham estate - sold by the Council to developers

This is what will replace the Uxbridge Arms - 100% private housing. Not one of the new homes in this 6-storey block will be in any way affordable.

Development replacing the Uxbridge Arms - 100% private market housing

The Council has also sold off the Royal Standard pub on Harper Road and given planning consent for its redevelopment as private residential flats.

Royal Standard Pub on Harper Road

This is the former Harper rd childrens services office, which the Council has sold off to developers:

This is Council owned-land on Ilderton road (formerly leased) which it is selling off to developers:

This is 48 Willowbrook road which the Council is planning to sell at auction in summer 2016.