By Jon Davies -Candidate for Labour in Princes Ward council elections. May 2018
I was delivering leaflets (our mini-manifesto) on Sunday bringing the Lambeth Labour message to my neighbours and much wanted exercise to my body when I spotted this scene on Vauxhall Street:
How did that happen all of a sudden? It felt like the last time I looked this nice old building was still there (thanks to Google Street view it still is).
OK so it’s not Buckingham Palace but it wasn’t bad to look at – I wonder if it was an old pub at one time – really can’t remember. Anyone know?
Anyway while pushing the leaflets through the letterboxes and feeding at least half a dozen dogs in the process, I got to wondering two things:
a. What a ‘Boutique Apartment’ as advertised actually is and
b. What is in it for local residents?
There may be some positives,
- New homes with modern design and facilities.
- More people to keep the shops, schools, pubs and local groups going.
- The area is not becoming an American style inner-city office wasteland.
But negatives/worries as well
Would either of my sons or anyone local be able to afford a ’boutique apartment ‘ ? I tried to find out (the block has its own website) no prices yet but this is how its is described:
Located in the heart of Vauxhall, this new six storey block will provide contemporary one, two and three bedroom properties, each with a private balcony or terrace. The focal point of the development will be the communal roof garden, spanning 2583 sq ft and comprising distinctive areas for different activities, with a mixture of soft landscaping and seating.
Will these new residents actually do more than order take-aways to eat on their private balcony enjoying sunset over Dolland House and have their shopping delivered by Ocado? Will they actually be part of our community? I hope so.
We’ve seem the hundreds of empty apartments up on the riverside perhaps these will also be bought as an investment? I hope not!
But the pressure on our area is intense and as we proved over the plans for Graphite Square we, as the local Labour Party, are there to support local residents.
What do you think?