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to think that this has no place in this country

(191 Posts)
brizzlemint Tue 26-Mar-19 03:42:57

www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/mar/25/too-poor-to-play-children-in-social-housing-blocked-from-communal-playground

At least one multimillion-pound housing development in London is segregating the children of less well-off tenants from those of wealthier homebuyers by blocking them from some communal play areas.

Guardian Cities has discovered that developer Henley Homes has blocked social housing residents from using shared play spaces at its Baylis Old School complex on Lollard Street, south London. The development was required to include a mix of “affordable” and social rental units in order to gain planning permission.

Tinkerbell456 Tue 26-Mar-19 04:24:40

Bloody hell! I’m amazed that they’re allowed to do that. As if the ‘social housing’ kids don’t feel inferior enough, eh. Maybe being less than wealthy is contagious?

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 26-Mar-19 04:44:36

Wow disgusting it’s a play area ffs. As for the swimming pool / gym example at the bottom of the article, it could be pay per use for the non service charge payers.

Coyoacan Tue 26-Mar-19 04:55:34

It is totally crap and how did they manage to change their plans once they'd been given approval?

Monty27 Tue 26-Mar-19 04:59:23

Wtaf? Which part of South London? angry

Monty27 Tue 26-Mar-19 05:00:48

Sorry I don't do links as I'm cookies out iyswim.

Tinkerbell456 Tue 26-Mar-19 05:02:43

I imagine that the kids would all be mates and want to play together surely?

axil Tue 26-Mar-19 06:04:17

Saw this yesterday and appalled.

Interesting to know if the wealthy residents are appalled..appalled enough to try and change it. Or whether they think they worked hard for their money (nobody else works hard, of course), they paid more for their homes and so why shouldn't their children have more facilities.

Ironically the rich kids will probably never be in it because they'll be having tennis, music, drama, pottery and whatever other classes are available after school.

BillywilliamV Tue 26-Mar-19 06:08:49

is it a physical block, do you need a pass key? I would be in there everyday with my kids and all my friends’ kids.

sailorsdelight Tue 26-Mar-19 06:10:11

That is truly awful. How does that benefit any of those children?

SoftBlocks Tue 26-Mar-19 06:11:21

Appalling.

Monty27 Tue 26-Mar-19 06:12:41

We're all in it together angry

namechange34 Tue 26-Mar-19 06:13:04

The last block of flats I lived in was the opposite - the kids playground was in the social housing part of the block. Social housing tenants weren't allowed to use the gym in the main building though l.

BogstandardBelle Tue 26-Mar-19 06:39:15

As I understand, large and impassable hedges have been installed to block access from the social housing part. There is a small non-grassed strip with some play equipment adjacent to the sh block.

It’s really interesting to read the explanations from the various parties involved.

The council either couldn’t or wouldn’t block the changes (is suspect the former). The provision of the small play area meets the planning requirements for the development so all the boxes have been ticked.

The owners of the private housing pay a service fee to maintain the communal areas, including the “nice” park. The social housing tenants do not pay this charge.

The housing association that manages the social housing has no power over anywhere other than the property contained within their area - they can’t control access to adjacent privately owned land.

In effect, the two developments (private vs social housing) are now completely separate units, each with their own level of services, facilities and rules.

In effect, it’s no difference to better-off people being able to shop in Boden rather than Primark: you get what you pay for.

If we don’t want this to happen, then we need to stop relying on commercial development companies to provide social / affordable housing. They are always going to operate on this basis: big money, high level facilities etc for better off private buyers, and minimal outlay in the social housing that they are forced to include in these developments.

anniehm Tue 26-Mar-19 06:42:33

If you read the article there is actually a reasonable explanation - the owner occupiers pay a hefty monthly charge for all the facilities that social tenants don't pay. I must admit I would be very aggrieved if I was being charged £100 or whatever it is to maintain the facilities only to find out 20% of the residents got them for free. (Not that I would ever live on a new development I don't want to live on top of other people!) The answer is everyone pays charge and everyone gets use the communal facilities or they work out a different way of building social housing so we don't get these issues.

Noeuf Tue 26-Mar-19 06:44:06

I agree with bigstandardbelle - having hives off the development and introduced a fairly standard ground rent for the private tenants I think this was inevitable.

Bezalelle Tue 26-Mar-19 07:37:55

"I would be very aggrieved if I was being charged £100 or whatever it is to maintain the facilities only to find out 20% of the residents got them for free"

Isn't this a tenet of a civilised and people-centric society, though?

BarbarianMum Tue 26-Mar-19 07:55:04

Perhaps a better solution would be for the council to levy a section 106 charge on the developer and use the money to provide a public playspace? But then they'd have to maintain it and I guess that's not a priority.

axil Tue 26-Mar-19 07:57:33

I would rather pay £100 per month that others can't if it meant no children having to watch other kids playing without being allowed to join in because they're "too poor".

Agree pool/gym could be pay per use. It's just the actual playground that kids can't get on that should be fairer.

FamilyOfAliens Tue 26-Mar-19 07:58:58

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if all the children made friends and played together in the smaller play area?

We can dream I suppose.

malificent7 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:02:01

I dont understand why anyone should have to pay for a play ground ffs. Awful.

sailorsdelight Tue 26-Mar-19 08:02:21

I pay tax, a lot of it because i’m A high earner. I understand that other people pay less tax, and some people pay no tax at all. But I don’t think that the children of people who earn less should have less access to public education than my kids, or that they should receive less access to the NHS.
My salary already gives my children advantages over the children of nurses or bus drivers or people who aren’t working.
And I sure as hell would not want children where I live to be allowed less access to outdoor spaces because I ‘pay’ more towards them.
It’s absolutely disgraceful.

moosesormeece Tue 26-Mar-19 08:07:14

Isn't this a tenet of a civilised and people-centric society, though

Yes, yes it is Bezalelle

This is appalling. Are they going to start segregating the playground at the local primary school based on whose parents can afford to donate money as well?

BarbarianMum Tue 26-Mar-19 08:12:59

I dont understand why anyone should have to pay for a playground

Because they dont spring up fully formed from the ground and need a good deal of maintenance?

Margot33 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:14:50

How are they going to stop certain kids from using the park?!

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