This post was first published by My London on 28/01/2020.
Calls have been made for a public inquiry into the workings of the Croydon Council-owned developer Brick by Brick.
At a full council meeting last night (Monday, January 27) the Croydon Conservatives revealed that they have written to the secretary of state for housing communities and local government, Robert Jenrick.
Brick by Brick was set up by the council back in 2015 with the aim of building affordable and social homes in Croydon.
But some, including the borough’s Conservative group think that the company should have delivered more than three council homes for social rent after it’s been running for nearly three years.
At the meeting Councillor Lynne Hale said: “I am not the only one in the borough to find the Brick by Brick situation very, very worrying.
“It’s had £260 million since 2015, it’s built just three one-bedroom council homes, it’s struggling to sell £600,000 homes and it’s been sold some of our lovely green spaces for £1.
“It is causing great distress to thousands of residents who can’t understand why you give environmental promises in one breath and pass schemes to chop down trees and concrete over green lungs of our borough in the next.
She added that the group has asked the secretary of state to investigate what she described as ‘mismanagement’ and ‘incompetence’.
As part of its deal with the council, Brick by Brick did buy five key green spaces for just £1. These were land south west of Station Road, land to east of Montpelier Road and Kingsdown Avenue, land behind 89-157 Regina Road, a garage block behind 38-40 Thornloe Gardens, and land west of 83,85 and 113 Hermitage Road.
The developer has however built many other homes for private sale/rent and affordable rent and shared ownership.
Currently the developer has built 57 flats for private sale in Aukland Rise Upper Norwood (some are shared ownership), 15 at Beulah Corner also in Upper Norwood, two houses and seven flats at Faithful Court in Upper Norwood and 27 shared ownership flats at Flora Court in Thornton Heath.
Earlier this month the council cabinet approved buying the 21 one-bedroom and three two-bedroom homes at Longheath Gardens in Addiscombe that have been built by the council-owned developer.
But cabinet member for homes, Councillor Alison Butler hit back, accusing Cllr Hale of ‘exaggerations and untruths’ and said that Brick by Brick is on target, delivering homes to people on the waiting list and returning a profit for the council’s frontline services.
“There is a huge housing need we continue to have about 2,000 families in temporary accommodation and I am sure everyone agrees that’s simply not acceptable,” said Cllr Butler.
“Brick by Brick is very mindful about where they are building them they replace trees and look at improving the space they are building on and we’ve got some very grateful people in this borough thankful for homes that wouldn’t be built otherwise.”
In 2020 the company is looking to submit planning applications to create 600 new homes across the borough on sites including garages, car parks and green spaces.
Original Article Link: https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-tories-demand-review-brick-17647552