Thursday, 16 January 2014

Last chance public meeting at Beethoven Centre - with videos

Great meeting tonight, great turn out and some really good points made - mostly over the removal of a much needed community leisure facility, the sales of luxury property most likely to offshore investors who will not live in it and an apparent lack of financial transparency by the developers and council.

The amazing deal that the council has offered the community might not in fact be all it seems.

Three people from Willmott Dixon (incl an architect), Richard Barker, Claragh Mulhern (Planning), Patricia McAllister (chairing), Guthrie Mckie, Karen Buck; joined by Paul Dimoldenberg, Murad Qureshi.
V hard not to rant!  But mostly avoided.  Very good points/questions made.  Cllr Ruth Bush attended and took notes, so will post here as soon as available.

The stand out moment was when someone said if the cost of the new sports facilities was at most £19 million, and the hundred plus (the figure of how many flats/houses total) new homes starting from £500 000, added up to £120million sale value - even with the cost of building the properties, that still left many millions of pounds unaccounted for - so what profit were Willmott Dixon expecting to make?  

This was followed up by Paul Dimoldenberg brilliantly pressing Willmot Dixon/Richard Barker to be transparent and open about the accounting on the project.  "If there's nothing to hide, just be open with us (especially as this is public ground that's being sold) and tell us the figures".   

No response but all looked uncomfortable.  

Someone else who was v dynamic was asking for people to join him in some demonstrating action (not sure who he was, but trying to find out).

Sorry that is a very sparse account, but don't want to misrepresent what people said.  More to follow when hear from Ruth!

And a few video clips - sorry about the audio, must have had hand over the microphone!

Leader of the local Labour party outlining his concern over 'the elephant the room', the fact that the developers Willmot Dixon and Westminster Council are not sharing the financial calculations behind the project, particularly how much money they will be making form the deal. As someone pointed out, the project could raise over £100m in property sales, yet the news sports centres and buildings are only costing £30m.

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