The overall cost of Merton regen is projected to be up to £600m, according to Circle’s regen team.
Based on this figure we have calculated the actual cost apportioned to each estate reconstruction:
200 Ravensbury homes proposed = 10% = £60m
1250 Highpath homes = 61% = £366m
600 Eastfields homes = 29% = £174m
Total = 2050 homes (subject to change till planning application is made) = £600m
Therefore £60m / 200 homes = £300k per home budget development costing.
[Actual average cost to build a house is nearer £50k to £75k, with profit margins of 200% to 300%. This is the cost to the contractor, rather than to the client. Approximate build cost is £150/sq foot or £1000-£1500/m2]
Based on these calculations, each vote in the demolition zone on Ravensbury (the area considered most influential to Circle in their survey) was worth between £600k and £1m. [£60m cost for proposed homes as above / 100 homes voting, or £100m budget proportionate to existing homes/100 homes voting]
Was Merton Council possibly obliged to allow Circle Housing to extract the maximum value of land from Ravensbury in order for Circle to maintain its operating surplus (profit)? After they handed over Merton’s housing stock for a mooted £1m, this seems like money for old rope.
Despite this possibility, our councillors and MP have been extraordinarily scarce throughout this consultation and seem at no stage to properly scrutinise the running of it or the proper planning of it. When large expanses of true brownfield land exist only minutes away, this shows just how little proper strategy Merton Council really have and how their promises to scrutinise the process have been paper thin.
Those appointed to run Merton Council have seemed very happy throughout this consultation, shaking hands with great warmth with the housing association regen team, and will no doubt be queuing for photo opportunities in 2016 after planning has been submitted.
Ravensbury Residents Association RRA