Let Sadiq Khan know you object to Taylor Tower by the 17th December!


Hondo Enterprise’s 20 storey monstrosity of a tower development in the heart of Brixton has been updated - but we believe it is more of the same old mess.
Thanks to our communities fighting back, The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has decided to ‘call in’ Lambeth Council’s decision to permit Taylor Tower to go ahead. This means the final decision about the Tower will be made at a public hearing - and will be the Mayor’s alone.

The Mayor has raised serious concerns about the height of the building and the harms it would cause, but Hondo's latest offer completely disregards these concerns as well as the thousands of objections raised by local residents since 2020. The revisions to the application, which were made public in late November 2021, only touch on two aspects of the application: employment and affordable workspace. Nothing else in the plan has changed.

This document gives a few arguments you can use if you wish to in writing your objection to Taylor Tower. It has been pulled together with the efforts of community members who have donated their time and expertise to debunk Hondo’s project.

Revised plan - same old mess


Taylor Tower’s ‘revised’ scheme builds on two cornerstones. Here are the reasons why they don’t hold up:

Employment: They propose establishing a Brixton job training fund of £40K per year for 25 years and an increase in apprenticeship opportunities in the development from 26 to 39. This does nothing to enhance the economic and social benefits of Taylor Tower.
  • According to Hondo’s own figures, only 14% of jobs within the development would go to Lambeth residents, let alone to people in Brixton. Lambeth’s own policy requires 25% local jobs. Hondo admits that this target is 'unachievable' because the office workforce would likely be commuting from outside of the borough. Astonishingly, the shortfall amounts to 367 fewer local jobs than Lambeth stipulates.
  • This is clearly not a development aimed at tackling local inequality, in an area which is one of the most deprived in the borough. Hondo’s financial contributions towards Employment and Skills would do little if anything to create enough local jobs and the money is spread over a 25-year period.
  • A nominal £150,000 of the multi-million project is being promised up front and Lambeth’s admin costs would risk reducing this amount even further.
  • According to Lambeth, it costs £6,500 to help one unemployed person secure an entry level job and £26,000 to deliver an apprenticeship at level 2 and 3. So £40K per year for a Brixton job training fund would only cover the cost of training 5 local unemployed people each year or fewer than 2 apprenticeships. This is not good enough!
  • The promise to add 13 apprenticeship opportunities to the 26 already required under Lambeth policy might sound well-intentioned but it cannot be secured. Hondo say they would use 'reasonable endeavours' to encourage tenants to provide these but ultimately it will be up to the tenants in the building to decide. Construction projects such as this often involve sub-contracting specialist multinational engineering firms and they are not obliged to provide meaningful employment to locals, even if the chosen contractor was willing to offer it.
  • Hondo is not offering to increase support for unemployed people over and above the quota of 10 required by Lambeth policy.

Affordable workspace: Hondo have promised to increase the ‘affordable’ workspace in the Tower to 2090, rather than 25 years from the start of operational use.
  • Hondo’s 12.5% so-called affordable workspace in the Tower would be charged at 50% of their full market rent. As this will be a high spec, high-cost building, it would still not be affordable to small businesses in Brixton.
  • The revised plan does not increase the amount of affordable workspace or reduce the rental costs; it only increases the length of time that it is available. Modern office blocks tend to have a life span of 30 to 40 years at best. Hondo’s offer is trivial, as the building will not last until 2090. Also, Within 30 years, the maintenance costs, service charges and the affordable rent are bound to increase.

Conclusion


This development is a real, concrete threat to the heritage and culture that makes Brixton our home. The recent changes do nothing to address the height, the scale, the environmental impact, the transport implications, or the design of the Tower. There is no proven demand for costly office space in Brixton nor for conversion into more unaffordable luxury flats. Over 3 years of construction will devastate local businesses and severely disrupt the lives of thousands of residents. Read more about other harms The Tower will bring about here.
For these reasons, we urge you to click through here & object to this revised application: