Exactly how much has Camden raised through sale of public assets and abuse of the planning system? How much is Camden earning from south of Euston Road, and how much are we getting back?
We will examine three sources of income:
- Sale of public assets.
- Section 106 payments.
- Community Infrastructure Levy payments.
A public asset is anything which is owned by the local authority, which holds the asset for the public. Examples might include the Town Hall, or Russell Square. Many of these have been sold off in recent years.
We will examine the funds raised throughout Camden, and see how much have come from south of Euston Road.
Before beginning, it is worth examining how south of Euston Road compares to Camden in general terms.
Camden’s total population in 2001 was 198,020 whilst the population south of Euston Road was 31,279.
Residents south of Euston Road account for a total of about 16% of all of Camden. Whilst these statistics are from almost 20 years ago, there is no reason to believe the population percentage of south of Euston Road has increased – if anything it is likely to have dropped due to gentrification and the conversion of homes into Airbnb properties.
In terms of geographical area, south of Euston Road accounts for 13% of Camden.
We can thus put ‘South of Euston Road’ as accounting for about 15% of Camden, in general terms.
We will see that the income generated from assets south of Euston Road is far disproportionate to these figures.
Much of the data below begins from about 2014. This roughly coincides with when the Community Investment Program began to get out of control. We can ask about what happened before that time, but it is not altogether relevant to the Community Investment Program.
Sale of Public Assets
We are seeking updated information – this information is currently informed by an old FOI request, which can be found by searching FOI11732 here.
Between 1st April 2014 and 29th August 2018, Camden sold the following assets with associated income, with bold indicating south of Euston Road.
|1-7 Hargrave Place||955,000|
|20 Vicars Road||31,000|
|Rear of 1A Lithos Road||318,000|
|1 & 3 Southampton Road||1,530,000|
|Lawn Road Workshops and Car Park||11,176,908|
|11 Southampton Road||857,248|
|2 Gayton Crescent||1,2020,500|
|79 Camden Road||18,919,101|
|6 Torbay Street||625,000|
|Town Hall Extension||59,981,051|
|43 Carol Street||2,493,750|
|4A Countess Road||96,249|
|Saffron Hill Car Park||13,000,000|
|James Hartnoll Estate||6,000,000|
|101 & 102 Camley Street||3,450,000|
|3 Talacre Road||659,000|
|25-37 Parker Street||24,000,000|
|68 Chester Road||360,000|
|27 West End Lane||95,000|
|24A Heath Street||800,000|
|84 West Heath Road||10,800,000|
|Drill Hall Chenies Street||3,430,000|
|156 West End Lane||22,668,580|
The total for all of Camden is: £278,015,489.
The total for south of Euston Road is: £105,331,444.
Residents of Bidborough Street should be the richest in Camden, with sales of property on that road amounting to £88,901,444.
In short, about £280M has been raised from the sale of public assets (not including the past two years) and £100M has come from south of Euston Road. About £90M has been raised from the Bloomsbury area.
38% of public asset sale funds have come from south of Euston Road.
Section 106 Payments
Section 106 payments are payments made to get a planning applications across the line. Whilst they are meant to be spent on harm caused by a development, this does not happen.
Annual reports can be found here.
|Year||Payment Total (£)||South of Euston Road (£)||Percentage|
|2019/20 (thus far)||6,000,496.56||2,685,942.57||45%|
*Due to a gap in records for 2017/18 which we are seeking to fill, this value has been interpolated from neighbouring years.
Camden have raised a grand total of £116M from Section 106 agreements since 2012, with £69M coming from south of the Euston Road.
59% of Section 106 funds have come from south of Euston Road, although discounting early years brings that figure to 67%.
Community Infrastructure Levy
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments work in much the same way to Section 106, although whereas Section 106 payments are variable, CIL payments are a fixed tax (levy) per square footage of the development floor space. It is supposed to be ring-fenced to be spent on infrastructure for the local community, as the name suggests.
|Year||Income (£)||South of Euston Road (£)||Percentage|
|2019/20 (thus far)||11,277,710.39||384,508.56||3%|
So Camden have raised a total of about £48M through the CIL, with about £14M coming from south of Euston Road. This amounts for 29% of CIL income.
The huge variation in percentage between years is interesting. It reflects the fact that CIL can only grow with floorspace, whereas Section 106 payments can grow with ‘negotiation’. This means that CIL income grows significantly only for monstrous developments. For example, 2019/20 income is significantly skewed to North Camden due to the infamous 100 Avenue Road development, whose CIL payment was paid this year at a sum of £5,264,355.27, accounting for 47% of income.
The Community Investment Program has managed to raise a total of about £442M throughout Camden, not including sale of public assets over the past two years.
About £188M of this has come from south of Euston Road.
Therefore, about 43% of CIP income has come from south of Euston Road.
So while Bloomsbury, Holborn, and Covent Garden account for about 16% of Camden’s population, and 13% of its geographical area, close to half of Camden’s CIP income has come from development in our neighbourhoods.
To give a good indication of the disproportionate burden, the cost per person of the CIP is about £6000 south of Euston Road, whereas for the rest of Camden it averages out at about £1500.
That is a fourfold increase.