Friday, March 02, 2012

Stalled development and long walks for the milk

I like this blog, although its rather odd name fails to explain what its about. The pint of milk test was as far as I can remember first coined by think tank IPPR as a theoretical test on the accessibility of new developments to local services. The implication was if it took you more than 10 minutes to walk from the development to a shop where you could buy a pint of milk  it really was cut off and badly located.

Somewhere that almost certainly fails the pint of milk test is IYLO, an unusual building built on a traffic island a good 15 mins walk from Croydon town centre. The glossy website brochure describes IYLO as "Inspiration for Life"  and "the only 100% private development of its size in London" ( a euphemism that I'll explain later). What it fails to mention is that the block of 182 flats is unfinished and 100% empty. Work on the building stopped in 2009 when the developer went bust, it briefly restarted last year but the new owner went bust too.  In an attempt to get things going again the council agreed to drop its social housing requirements (hence the 100% private tag). It apparently worked,  the building was recently sold to a Chinese development company for a knock down £10m (£55k a flat). If you are feeling confident, and don't mind a long walk for the milk you can buy one now, if enough people do the same work will no doubt restart. If not Inspiration for Life may still be a long way off in Croydon.