Potters Fields

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Friday 9 August 2002 10.00am
Now that the RAC Control Tower overlooking the M6(otherwise known as City Hall) is complete, could we now draw our attention to that patch of grass next to it.

Yes, we're talking Potters Fields, which is currently playing host to the 'authentic' (whatever that means) Victorian fairground rides.

Apparently, there is a master-plan somewhere in the corridors of Southwark Council, with plans on redesigning the park.

Does anybody know if this includes getting rid of that wretched car/coach park that blights the scenery?

I was on the top of City Hall last week (cunningly called London's Living Room, or something) looking down at our little patch of grass. It's amazing that the space given to park land is only a half of what is given to the car park.

In the words of Daily Mail readers everywhere: "Something must be done!".
Friday 9 August 2002 1.52pm
You can get a document from Southwark council on the regeneration plans for Potter's Field - and it does involving developing on the area that is the car/coach park, but not getting rid of the green area that is already there.

And how did you manage to get to the top of City Hall? I though it was not going to open up until after the Open House event in Setptember - it was closed to access when I tried to go up last Friday.
Mike O Brien
Friday 9 August 2002 2.04pm
Regarding City Hall:

It would appear the staff themselves don't know who has access to what part of the building.
On the day after it opened (a week before Brenda came to cut the ribbon), I went to the top and down the winding stairs into the debating chamber. Upon walking back to the reception I was told "Oh, you weren't supposed to go into the debating chamber". But there was no-one stopping me from going there!

On the second visit I was told it was closed to the public until after the Royal Opening.

On the third visit, the week after Phil and Madge shook hands with Ken Kanute, I went again. This time, I managed to sneak into a party in the "Living Room" complete with jazz band and canapes.

This time, I took the lift back from the 9th floor to the debating chamber level and walked round the spiral to the cafe below ground. No-one stopped me.

I suggest you keep trying.

Regarding Potter's Fields: does this mean that hopefully the grass section will increase to include the area currently taken by a large and ugly car park?
Friday 9 August 2002 5.17pm
No I think that the large and ugly car park is going to be built on - flats, offices (possibly something arty) etc.
Mike O Brien
Friday 9 August 2002 5.41pm
Oh yuk, some more arty offices. More grey concrete and glass and steel.

We need to start a campaign: More Green Space near Tower Bridge!

Meanwhile, what do people think about that huge circular ramp to the right of City Hall? Perfect for skateboarding or what? Also, how come "Blue Limestone" just looks, well, grey?
Monday 12 August 2002 10.02am
As the local ward councillor and now the new leader of Southwark Council this is a subject close to my heart.

Most of the coach park area will be transferred to the ownership of Southwark Council later this year. The previous administration put out a planning brief which I'm personally not wild about last Spring and we'll be considering feedback on that soon. I'm not keen on more offices on the space and I am keen that as far as possible there should be a continuation of the green space from Potters Field (which is definitely safe incidentally).

I hope we can say something more definite later this year.
Mike O Brien
Monday 12 August 2002 10.47am
Many thanks, Nick.

One more question: Will there be any public consultation regarding Potters Fields. Or rather, will the views of the Tower Bridge residents be taken into account before a decision is taken?

I find that especially since the Tower Bridge area now attracts many families with young children, it would be beneficial if the green space were to be expanded.
Tuesday 13 August 2002 3.01pm
See http://www.southwark.gov.uk/future/index.html and follow the Potter's Field Planning Brief. You can then download a Word document of the current state of plans and consultation.

Personally I hope they do something more imaginative with the open space than just a patch of grass and a couple of municiple flower beds.
Tuesday 8 October 2002 11.24pm
Yes Val Shawcross' prophecy was proved correct. Block 9 at St Thomas's is the only space they have to expand, it would be crazy to give it up then find they had to spend zillions in land prices if they needed to build. There was a protest about it last week
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