Lower Marsh worth a facelift?

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Katherine Rabeau Friday 5 October 2007 4.46pm
When I walk through Lower Marsh it strikes me as a local community area which could really benefit from a fresh lick of paint, some greenery, paving, licensed busking etc. Revived and refurbished according to the wishes of local people it could turn into a thriving community centre. In its current state it looks quite sad and unloved.

I want to contact the council & local associations about it. But first I'm wondering if there's anyone out there in the local area who agrees/disagrees/has any views about it? Or maybe Lower Marsh is already about to be freshened up, if you know please say.
longlaner Friday 5 October 2007 10.18pm
I rather like it as it is. It already is a thriving community focus, isn't it? And busking? I can see what this post is getting at, but most of the buskers I hear are pretty bad, and the last thing I want as I walk down Lower Marsh is someone assaulting my senses with, for example, a winsome take on Bob Dylan.
roy Sunday 7 October 2007 5.53pm
Lower Marsh is my favourite part of Waterloo (or even London) . I don't think it looks unloved , it is eccentric and has a unique line up of shops and an individual feel to it. I would not like for it to be tarted up to be a mini covent garden and have the chains move in and make it another uniform street full of Starbucks , All Bar One , Pizze Express etc...
It feels very community orientated as it is - it could do with some more stalls and better publicity to get people there on the weekends. Maybe invite some borough market stalls occasionnally?
Lang Rabbie Sunday 7 October 2007 8.07pm
It may just be a sign of growing old, but hasn't Lower Marsh already had at least one "facelift" at considerable cost of public money when all the fake Victorians streetlights were installed some six or seven years ago?
JaneS Sunday 7 October 2007 8.50pm
I like it as it is too. I love Scooterworks for coffee, it's fantastic.
Tony Monday 8 October 2007 9.21am
JaneS wrote:
I like it as it is too. I love Scooterworks for coffee, it's fantastic.


Same here. Its great to see some non-chain places. Maria's thai cafe is fab and and then coffee at Scooterworks!
Katherine Rabeau Monday 8 October 2007 9.31am
Fantastic!

If your replies are any indication of local feeling then I certainly won't be bothering spending time and energy on finding out about the possibilities of "improving" the place. If Lower Marsh is loved locally then may it long last exactly as it is.

It's not my family's cup of tea but that's cool, we'll shop/dine out elsewhere.

Thank you for your responses! Looking for a community pulse and getting one is very heartening.
James Hatts Monday 8 October 2007 10.49am
If you're interested in public realm issues in Waterloo you may wish to join/attend the public meetings of the Waterloo Community Development Group.

Editor of the London SE1 website and SE1 Direct newsletter
The Sarah Monday 8 October 2007 12.18pm
I had thought that Lower Marsh was part of a Buisness Improvement District, aimed at bringing in "improvements". But my impression was that there were many diffierent visions and a fair amount of politics.

One of the, to me nice, things about Lower Marsh is that many of the shops are owner occupiers, so each has its own identity. Big retail investors tend to prefer renting to chains. So you get Scooterworks, and opposite the wonderful jeweller Prophet. Plus that nice Japanese restuarant.

I tend to agree that more could be done for Lower Marsh, but would hope that this would be sensitive in a way that encourages character and individuality. I would, say, love to see a butcher to enable me to do a complete weekly shop. It would be nice too if the nasty access from the South Bank via Leake Street could be sorted - and access from teh station itself. I suspect a lot will depend on plans for Waterloo Station and the retail that is planned there.
The Mapmaker Monday 8 October 2007 2.44pm
>>many of the shops are owner occupiers, so each has its own identity

Moreover, such people are often blissfully unaware of the commercial value of their property. Or at least they don't care that they work 18 hours a day making 100 profit a day when they could rent it out for 200 per day...
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