E&C: back to the drawing board?

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Current: 44 of 52
Thursday 3 December 2009 1.00pm
The only part of the plan I'm ambivalent about is the subway removal. There is a lot to be said for the subways. You can cross the area without getting wet and without being run over. And, as far as I can see, on the whole without being mugged. Admittedly they could be simplified, and less of a rabbit warren, but overground seems to me to hold quite a lot of problems, not least with the traffic flow.
The plan is to have all the pipes and cables for the centralised energy thingy (Clinton's pigeon).
But as for the rest...bring it on. PLEASE!!!
Thursday 3 December 2009 1.50pm
In theory, subways might seem like a good idea providing shelter and safe passage under the road. In practice, the subways at the Elephant are pretty awful for a number of reasons. For anyone new to the area, they are utterly confusing. I remember that before I moved to the area, my occasional visits to to the Elephant left me totally flummoxed by the subway, having no choice but to climb to the surface to get my bearings and then head back down hoping to find the correct exit. Even as a regular user, I find the subways feel quite dirty and smelly, and I do find them threatening even if I know that there are in fact relatively safe. Worst of all though are the effects of the subway at street level. They create fast roads with drivers disconnected from their surroundings. Also, large amounts of pavement space are lost to the steps and ramps down to the subways. If these were filled in, the pedestrian experience of the area would be transformed. Wide open pavements could be landscaped into attractive promenades encouraging people to linger around the Elephant and Castle rather than pass through as fast as they can. This could be achieved far more quickly and cheaply than the longer-term ambition of changing the northern roundabout into a large public square.
Thursday 3 December 2009 2.07pm
Thanks James. I missed that first time around. I think the answer to the rhetorical question in the news headline is probably "No".

Frankly, unless we're going to get a Waitrose instead, I really can't see what this development is going to have, then.

All the planned regeneration is going to do is to replace a load of architecturally ambitious post-war social housing slums with some bland early 21st century private rabbit hutch slums.
Thursday 3 December 2009 2.13pm
I totally agree with James Johnson and Rambling Phil. Do their comments ease your concerns about the removal of the subways, Jackie?
Thursday 3 December 2009 2.22pm
As I said, I agree the subways could be far less labyrinthine, but anyway, they are going because of the centralised energy thingy - agreed they are smelly and digusting as they are, but had they been wider and indeed fewer and better signed (no question whoever doesnt live here gets totally lost) I always felt they were useful.
Another matter: I have from the horse's mouth that 360 is NOT cancelled.
Friday 4 December 2009 7.00pm
Rambling Phil wrote:
All the planned regeneration is going to do is to replace a load of architecturally ambitious post-war social housing slums with some bland early 21st century private rabbit hutch slums.

Which is a cause of great concern. Displacing so many working class tenants is, frankly, social cleansing.

Wasn't there that development guy at SC who slipped up and admitted that 'Unaspirational working classes were an obstacle to private investment'. Sadly most discussion seems to be about subways and property values rather than the poor treatment of thousands of people with history and connection to the area.
Saturday 5 December 2009 6.16pm
That is the main point paulie, and I'm totally sickened by this.
Monday 7 December 2009 10.47am
I'd like to meet the s.c.development guy Paulie...disposable units the working class seem to be sometimes..:-(
Monday 7 December 2009 11.48am
Does anyone know how it is supposed to work for decanted Heygate tenants? Have they been promised flats in the new developments whenever they are built? Or will most of the decanted tenants remain where they now are?
Monday 7 December 2009 12.00pm
Only a small percentage have signed up to maintain their right to return to the Elephant (ie move twice).

In some cases this is because they prefer to remain council tenants - whereas those who return post-development will have to become housing association tenants instead.

The council expects that the percentage that actually exercises the right to return at the end of the process will be even smaller, as people will have settled in their new homes elsewhere in the borough and be reluctant to go through the upheaval of moving again.

So, yes, so far as I can see the old population of the Heygate will effectively be broken up forever.

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