London SE1 website team

Bankside resident clashes with Mayor at TV debate

Bankside resident Anne Radford clashed with the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone on ITV's London Debate programme screened on Wednesday night.

Ms Radford, a leading opponent of the so-called 'Tate Tower' scheme in Hopton Street, tackled the Mayor about his enthusiasm for tall buildings in London, pointing out the need for "open spaces and affordable houses in London". She said Livingstone was determined to "steamroller the wishes of local communities" when it came to high-rise development.

The Mayor defended his record on affordable housing in new developments in the capital, and insisted that no existing green spaces would be lost for skyscrapers.

Presenter Alastair Stewart put it to the Mayor that he was a "high-rise man" through and through, to which Livingstone responded "Absolutely!"

Radford, who chairs the Bankside Residents' Forum, spoke of the problem of young couples moving out of central London due to high property prices. The Mayor pointed out that as he doesn't own the land there is a limit to what he can do to influence landowners and developers.

Mr Livingstone conceded that "too many shortcuts" had been taken in the past, leading to poor-quality high-rise development in the 1960s and 1970s.

The London Debate was recorded at the London Studios on Upper Ground.

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