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Potters Fields: residents spell out their message

Local residents campaigning against a development of eight cylindrical towers on the Potters Fields coach park site sent a clear message to Berkeley Homes on Tuesday morning.

Potters fileds protest

Residents of the Tooley Street and Butler's Wharf area gathered at the site on Tuesday morning as the deadline for submissions to the Deputy Prime Minister passed. The ODPM had opened an additional six-week consultation period ending this week to address issues relating to the affordable housing component of the development.

"This is D-Day for us, and we are making a defiant last stand," said Karen O'Toole, who chairs the Potter's Field Development Pressure Group. "We are prepared to lie down in front of the bulldozers if it comes to that. This site has been a neglected coach park for years, but building eight massive private towers on the site is the worst way to rectify that."

Ian Ritchie's design for Potters Fields

The campaign also has political backing: "This is an amazing riverside site right next to Tower Bridge and to give it up to private developers is a crime against the local community, London, and all of London's visitors. This project is the very opposite of sustainable development; it will do nothing for Southwark other than take valuable open space out of public hands," said Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the London Assembly.

"We are distraught that despite the support we have received from all levels of government, including local councillors, London Assembly members and our local MP, the Deputy Prime Minister looks like he is going to approve these plans anyway. He is riding roughshod over local people and ignoring their democratic representatives," concluded Jilly Frisch, secretary of the Tooley Street and Tower Bridge Community Association.

The campaigners say that the ODPM has indicated to them that a final decision has been delayed because of local feeling against the development.

The new pressure group was launched at a meeting on 11 November.

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