In the evening standard to day Ken livingston talks about crushing borough councils and any one that opposes his building program pointing specifically at southwark council, obviously he means Potters Fields.
If 'popular opposition' consists of the same half dozen bored, overly worthy, nimby grizzlers with egg in their beards and placards holding up progress, then good for Ken saying he'll crush it. I'm voting for him.
Anybody who can't cope with progress in SE1 should spare their nerves by selling up now, for three times the price they bought, and moving to glorious Turnpike Lane or Wood Green.
I promise you that, here, you'll be able to recreate that exact same 'real London' feeling of yore with absolutely zero chance of evil yuppies ruining your day by installing a capuccino machine.
You won't get 'cynically manipulated' into the nearest gastropub because they won't exist, or be driven to prozac by pesky Time Out journos writing harmless features about your local trendy t-shirt shop.
You won't live in fear of 'wind tunnels' being created or David Blaine comendeering your garden.
You'll probably be a bit bored though- but don't worry- cos then you can start petioning Ken about the hell of living in a 'forgotten borough'.
Gotta go- got to get Marks before it shuts. I love their bread. :)
I just know I'm going to regret wading into this one, but I think there are two seperate issues here:
As I read Ken's statements, he was objecting to outbreaks of nimbyism (sp?) - i.e. I want to live in this nice area but I don't want any new developments to spoil it for me. He makes the fair point that people are abandoning the provinces for lots of reasons and moving to London, as well as a massive growth in people living on their own, and there simply aren't enough homes to go around.
Michael - are we supposed to stop people from wanting to move here - or only build out in the suburbs ?
However, just because we need new homes, doesn't mean that those homes should be designed and built without any regard for the environment or local community. Personally, I didn't read Ken's comments as saying that they should be.
What Berkeley Homes has is proposed for Potters Fields is outrageous and I'm one of the many who oppose it - on the basis its a site of historical and cultural significance which shouldn't be sold off to make a cheap buck, and is a hideous design to boot.
Any study of history (not by me I hasten to add, I just have smart friends) will demonstrate that the first signs of a civilisation in terminal decline is when it a) restricts immigration and b) restricts the progress of art, architecture, music or other culture.
A country which isn't open to new ideas and can only look back at past glories will never become anything greater than it has been. I guess the same could be said of people too...
Personally, I'm in the "respect our heritage, but don't wrap it up in cotton wool" camp.
I do get rather spectacularly pissed of with people like Georgia who claim that all development equals "progress".
The same arguments were used in the 1960s by proponents of poorly designed high rise towers and the Motorway box. It is no surprise that a lively network conservation and sustainable development groups has established itself in response.
Many of those of us who have opposed developers, and the short sighted planners and politicians who cannot look beyond immediate and poorly substantiated claims of economic benefits have not done so for "nimby" reasons. My home was not threatened when I led protests against the massive roadbuilding plans of fifteen years ago - I just recognised that the plans would not resolve London's gridlock and would increase pollution levels.
We all agree that there is such a thing as an appropriate development ,and no one wants to stop anyone moveing to the area .
My concern is that central government and the mayor of London are so hell bent on building as much housing as they possibly can that they're not going to distinguish between what is appropriate and what is not,
And trample over any one that try's to.
If ken livingston can't see anything wrong with the Berkeley Homes scheme then that is reason for concern.