...on (a) who builds them and (b) who is in them. Its got nothing to do with their height. The brutal reality is that if they are full of people who don't look after their environment, and urinate in/shoot-up in/attack in/spraycan the stairwells, then sure, they aren't much good. SE1 has basically two types of highrise: Nice ones (privately owned) and frankly awful ones (council owned). Those who care about quality, should be campaigning against council-owned property, not skyscrapers. Regardless of whether you are a socialist or a capitalist, the fact remains that councils are cack landlords. All you lefties out there are now going to say, yeah, but where do all the people go who can't afford to buy property? Well, I suggest you take a long hard look at the figures. For example, my granny has been renting a council property of Southwark for 29 years. We were working it out the other day that if she had had even the worst mortgage from some evil bank like Barclays, she would have been the owner of that property by now, rather than still paying Southwark £59 a week and owning nothing. Whichever way you look at it- Council rented is a dead idea that creates these ghettos. The best thing that could happen to Southwark is that they sell off the whole lot to private developers. Long live this new skyscraper. And, up yours, all you lefties and liberals out there, who defend the rights of poor people like my granny to live in squallor.
I'm a lefty and a liberal and agree with all you say. Just make sure the new tower is the greatest architecture of its time. Southwark Council appears to be neither left or liberal, just another form of self interest riding on the backs of the poor (as your Granny has found out).
Top comment. Council flats round here are a total eyesore and many are just not fit for human habitation but the moves by the council to sell them off lock, stock and barrel were shouted down by our LibDem councillors. Local government round here only stays in power by filling the place with council tenants. What is so gob-smacking is that council tenants never seem to want to move out to somewhere better. One good thing about the proposed Elephant & Castle development is that 10,000 council flats are going to be replaced with 7,000 extremely expensive ones.
I'm not justifying people pissing in stair wells, shooting up or doing antisocial stuff but i don't think the culprits should be kicked out of their homes. Of course posh high rise flats aren't full of crack addicts and don't have the smell of recycled special brew in the lifts and thats because the residents have a far better way life, which they don't mind facing sober. What southwark needs to do, and is doing is regenerating estates. The north peckam estate is the best example. The high rises weren't all nocked down. They were done up, secure porch things were added and there was alot of landscaping. Security was always considered when redesigning the estate. Coz the flats look nice, people are proud of them and anti-social behaviour is reduced.
The reason anti-social behaviour has reduced in North Peckham estates is because the scummy people who lived there have been moved out whilst the work is done. Shift them out to South Wales is what I say. There's plenty of work burning sheep at the moment.
As a long-time Waterloo resident I was incensed by the feature in the 'Space' supplement of yesterday's Guardian which says that Waterloo "lacks the feel ... of a real residential area" What an insult! I am tempted to write to the editor