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Destroying the character of Bermondsey Street

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Tuesday 4 May 2010 3.43pm
Thanks for that info tonytiger but it is again inherent from SC to be obscure. What do they mean when they quote London Bridge from the Mayor...where does London Bridge as an area start and stop...is it North of the railway lines or South or both....how far East or West should it be from say Borough High Street or London Bridge Approach? As ever the devil is and will be in the detail and while politicians from wherever may like to be obscure real people have to live with real results from these types of decisions. Time to make your mind up about what you want in your area and get your REPRESENTATIVE in the local political system to fight your corner people.
Wednesday 5 May 2010 7.20am
It's all about the money you mugs.

The character of the neighbourhood!? What character - that's long gone.
Monday 10 May 2010 10.33pm
@shiva

I'm not sure how you expect your campaign to be taken seriously when it's based on a scaremongering bit of dodgy Photoshopping that looks nothing like the model produced (yes, I know the model is not final - but it's significantly different from the 3 versions of Centerpoint that loom menacingly above BS in your "artist's impression"). You're giving NIMBYs a bad name.

I also think it's a bit rich for a company that owns (?) a beautiful building - Globe House - that's been boarded up for what seems like several years to be complaining about visual blights in the neighbourhood.
Tuesday 11 May 2010 6.57pm
not as concerned about the obstruction of the skyline, views or anything like that so much as the sheer concentration of people and demand on amenities. It already feels very crowded around here at times and I just see how this area would cope with the amount of traffic, both people and automotive, that those buildings would bring.
Wednesday 12 May 2010 1.23pm
Agreed. Architectural merits of the scheme aside, 3 residential towers at the heights described is about 350 flats. Where would everyone find:
A GP
Parks and open spaces
Somewhere to shop (other than the small Tesco Metros or Sainsbury's locals)
Schools to send their kids to


I think the last two points are important. If you're going to encourage a sustainable community, then surely you'd want families to move into the area (or stay when people have them). I also wonder how many of the flats built will be sutable for families in terms of size and affordability.
Thursday 13 May 2010 9.38am
phraze and Trevor these are exactly the points about this kind of redevelopment I have been trying to highlight...the volume of people spilling out in to the Locale will just be too much...local service and even pavement widths are just not up to it. The architectural merits is a secondary point to whether anything which involves this many people is actually viable (INMHO it is not). I emailed my objection to SC and got a standard response saying that the planning permission for buildings had not yet been presented...to which I responded that my complaint was not about specific planning permission but about suitability of the area for such dense development...to which strangley I didn't get a reply! As ever SC not really wishing to get involved where they feel they are not on firm ground.
Thursday 13 May 2010 10.26am
There is a particular problem with the sidewalks at the north end of Bermondsey Street, west site. Would it not make sense to make the area more friendly for pedestrians by fixing the sidewalk problem? The problem exists now independent of any possible development. The buildings causing the issue are not particularly interesting. Less so when the focus is on safely walking in the street.

The impact to schools and other services would be studied when there is a specific planning application. Just because something cannot handle the growth now does not mean the solution is to ban growth. All communities adjust. Adjusting the infrastructure to deal with the growth is viable in some situations. Cities evolve. At one time Bermondsey has a number of rather negative trades (one dealing with chemicals and other things that made the area less agreeable to live in given the smells).

London Bridge is a major transport hub. It is being upgraded with the LBQ development. Siting offices and residential units in a cluster around a transport hub is actually a good policy for the environment. I would rather see an increase in density when there is good transport than to push the growth out to areas with more green space and less transport.

Exactly what should be built is best discussed as and when there is a proposal. Otherwise we are debating too many options that will never even be proposed.
Thursday 13 May 2010 10.43am
John_Coreys points seem sensible to me and in his last para he touches on something I've had in mind since seeing Shiva's posters etc. It may or may not be that the Council's planning dept. is failing to run a proper consultation process, but a process exists, is paid for by the taxpayer, has known deadlines and perameters, and is accessible to all on an equal basis. IMO Shiva's deciding to set up another process of discussion simply isn't helpful. Already it's required the council to generate letters clarifying some of his/her asserions and the misleading implications of his/her leafleting, which has also had to be done at the taxpayers' expense.

Gneral discussion in fora such as this seems a useful way of sharing opinions and information. But calling ad hoc meetings and circulating apparently authoritative, easily misread/understood, information doesn't.
Thursday 13 May 2010 2.11pm
John_Corey wrote:
The impact to schools and other services would be studied when there is a specific planning application. Just because something cannot handle the growth now does not mean the solution is to ban growth. All communities adjust. Adjusting the infrastructure to deal with the growth is viable in some situations. Cities evolve. At one time Bermondsey has a number of rather negative trades (one dealing with chemicals and other things that made the area less agreeable to live in given the smells).

London Bridge is a major transport hub. It is being upgraded with the LBQ development. Siting offices and residential units in a cluster around a transport hub is actually a good policy for the environment. I would rather see an increase in density when there is good transport than to push the growth out to areas with more green space and less transport.

Exactly what should be built is best discussed as and when there is a proposal. Otherwise we are debating too many options that will never even be proposed.

Why wait for a specific proposal before studying the impact on amenities?

Southwark council's own 'draft supplementary planning document and opportunity area planning framework' seeks to look at "What heights are appropriate in different locations and the criteria that tall buildings need to meet."

http://www.southwark.gov.uk/download/3466/draft_bankside_borough_and_london_bridge_spd-part_1

In that link it notes - "Appendix 6 : Background to Bankside, Borough and London Bridge tall buildings study". I can't see that study - but maybe it's this one - http://www.southwark.gov.uk/download/3765/bblb_opportunity_area_stage_1-tall_building_study

So, if SC accept the general principle that tall buildings are ok - then why wait?

If you build it they will come? - That probably doesn't work so well for parks and schools.

Most probably welcome development and aren't looking to ban growth. This however, feels like overdevelopment, which I suppose may be a bit like pornography - hard to define - but I know what it when I see it.

The formal consultation for the SPD has now ended and I think it's fair to say they not everyone felt the consultation process was that well publicized or open.
Thursday 13 May 2010 2.40pm
aoibhneas wrote:
John_Coreys points seem sensible to me and in his last para he touches on something I've had in mind since seeing Shiva's posters etc. It may or may not be that the Council's planning dept. is failing to run a proper consultation process, but a process exists, is paid for by the taxpayer, has known deadlines and perameters, and is accessible to all on an equal basis. IMO Shiva's deciding to set up another process of discussion simply isn't helpful. Already it's required the council to generate letters clarifying some of his/her asserions and the misleading implications of his/her leafleting, which has also had to be done at the taxpayers' expense.
Gneral discussion in fora such as this seems a useful way of sharing opinions and information. But calling ad hoc meetings and circulating apparently authoritative, easily misread/understood, information doesn't.

The reason why I am suggesting that waiting makes more sense when you are doing an impact assessment is you need to know what is being proposed to know the impact. If an office building is proposed then the impact to schools is to provide more local taxes but no real change in the number of students. If the building is all residential and it will all be low income, 3 bedroom or larger units the impact to schools is likely high. If the units are all residential, 1 bedroom units for elderly assisted care has zero impact on schools.

I get the idea that the designation for tall buildings means it is hard to argue later against a tall building. I do not think the designation tells us anything about the impact to the community in terms of local services. Maybe a tall building will increase vehicle traffic (visitors, etc) and shadows over the train tracks independent of the specific use.

Many of the arguments against tall buildings revolve around issues that are not directly tied to the concept of a tall building. Fighting a designation because of the impact to schools or foot traffic on a related street is weak until there is something more than a just a concept. If we move the boundary for tall buildings so they are slightly away from Bermondsey the same schools are impacted, the foot traffic on Bermondsey might be reduced or some other unintended consequence.

To soundly defeat something it is best to deal with what is being proposed rather than a theory on the impact in a specific action is taken at some point in the future.

Would people object so strongly if the buildings were dedicated to low income housing with a school built into the development? If the answer is no or there is some sort of pause then it really does come down to what is proposed vs. a line on a map as to what would be preferred.

Right now we have a car park, a disused warehouse and some two other buildings that have marginal use in the community. If there were three towers we would get some open space with hard landscaping between them That would increase the amount of useable outdoor space available to people in the community. We likely would see more retail so more choice for those living in the area. For some the quality of life would go up if they can benefit from the outdoor space and extra retail.

The SPD is not a well drafted document and the review process was less than optimal. Some would say it was well circulated and others would say it was all a covert operation by friends of a developer. Most of the debate seems to centre around details that are not supported by anything other than theory of what might, just possibly happen. It is hard to fight with shadows rather than specific proposals for an actual development.
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