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Berkeley Homes development at Potters Fields

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Tuesday 11 May 2004 12.29am
I hadn't previously spotted this piece on the site about the opening of the Potters Fields inquiry,11200,1205263,00.html

The text of English Heritage's submission is also available (see link at bottom of the article)

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Tuesday 11 May 2004 8.39am
Thanks for pointing that out James. I sent the info to Matt Weaver but thought he had not used it! Great stuff.
Tuesday 11 May 2004 9.34am
I recognise the importance of the site and am not dismissing it out of hand even though my last post may have indicated as such - perhaps I ought to have been clearer. Because I feel that a building such as that proposed IS what I personally would like to see on that site, it doesn't make it either an unintelligent, short-sighted or cynical as you suggest. It is my personal opinion that rather than extending the park or providing a cultural attraction we ought to have a striking piece of architecture on that site.

Yes, a fact - only a certain number of people will be able to live there and yes, it is in a highly sensitive position however there are potential supporters of the scheme out there who will think (if) built that it looks amazing. Of course we all have our own views on the development and on this forum it is abundantly clear that the sway is against the current proposal. If you want to take the view that because I believe the issue is not as far-reaching as you would think is a sign of demeaning intelligence or acute cynicism / social myopia then you are sadly mistaken. I just happen to disagree with the majority of people on this forum on the current proposal and support the idea of a scheme such as this on this site. I do take on board what Matt Weaver says about the retention of Ian Ritchie and think this is vital to the success of the development.

I fully appreciate that other people care about this site, as I do, but that we differ in our opinions on its destiny and final state. The difference between the French and the British (you speak of Paris) is that if people care enough about an issue (take this as an example) they are more than ready to demonstrate in large numbers. This right has been more widely employed in this country over recent years but from what I can gather the number of people actually openly demonstrating their opposition has, I am sure been a whimper of a reaction to an issue which from what you say deserves a roar.

Tuesday 11 May 2004 10.27am
I apologise if I misunderstood your earlier post - I wouldn't wish to suggest that an opinion in favour of some striking building was in itself short-sighted. However, that posting did come across as being rather dismissive of the site's importance and a rather knee-jerk reaction to what another contributor had written, just because it was that particular contributor.

As for large numbers of people turning out to demonstrate their opposition to a proposal, I think that may hinge on whether people feel it will actually have an effect. It's been my experience that, bar one particular example I participated in, demonstrating popular resistance to a proposal that has either significant corporate or governmental support is not desperately likely to result in the outcome they desire - at least in this country. I can't think of too many planning inquiries where even significant residential turnout, with sound cases and good witnesses have resulted in the rejection of a proposed application. Manchester Airport and Heathrow Terminal 5 spring to mind, as does the 'Tate Tower' case. Is it any wonder then that people don't feel much urge to take a day off work and turn up at the inquiry? It is a lot easier to elect a committee of residents and delegate them to represent their views, which is what I understand has been happening in this case.

If we want to talk about really massive turnout, I think last February's demonstration against going to war in Iraq was the latest in a long line of mass protests being ignored by those who are supposed to be (and claim to be) responsive to expressions of popular will. [Which is not a simplistic argument for 'majority rules'.] If the French seem to turn out more often for popular demonstrations in favour of, or against, particular issues, perhaps that is because they feel that they are likely to be listened to and negotiated with.

Without wishing to end on too provocative note, given the strength of feeling you seem to have on this issue, and the importance you attach to people turning up to express their views at the inquiry, have you registered to speak at the inquiry in favour of the proposals and convey the views of the 11% of readers who say they support them?

Tuesday 11 May 2004 10.54am
I haven't, no... I am sure that between BH and the architects they have plenty of people to speak on their behalf. I don't think the poll are truly representative of the feeling on this issue either way. As big a fan as I am on this website I am not sure very many people in SE1 are aware of it - I have told lots of people about it since discovering it myself and they had no idea of its existence.

If Berkeley or the architects wanted someone to speak with them I am sure they have already asked the right people... I don't actually disagree with most of your last post Andrew even though ultimately we disagree with the plans for the site.

Tuesday 11 May 2004 8.42pm
The topic today was Cultura James Alexander
Cross-examination by Mr. Forsdick

Mr Forsdick
of team Southwark questioned Mr James Alexander
representing Berkeley Homes

Mr James Alexander
seemed to spened a lot of time contradicting himself he disputed the economic viability of a major cultural attraction on the site while at the same time ,espousing that the Berkeley scheme would private cultural facility .but more mixed use not nesesarily cultural ,Hmm sound like Holmes place and a multi plex to me.

Mr Forsdick
of team Southwark ,put the point that most cultural users would prefer a custom designed building rather than trying to fit into a existing space

I agree with this .

I cant imagine the Sydney Opera house would have been built if they had been told to occupy the basement of a block flats ,on the site.

Mr Forsdick
read out the summing up by the inspector of the Ian Riche Opera house inquiry which stated that the trophy site of Potters Fields was best suited to a major civic building and cultural atraction ,as a means of regenerating the area as aposed to a housing development ,

Mr. James Alexander's only line of disiagrement was that the development of more London had some how changed this ,
Which as Mr Mauld had already pointed out is mainly office buildings.

Other points raised
Mr James Alexander dismissed the point that Potters Fields could be used for our Olympic bid as irrelevant.(Im sorry beach volly ball would have been nice)

Mr James Alexander
Dismised the Idear that the south bank center had no impact on Southwark,
And that the Tate Modern had made the bank side area a destination in its owen right ,

Im sorry before the Tate Modern was created ,that part of the riverside was totally deserted,

Im sorry No one used to walk from the national theatre to southwark

And Im sorry City hall is no big crowed puller.

Another member of the public commented to me
on the lack of security ,as every one would go off for a tea break and leave all the documents on laptops on there desks.

Post edited (12 May 04 13:10)
Tuesday 11 May 2004 10.26pm
No offence Michael (genuinely) but are there minutes for the enquiry and if so are they available to the public?


PS: Michael fancy a beer to bury the hatchet?
Tuesday 11 May 2004 10.55pm
Are there minutes, the only thing I've been given is the same timetable that is on Tooly St. web site.

There are so many massive documents involved I don't know what's available to the public.

Tuesday 11 May 2004 11.18pm
Why don't the pair of you come along to the next SE1 cider or social evening? There's a lovely mix of people and you'd be very welcome.
Tuesday 11 May 2004 11.31pm
I'd come too - and would happily buy a round or two - if only someone would be willing to shout me (as they say here) the air fare from NZ... :o)
Current: 10 of 20

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