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Berkeley Homes development at Potters Fields

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Friday 21 May 2004 7.05pm
Music to my ear's

Julie Greer of southwark counsel said .

Anthything fronting the river in that location should not be more than 4-5 stores tall,at the most

It should compliment Tower Bridge and City hall not complete


I was only there for couple of house in the after noon .

The main thrust of the Berkeley attack was that because more London is built of the same sort of materials ,as the Berkeley scheme then the Berkeley scheme should automatically be accepted

Julier Greer rightly said you have to judge each case on its own merit

I say the idea that just because there are other glass and steel buildings in London means that all glass and steel buildings should get planing permission is moronic and no argument at all.

The Issue of the shard of glass was raised again .

And whether a large building in the distance is less damaging than a smaller building close up
Julie Greer rightly said they were separate cases.


Lets get this absolutely clear

1 A large distant objet can only interfere with another abject from one piticular angel ,
(like an eclipse of the sun )from a different angle it would appear miles away.

Where as A smaller abject(In relation to the shard of glass) built close to another object i.e. right next to it will affect it from EVERY ANGLE
I.e. the Berkeley scheme

2 A small building a few feet away can block your entier field of vision ,no large building on the horizon can do that.this is especially important as tower bridge is a viewing platform.


3 You would have to be blind in one eye not notice the difference between a close and distant object

Argument won case dismissed.

*********
The issue of transition in height was raised for me this is where the Berkeley scheme falls even flater on its face.

Julie Greer quite rightly claimed that the Berkeley scheme failed in offering a transition in height
Between city hall and shad Themes .

Mr Village of Berkeley tried to explain how this height transition existed .I have to say I couldn't understand what he was talking about .Julie Greer said it was a false argument.

Team Berkeley looked very grim at this point.

***************************

Julie Greer also pointed out that for an appropriate development on the site.

Architects like Ian Richie would be perfectly acceptable

I agree with this I have nothing against Ian riche

Its what he's been asked to do that's the problem.



Post edited (22 May 04 22:42)
Monday 24 May 2004 8.00pm
"...considering how bad the scheme is..." - what makes the scheme 'bad'? The fact that you and a few others don't like it? I am sure it has its faults but in terms of its design and its impact on the River I am still in favour regardless of the theatrical diatribe regurgitated from the inquiry (LA Law style).

I have never seen that area busier and so full of people. More London was criticised in the same manner, as was Ken's office when proposals came in. It is undeniable that those two schemes, love them or hate them, have had a significant impact on the area - a beneficial economic benefit. I am sure that local food vendors for example have never seen happier days, what with the till ringing in the profits. In my opinion the area has benefited from the arrival of a new workforce and a new community. The same will happen [if] Potters Fields or something like it is built. The area needs stability and economic growth and I am still of the opinion that it needs something with a wow factor on that site (again in my opinion).

Why provide more space for the burger vans and ice cream sales men when we can create a new and thriving community? Just because you may not be part of it why should you have the right to deny others that pleasure? I have always maintained that agendas are mixed and motives for the anti Berkeley lobby are not always so clear cut. Well done Michael for attending the inquiry - how may like-minded souls have dragged themselves along if so passionate about the issue?? If that important surely worth the effort...? If it's not them another developer with less scruples is just going to erect a 3-4 storey monstrosity with no impact but a negative one.
Monday 24 May 2004 8.26pm
I read what I thought was a very relevant quote today. It comes from last month's Civic Trust Awards conference when the main concern was whether the spate of big, bold structures springing up is reliving the 1960s all over again?

Cities can't be full of buildings screaming at each other
Toby Johnson, MacCormac Jamieson Prichard architects

IMO Ian Ritchie's design is a screamer to rival Edward Munch!
Monday 24 May 2004 11.20pm
Ruck and maul ,

Berkeley homes don't share your enthusiasm for more London
One of the main thrusts of the Berkeley case is that the profile of more London is so boring that it needs the new development .to save it.

They repeated that again last Friday



I don't agree with this I think as a landmark building City Hall stand a respectful distance from Tower Bridge and deserves respect itself .

As Julie Greer said any building in between the two should compliment not complete.



Post edited (25 May 04 00:23)
Tuesday 25 May 2004 7.48am
Michael

I don't care what Berkeley think about More London. I think it is a wonderful scheme and does manage to complement that part of the River.

I also agree with what you say about City Hall.

I think what Julie Greer has said is probably the most sensible thing I have heard since this thread started. I am, however, still of the opinion that something (dare I use the word 'striking' for fears of accusations of over-used cliche??) - but something clean, contemporary and demonstrating that London is more than capable of producing inspiring architecture (love it or hate it, it is a brave scheme and will provide something for tourists to gaze at).

I think Berkeley's approach - using More London as a development in need of saving is misguided if that really is the tack they are taking. More London is a superb scheme and provides a Balance between circulation space for office workers and tourists, and also provides something very pleasing to the eye from both sides of the River.

I think it would be a shame not to have something with equal presence on this site. Nothing anybody says or claims will change that view.
Tuesday 25 May 2004 8.44pm
Im pushing the boat out by spending so much time at the inquiry ,but I popped in again to day


Nicholas Antram of English heritage gave a blistering performance today.

He got the inspector out of his seat to take him round the back of the model which is against the wall to show him the devastating impact of the scale on tooly street.

He also pionded out that yes there are examples of tall building rising above listed building in the city ,where that's more likely to happen but Tooly street isn't in the city.

He also pointed out that far from offering a transition in height the design of the buildings was dictated by Berkeley's desire for the flats s on the top of each block to have view's across the river,at the expence of everything else.
(hhmm so much for Ian riches claim to have designed what was appropriate for the area )

When he read out the conclusion to his proof of evidence,

it just said every thing .

Team Berklys faces dropped as he read it out because they must realize that unlike there contrived arguments about height transitions that don't exist ,and false claims about distant building's behaving like close up building's when in accordance with the physical laws of the universe , they don't.

What Nicholas Antram was reading out was true.

Conclusion
The Potters Fields site is a highly sensitive location ,one of the most sensitive developments in the capital . The fortress of the Tower Of London forms part of the northern vista across the expanse of the river Themes .Tower Bridge is a dominant landmark, known the world over.Fortress,bridge and river together form a cultural site that more than ,any other is london.St Paul's Cathedral and the palace of westminster with the river are the only other two sites in the capital which approach this status.Just to the north east of the development ,and east of the site is one of the most evocative remnants narrow streets and ware houses redolent of London's great docks ,shad Themas.It was the docks that were the engine providing the wealth for the establishment and growth of the British empire and which engineered London's status as a world city.

In my view the potters fields site requires a development that will successfully reconcile the complexities of the site ,including its relationship with the Themes ,adjacent listed buildings and conservation areas ,and the context generally (Potters Field planning g Brief 7.1 cd5/190.Developmemt should respect the scale of the buildings in the surrounding area and the setting of the adjacent listed buildings and character of the conservation areas

The proposed development before this inquiry introduces a form of development alien to the existing context .eight separate towers,in a landscaped setting,rising above all other developments in the area.
FOUR OF THESE TOWERS BRAKE THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT PLANE OF THE PROTECTED STRATEGIC VIEWING CORRIDOR OF ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL FROM BLACK HEATH POINT.
The eight towers will undermine the unique status and dignity of the Tower of London world heritage site and harm the setting of this .
Undermine the iconic status of Tower bridge,also a grade 1 listed building and the second most visited tourist attraction in the capital.THE DEVELOPMENT HAS A DEVASTATING IMPACT ON TOOLY ST AND SETTING IN PARTICULAR ,OF THE GRADE 2 LISTED LAMBATH COLLAGE .

The appellants may seek support for this proposal from the London Bridge tower inquiry decision but the circumstances of this case are wholly different.THE SENSITIVITY OF THE SITE AT POTTERS FIELDS IS FAR GREATER, THERE IS NO EXISTING CLUSTER OF TALL BUILDINGS, AND THE PROPOSAL AT LONDON BRIDGE WAS FOR A SINGLE SCULPTURAL FORM OF SUPREME QUALITY REPLACING AN EXISTING TOWER OF INDIFFERENT QUALITY.

The potters fields site is of the utmost importance to London ,in heritage terms and as the last link in the chain of regeneration of the former dock lands on the south bank in central london.It demands a development of the highest quality a stitch in seamless link between the diverse character of its neighbours .In the words of the inspector for the Royal Opera House inquiry ,it demands a design of strong and restrained character that would sit well on this important riverside site in the center of the city.
The inspector also wrote that a markedly flamboyant design on the application site might be over backing the pudding.
What is proposed here is too big and to striking to be an appropriate infil on this last and most sensitive of river side sites.

I would ask the inspector to recommend to the first secretary of state that these appeals be dismissed

NICHOLAS ANTRAM

Mr Village of Team Berkeley asked for an early ajournment so the cross examination will be tomorrow morning.



Post edited (26 May 04 00:48)
Jon
Wednesday 26 May 2004 8.12am
I couldn't agree more! well said Nik!
Wednesday 26 May 2004 9.47pm
Because the cross examination was put off until today I couldn't resist popping in this morning to find out what was being said. In relation to Nicholas Antrams beautiful comments on the development of the site.

It seems the Berkeley line of attack is to try to undermined the credibility of English heritage's evidence and English heritage itself rather than actually argue with it.

This isn't surprising considering how false Berkeley's own arguments are.and how good Mr Antrams are.

When I arrived they weren't discussing the development itself they were attacking the workings of English heritage and seemed to be trying to accuse Mr. Antram of being part of some sort of conspiracy inside English heritage to block the development.on the spurious basis that it wasn't refered back to some committee.or something.,all very spurious.

When they finally got round to discussing the proposal its self ,Mr Cottage of Berkeley said he wasn't going to discus it's relationship with Tower Bridge or Tool St. ,because he'd done that with Miss Greer, hhmmm

So what did they discuss ,yes of course the shard of glass again,and the ghirkin in relation to the tower of London

Never mind the building's that the development will be built right next to

. Mr Antrim rightly said a closer building is perceived differently,

(This can't be over stated)

Mr Cottage quoted (I thing Norman foster )

Saying that good design can mitigate ALL POSSIBLE DAMAGE
(hhmm sounds like a mandate to build anything any where)

Mr Antrim stated that English heritage's view is that good design can mitigate A DEGREE OF DAMAGE

BUT NOT ALL DAMAGE ,

and that the BERKELEY SCHEME WAS SO DAMAGING THAT, THE QUALITY OF THE DESIGN WASN'T ENOUGH TO MITIGATE THE DAMAGE


When Mr. village asked why he haden't commented on the quality of the architecture in his proof

He rightly stood his ground and repeated that the scheme was so damaging that the quality of the design wasn't enough to mitigate the damage.
I agree with this

The quality of the architecture isn't the piont its the APPROPRIATENESS OF THE DEVELOPMENT

I had to leave at half three




Tooly St.And the relationship with Tower Bridge. And shad themas wasn't mentioned at all by Mr. villag of Berkely NEITHER WAS THE NONE EXISTENT HEIGHT TRANSITION.and Mr. Antrams comment that the design has been dictated by giving the top flats a view across the river ,at the expense of everything else.


It was like an exercise in avoiding the most important issues and points raised by Mr Antrim(and the development in general)



Post edited (27 May 04 08:55)
Thursday 27 May 2004 6.20am
Michael,

Thank you again for these updates - you're providing an invaluable service to those who can't attend!

Andrew
Wednesday 2 June 2004 7.40pm
We can be ambitious ,and we should be ambitious !

Said Karen O'Keeffe of Southwark Counsil

I am more confident about Southwark councils planes for Potters Fields than I was for the Millennium Bridge ,

The efficient use of land isn't judged by the density of a development ,but by the quality and
most effective use of the site.

Southwark councils vision was to challenge how that part of the south bank is perceived

By moving the culturel epeecenter east.

Mr. village of Southwark described this vision as a load of woffel

IM SORRY THAT ISN'T WOFFEL

Karen went on to point out the main differences between Southwarks vision and Berkeley's scheme


1 A major cultural attraction would attract visitors from a far bigger chachment area


2 And start a regeneration domino effect benefiting a bigger area, and London as a whole,

Where as the Berkeley scheme perceived as ,and predominantly , being , visually dictated by the requirements of a housing development

Would just have a limited localized regeneration effect.


3 As a demand led cultural vision a one size fits all generic space would be useless i.e. the Berkeley scheme, Southwark's plan a custom building designed specifically for the needs of the user.

Karen also said luxury flats are often bought up as corporate lets for entertaining clients ,or as second homes and stand empty for most of the time. regenerating nothing.

Thats an exilent piont.


As for Berkeley's cultural credentials here is the photographers gallery letter to southwark council

Dear Paul

Potters fields

You will be aware of our interest in the past of moving to Potters Fields to develop a new home for the photographers gallery WE HAD MANY MEETING WITH BERKELEY HOMES WHICH FRANKLY DID NOT GO ANY WHERE .For the last twelve months we have been working on the idea of converting the Kingsway tram tunnel in camden for our use .this project has now come to an end because of cross rail require the northern end of the tunnel .Iam now reviewing sites that we had considered in the past ,and am wondering where southwark council is on there Planning Brief with potters fields and if future developments might consider our requirements

I am looking forward to hearing from you

Your sincerely Paul Wombell
director

photographers gallery



Post edited (02 Jun 04 21:27)
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