Having a look at a pretty but lacking in content booklet from Elephant Impacts today, which gave some detail on the feature lighting to be installed, it made me think about what's already there in terms of lighting.
Firstly, I quite like the tree lights that they plan to add more of, but surely they should get the existing ones working first?
Secondly, whatever has happened to the colour-changing floodlighting of the substation in the middle of the roundabout? Over the past 18 months or so, I've watched this change from ever changing colours, to only a few lights working, then all getting stuck on white and now finally nothing at all! I seem to remember this was the result of a Blue Peter competition some years ago. Getting this working again would add to the area, does anyone know why it hasn't been fixed?
Also, I've always wondered why the lights on the pavement outside Nando's , Tote and Wetherspoons have never been fixed/had their bulbs replaced. I've given up reporting these to the council as they just don't seem to do anything, and nobody there knows why this is. Again, anyone here know?
Otherwise, quite looking forward to the feature lighting on the buildings!
The substation is also the national memorial to physicist and chemist Michael Faraday, who was born nearby in Newington Butts. Faraday was the chap on the £20 note until 2001. As the man responsible for discovering electromagnetic induction he hastened the move from the age of steam to the age of electricity.
The memorial, designed by Rodney Gordon in 1961, is a listed building (Grade II). Some might think that Southwark are keen to see awareness of it fade.
The grand plan for the Elephant proposes the ultimate removal of the roundabout on which the memorial sits - IIRC it is in the middle of the new "Civic Square"
The Town Hall to the east will be converted to a new museum referred to as "The Discovery Centre" which will focus on science and education. To the north of the new museum a new space to be known as "Faraday Square" will provide an area for public gathering. Around the square there will be a new Healthy Living Centre, new shops, cafes and the Faraday Museum, all of which will open onto and animate the space. The Faraday Memorial which currently occupies a part of the northern roundabout may be moved into "Faraday Square" making a direct connection with the new "Faraday Museum". The "Faraday Square" will mark the transition between the existing Walworth Road and the High Street extension to the north and therefore will act as an important gateway into the new development area.
Note the use of "may". I suspect that we shall be seeing an application for listed building consent to demolish it completely rather than to relocate it.
There is also the possibility that they get more money for the eyesore advertising hoardings in the traffic island if there is no background lighting. (AFAIK the hoardings were given planning consent without any consideration of their impact on a listed building)
A Southwark council representative recently told me that any issues relating to the main roads round E&C are no longer the responsibility of the council, but of Transport for London's roads department. Southwark do the side streets and TfL do the main streets. While this may be entirely anecdotal or evasisve on LBS's part, it's worth a try!