Oh its so depressing. A development goes through our long and complex planning system, only for the whole thing to be overturned by one powerful and non-local institution at the end. What is the point of all the consultation and involvement?
(that's not me giving up, by the way, its just a large sigh of disappointment and frustration)
I think the real problem is that the planning system responds to propsosals like this for a particular site, rather than looking at the broader issues regarding the area and what is neighbourhood's longer term interests. This whole problem is in part caused (IMHO) by Southwark's Planning Department moving away from specific site designations under the old UDP to much vaguer designations under the new one. I well remember urging councillors and officers to designate the whole site to be Metropolitan Open Land to help reduce developers' interest in it, and to act as a spur to increasing the size of the park, but was told it wasn't possible. That's rubbish, I think, but I will accept that boroughs - and planning inspectors - are in a difficult position when it comes to development - the entire legal framework seems to be shaped around market forces, which are notoriously short term, and uncaring about the 'externalities' of a development's effect on the surrounding area.
But yes, don't give up. If what James' report of the meeting is accurate about Southwark's commitment to not selling the land is true, that's where the pressure must be applied. Residents are fortunate than they can directly hold the leader of the council accountable, since he is (one of) their ward councillors. If the Greens were smart, they'd be using this as an issue to build a campaign around for the local council elections which I think are due before too much longer. I have zero faith in the Labour party doing anything to stand up to Prescott and Livingstone, in spite of some individually good local members.
Ha that's good
I had put a link to that on a few other web sites.
Also as some one that doesn't live in southwark it was good to meet you breafly as it was and interesting to see Simon Hughes interacting with his constituents,as well as addressing the wider issues of London with which I agree.
I'm confused about not living in Southwark - you or me! I live opposite Nutmeg House so it must be you! Thanks for putting the link on other sites - the more people that see the images the better!
Congratulations on the work done on this topic. I am a local resident and have been following developments with angst over the last few months/years.
I do not understand why the land is not used to extend the small park that is potters' field in an area that is generally over-built already. Add to that the location facing Tower of London and the prospect of those towers is just nauseating.
May I suggest Alan that you put on your website the address of the ODPM and a proposed letter that people can download to send to 2jags?
Shoudl we use the website to build a petition of residents?
Are there ways to bring this issue to a wider audience over the crucial next few weeks, such as ITV or BBC London news or ask Simon Hughes to go on the offensive?
Thanks for your comments. Simon Hughes went to Karen O'Toole's meeting last week and is already heavily involved. As regards petitioning the ODPM I think his mind is made up! However don't let me put you off!.
There is another meeting tomorrow night of Karen's protest group at Nutmeg House , 61 Gainsford Street at 7pm.
I'm open to all suggestions as to how we can use the website to fight the development. In case I miss a posting here it's probably better to email me at [email protected]