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Friday 7 October 2005 11.31am
Spotted this in the AJ's email newsletter yesterday - thought it might be of passing interest:

Ritchie ‘cast aside' in White City
Ian Ritchie has been sidelined from the vast majority of the White City shopping centre development amid widespread concerns over the quality of the scheme's design, the AJ can exclusively reveal.

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Friday 7 October 2005 12.06pm
I hate these towers. They look like a bunch of Daleks.

It baffles me how anyone could even think of building these things next to Tower Bridge.
Friday 7 October 2005 12.38pm

There are 'real world' considerations here, primarily, the 'value' of land. That 'value' is set by the marketplace and, whether we like it or not, a developer has just as much right to obtain 'best value' as any single individual (community minded or not).

This situation is also made more complicated by Southwark Council's ownership of some of the land in that area and Southwark Council are required by law to obtain 'best value' for any landholding that they sell.

Don't complicate matters by making comparisons with Coin Street because Coin Street would have been investigated by the Audit Commission had the deal that was done in 1981 been done today. The transfer to CSCB wouldn't come near any concept of best value (for the borough taxpayer/voter/resident) and neither would it satisfy any interpretation of 'housing for the local community', certainly not housing which is available on an 'equal opportunity' basis.

So, how about a bit of realistic 'proposition rather than opposition'. What could be done with the development opportunity that would deliver greatest benefit to the borough as a whole. Lets forget about Tower Bridge and the Tower in this consideration because they both have enough establishment support to torpedo any adjacent scheme.

More London and the GLA building prove that all the infrastructure can enter the site underground so how about creating a sunken mall, like Hays but in the ground rather than above ground. That would general a ton of 'invisible' retail space which could then pay for residential to a lower density plus commercial space plus artisan space (held in a trust with really disinterested trustees).

Design? Who cares? Whatever is proposed will catch flak from some quarter so try and get a decent architect on board with a proposal which breaks out of the '20 storeys of residential all above ground' model. Then you might see something which could satisfy enough people to have a chance.

Picking up on Andrew's 'pledge' site, I'm willing to contribute 100 to the cost of putting a proposal together. Get another 99 likeminded people and you have 10grand. Not a lot but maybe enough to get someone interesting to work up a scheme.



Talk about contributions off-line 101355dot1367atcompuservedotcom
Friday 7 October 2005 6.15pm

What sort of retail are you suggesting? I think it is too far from London Bridge station for most commuters wanting lunchtime shopping.

IMO the various arts/design/touristy shops within Butlers Wharf are already trading pretty marginally.

I'd have thought the only taker might be a purveyor of London souvenirs???
Friday 7 October 2005 9.34pm

I'm thinking out loud and trying to put my money where my thoughts are. What sort of retail? Don't know but I have a suspicion that the slow growth of employee numbers along the river's edge might be starting to approach the point where retail will become viable.

I'll probably beflamed for saying it but BlueWater is built in a quarry, miles from anywhere and its successful. Maybe something on a smaller scale could happen on the river's edge.

On the other hand, a decently imaginative architect might be able to come up with something more interesting and viable.

My contribution awaits company.


Sunday 9 October 2005 10.30am
The value of the land is its potential as a public amenity

losing that value

is the price of a missed opportunity.

other people have made many suggestions.
it would be nice to have part of the Olympic legacy by the
river in central London
Tuesday 11 October 2005 3.30pm
I have just received a letter from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
"He is minded to accept the Inspector's recommendation that the appeal be allowed and to grant planning permission for the proposed development subject to conditions."
He is worried about the provision of affordable housing and other minor conditions ( 18,19 and 22) and proposes to defer his decision, allowing a further six weeks for interested parties to comment on these matters and to put forward their proposals for addressing them.
A final decision will be made after these representations have been circulated and ommented upon.
Tuesday 11 October 2005 7.34pm
I Just received that as well It says he thinks the development wont damage the historical nature of the area.or Tower Bridge

Whats he on.

It also says John Prescott doesn't agree with the inspector that there would be no damage to the Tower of london.

The crucial point is that he hasn't granted planing permision.

I Think that's very significant.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 11 October 2005 7.50pm by mickysalt.
Wednesday 12 October 2005 9.30am
the inspectors report doesn't include any of the damaging
images from tooly st

does that mean john Prescott never saw those.

its more like a PR document from Birkely
homes than an honest evaluation.

Wednesday 12 October 2005 10.12am
Given the falling housing market, and rising building costs, I
am worried that as soon as Prescott gives consent, Berkeley Homes will start "dumbing down" the Ian Ritchie design.

As with the White City development, a new hack firm of architects will be retained to "value engineer" the design and build the towers using cheaper materials and rougher details.

Are there any detailed planning conditions requiring construction to the original designs and materials?
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