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43-46 Blackfriars Road - 75-metre hotel and office building

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Monday 1 September 2008 9.29pm
Zoe wrote:
Unfortunately, unlike for nelson, it's noisy in our block all the time, even at weekends, until after midnight with the bars behind us, and from the early hours of the morning with the trains, and homeless people shouting, and traffic beeping, and the inevitable fight outside costcutter....

Well we do get some of the noise from the crowds outside Baltic and the Ring, but surely nothing like those at the railway arches near you, it is always so packed there.

It is just so annoying that all the building works happen after one and the other - I wish they would just get on with all of them and have it all nice and shiny by say the Olympics. But as it seems I think we might just face it that we are going to live next to a building site for the rest of our lives here.

I am not negative and against development either and I just love the area, but I am not sure all of these massive offices necessarily make it better for us here, even if they probably benefit the greater good of the area. Of course when there is a development like the Coin Street tower and the swimming pools it will finance, that actually might benefit local people, all of London and English Heritage and whoever think they have the right to oppose as it affects their lovely views.
Monday 1 September 2008 10.44pm
Zoe and Nelson - thank you ! These are the voices of sanity and common sense here. Of course we want to be looking gorgeous and cool and we love living here and feel privileged to do so,but,as they have said more eloquently than me,we can't take much more of this .We are humans, we do need basic necessities such as peace and clean air,grass,flowers and a strong community spirit.For providing some of these we must say a big "thank you" to Styles House in The Cut who have given us the most welcome oasis of greenery in this sea of concrete.
My ears are so constantly barraged with noise that I have developed chronic tinnutis as a result,so I have even more screeching going on in my head.I can't go anywhere too quiet on holiday because the silence makes me all too aware of the noises inside,so I am condemned to live in perpetual noise now.
Much as I love it here,I didn't actually choose to in the first place.There are so many varieties of reasons as to why people live where they do, so it's unfair of people who must have the money to be able to be choosey to say that we didn't have to live here.I know that I had no choice,but feel lucky to be here despite everything.
Tuesday 2 September 2008 6.49am
There is another downside to making developments include so much office space, because we just get people who whizz in to work and go away again - ie. not people who are part of our community. Blackfriars is a handy station and ideal for commuters to get in from out of town. This does NOT enhance our area in the sense of bringing new life to the community. It will be interesting to see how the massive economic downturn influences all this development. Can we hope for some reprieve?
Tuesday 2 September 2008 8.14am
Isn't Blackfriars underground due to be closed for three years some time soon?
Tuesday 2 September 2008 8.40am
Tube closed from March 2009 I belive. A development reprieve - possibly. That certainly seems to be the case for those of us in Quadrant House, Burrell Street. The developers of 240 Blackfriars Road appear to have pulled out, despite working on the site for the last nine months. Haven't managed to get to the bottom of it, but will keep trying. Great Portland Estates said they're still going ahead (despite the fact the site has been stripped bare), the Laing O'Rourke site manager said the project was cancelled at the end of July and Southwark Council are being sometwhat cagey. What does appear to have happened is that the boundary has been moved in about 10 feet at the rear of the site, Burrell Street's pavement has been restored and a large chunk of pavement on the Blackfriars Road side has also been reclaimed. The front and rear areas are where the piles have been sunk, so it's all a bit of a mystery. Will post more info when / if received.
Tuesday 2 September 2008 1.00pm
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
because we just get people who whizz in to work and go away again - ie. not people who are part of our community. Blackfriars is a handy station and ideal for commuters to get in from out of town. This does NOT enhance our area in the sense of bringing new life to the community.

I was also thinking a bit further last night... even the (business) tenants in these new developments don't do anything to integrate in the community... We have the brand new Travelodge hotel across the road here and I was secretly hoping they might have approached us as their closest neighbours with some small gesture, like discount vouchers that we could give to our visiting friends and families and we would surely want to put business their way. Or the noisy bars that Zoe is talking about, why not invite the affected neighbours for a night out? I for one would easily be more accepting of these newcomers if they did something small like that. But it is so obvious they do not want the local council block trash (as they probably think) that nothing like that has ever happened to my knowledge.

By the way, on talk about Styles House... I thought there was a plan for the estate to go private (from the council) in exchange for a newly built extension and an extra room for the affected tenants there, and general improvements, did that get anywhere?
Tuesday 2 September 2008 8.22pm
Thanks Sandypandy, we love to hear that people enjoy our garden. The gardeners work really hard (not me, I hasten to add, I'm not allowed near plants, as I've never really worked out the connection between watering them and them not dying), it's amazing how much work even a small area of garden takes, I think our gardeners are all wonderful, and I love seeing people stopping to take pictures when it's in full bloom.

We recently won one of the Southwark in bloom awards for community gardens, and Karen in our block won a woman of the year award for her environmental work (she's too embarrassed to tell anyone, so I like to mention it a lot!).

We are constantly plagued by developers, we seem to have been the subject of about 10 different plans. Southwark went off that previous scheme. There was recently a plan for Will Alsop to build something stretching from Southwark tube station to Hatfields. We weren't keen on being knocked down, and managed to repel that plan (with the help of our councillors, who were all wonderful).

There's another scheme in the pipeline, but I can't see us liking this one anymore than the other one's. It's all a bit tiring, and we keep having our major works deferred because some developers has come up with another mad scheme. I'm quite worried about a possible recession, but at least all these mad schemes might disappear.
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