Saturday, 13 March 2010

A bit depressed today, but the fight is on, 4.3.10

Since the Wornington Green planning application finally hit the doormat in early December I have worked 15 or 18 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week, reading everything, responding to everything, working from every possible angle to get this disastrous planning application refused. I do have a family and they are very understanding, but everyone feels the timing was deliberately timed over Christmas to attract the least possible attention.

On Tuesday night 2 March (in fact it was Weds at 12.45am), on the positive vote of the chair of the committee who had expressed his grave negative concerns in public, the lives of 1,700 residents on Wornington Green, plus a further 3,000 plus of their near neighbours, was destroyed. I feel betrayed, and I know the residents have been betrayed.

As a journalist and specialist in planning and architecture for many years, I have pulled out every stop and pulled in every favour to have this weak and insensitive scheme nuked. So far I have not succeeded. We are currently on Plan B, and we do have a Plan C, D and E. The vote was very narrow and that is because the scheme is weak. We will work on this until we drop.

In the meantime there has been massive press coverage over the opening of a non-viably large fashion outlet further down Portobello Road, but the effect of this very ugly and insensitive development at the top of Portobello Road has been sidelined. Portobello Market could, in time, be bookended by disaster, at Westbourne Grove and at Golborne Road. The Council state they are committed to the market. Whatever are they thinking, allowing a development that is so much worse than what is already there?

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