About Me

"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Nine Elms disease

Each morning I look across London from the balcony at the back of my flat and each morning I see more cranes, and the first bones of skeletal skyscrapers,  sprouting out of the mudflats between me and the river Thames.

 I live at the top of an old house which overlooks, to the north and east,  the former swamps of Battersea and Vauxhall. Until recently there was a pretty clear view across to Westminster and beyond. Now,  where once I saw, in the distance, the towers of Westminster Palace, the Abbey, the dome of St Pauls, and on to the City, I now see the first growth of this latest and so-called  "biggest urban regeneration scheme in Europe".

It starts at Battersea Power Station (which is now brightly floodlit every evening) and it stretches all the way to the monstrosities of St George's Wharf at Vauxhall Bridge.

To judge from a couple of half-completed towers by the river, it's just going to be be much more of the same awful stuff we are getting all along the south bank of the river, from Rotherhithe down to Putney.
Nine Elms, in south west London, the site of one of the biggest urban redevelopment projects in Europe.Stupid, show-off residential towers, with what they say will be a new leisure and business  zone around the old Power Station and a few embassies. For some odd reason the US Govt has decided to relocated its embassy here, from Grosvenor Square.

Given the bleak plastic blandness of the architects' plans so far revealed, I guess the Americans will feel quite art home here - it looks like just another US city with its flashy towers and carefully accounted for green spaces and shopping areas. All planned down to the last square centimetre, no doubt. Becuase each one of those is worth a lot of money.

Looking at the future for this last bit of industrial wasteland within zones1-2, it looks exactly like the
future for every other little bit of free space in London - sell it off as a new quarter, a new residential zone, affordable housing I think so! I should fucking think so, affordable.

Sitting by the concrete works down Silverthorne Road, watching those massive mixer trucks come in, re-fill with the liquid stuff, zoom off round those sharp bends, back onto Queenstown Road, back to the sites of SW8, or where ever else - this old old process, digging up the earth, making new buildings out of the earth. Carrying the earth around, bit by bit. Ant-wise.

Well I'm sure it will all be lovely for those who can afford these affordable flats under the (don't worry, they will be made of lightweight plastics by then) towering chimneys of Battersea.

No danger of those collapsing on you as you go for your 6am jog along the river before getting the new spur of the northern line to your city job.

Bah! Humbug.

No comments:

Post a Comment