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

Monday, 18 May 2015

Forget the Chelsea Flower Show - what about the Clapham front garden no-show?

Utterly disgusting is this habit of paving over old front gardens when these Victorian houses in Clapham are re-developed as crash pads for corporate bakers families: please, stop this.
This has to be stopped - it's a crime ! A decade ago, all but one of those houses had thriving gardens, some with beautiful mature trees; the houses have been  bought and sold and gutted and re-gutted. All people want now is somewhere to park their fat-cat bonus-bought SUVs: the rest of us lose not only the beautiful gardens, but also our scarce on-street parking space. 
So pleased the RHS has fired a warning flare about the revolting habit of Britain's car-owning class to replace established front gardens, some of which had been lovingly tended for a century or more,  with a few slabs of stone or concrete.

The paving-over has reached drastic levels nationally - according to the RHS, over a quarter of front gardens are now concreted over, with the consequently terrible consequences for  wildlife, not to mention water-tables.

In this area, of the 10 large four-storey houses visible from my window,  all but two have destroyed their front gardens in the past 10 years.

They have all dug up and paved-over beautiful old front gardens, simply to turn them into miniature car-parks. In some cases, beautiful old trees have been felled.

As if these acts of vandalism against horticulture were not bad enough, think again about the implications.

For a start, they further reduce the absorbency of the land - this road pitches downhill steeply towards Battersea. If they get some bad flooding in the Nine Elms area soon, I will not be weeping on their behalf.

Of, but don't worry, the fuckers living in those developments will no doubt have some super-sewers dug especially for them, to ferry away their very large and smelly excrement. And of course they will all have blue chip insurance cover.

Meanwhile, up here, just walking along the street becomes more of a hazard: it seems that,  from every other house some fat cat or one of their unfortunate employees is trying to reverse the Audio SUV out of the paved -over front yard, just as you are trying to walk or cycle past.

It's hell, it is shit. Don't cycle up this street in SW4, the gap between parked BMW SUV's is already narrow enough: then there are the white vans delivering all those online purchases and the non-stop school-run or nursery run Range-Rovery manoeuvres. There are the supermarket deliveries, and then there are even vans coming to collect the dear family doggies for their daily walks.

I kid not, there are even vans coming to deliver new gardens, new chunks of flowering glory for the summer. If any of these new residents feels they are lacking in something  they go online and a van-full of experts arrives. And blocks the road for the duration for  the rest of us.

But - back to the point. Lambeth Council controls this street. Over a year ago they said they'd stop this ridiculous conversion of gardens into parking spots. And by the way, in case you didn't notice – each time they allow a garden to be concreted over, and a set of kerbstones to be lowered, they are depriving the local flat dwellers of another parking space.

We talk of winners and losers. After a while, chronic losers begin to get angry. Fucking angry!

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