Respond to council’s consultation on scrapping tower block height restrictions, writes Donnachadh McCarthy

News Desk (06 July, 2017)

"It’s not local people who will benefit, but often tax-haven based skyscraper developers, whose profits go offshore and fail to pay for schools, roads and NHS needs of new skyscrapers"

11366Donnachadh McCarthy, photo by Elizabeth Mischler

You have one day to act.  On the night of the horrific Grenfell Fire, Southwark Cllr Mark Williams admitted to local residents that the new Southwark Plan, was abolishing ALL height restrictions for new skyscrapers across Southwark.

Current height restrictions for most of the borough is ten storeys, the height fire-ladders can reach.  It beggars belief that Southwark with its Lakanal House fire disaster, is again proposing housing families at heights no fire ladder can reach.

We should not be allowing the next generation of potential Grenfell Towers to be built.

The plan also requires ALL developments “to provide as many homes as possible” in most parts of the borough.

This change to Southwark Planning Regulations is the end of democracy for planning in Southwark.  It is so right-wing that even the Tory government would not dare propose it.

It hands the borough over to skyscraper developers, to turn Southwark into “Singapore by the Thames”.

Residents would be unable to stop developers buying up blocks of terraced housing on their street, bulldozing them and building huge tower blocks.

Residents have been told over-shadowing restrictions are also to be down-graded.

Salivating developers are queuing up for planned height restriction abolition, with massive skyscrapers proposed for Camberwell, Peckham and Wells Way.

Developers told residents that they want Wells Way, Camberwell to become an “Elephant & Castle style development”.

Huge tower-blocks overshadowing parks will destroy their open space amenity and wildlife value.

The proposals threaten every scrap of garden left in the borough.

Southwark spent last decade bulldozing thousands of working-class council homes, replacing them with privatised skyscrapers.

They now want to bulldoze the middle-classes’ terraced streets.

Wholesale demolition will involve huge release of embedded carbon emissions.

New Labour Southwark are returning to the nightmare disasters of 1960s tower blocks.

It’s not local people who will benefit, but often tax-haven based skyscraper developers, whose profits go offshore and fail to pay for schools, roads and NHS needs of new skyscrapers.

We will not only lose our communities but our taxes will subsidise their demolition.

The public consultation on the New Southwark Plan ends on July 7. To have your say, go to https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/planning-and-regeneration/new-southwark-plan

Donnachadh McCarthy has been an environmental campaigner in Southwark since 1992 and is author of “The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy Has Been Bought” www.theprostitutestate.co.uk . He is also an independent environmental consultant www.3acorns.co.uk @DonnachadhMc

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