Plans to get rid of the ticket office at Southwark Tube Station and imminent dismantling of the red crane on Odessa Street, Rotherhithe, do make you question how imaginative modern architects and developers are.
Of course, it’s all about money. Build them high and rake in the cash.
Preserving our heritage is hardly going to overrule this policy, when the need properly to deal with our housing shortage comes secondary to the profits of the new super rich in London. But surely even the super rich have seen the mistakes of past developers and architects, who have demolished large parts of our heritage, only to see similar buildings and designs command huge price tags just years down the line?
If the Scotch Derrick crane, the last of its kind on London’s riverside and a relic from Rotherhithe’s shipping past, was somehow incorporated into the new development it would be a real selling point. And while the ticket hall at Southwark Tube is less than 20 years old it is unique. Each new part of the Jubilee line extension, built for the Millennium, was commissioned by a different designer. It’s a shame to get rid of it so quickly. At least the town planners and developers in the post-war era were destroying heritage for the sake of building council homes, rather than luxury pads that local people cannot afford.