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Bulletin 32
E-mails received from Cllr D Partridge (reformatted by JR)
(1) sent 27.12.01

To: David Brunskill, and others

Subject: Built Environment Topic Paper

Date: 27 Dec. 01

I find this paper to be misconceived. It is written entirely from the perspective of the would-be developer. It does not reflect the ‘vision’ of the Canada Water Campaign nor the views expressed at the consultative fora. As an elected councillor, I do not believe that it embodies the thinking of the majority of my constituents. That is to the extent that it is possible to understand what it says. Most of it is nebulous and lacking in clarity. The points are certainly not bullets. I shall nevertheless try to comment seriatim.

‘Urban Renaissance’ is a misnomer. There must be air and space to enable the new-born to breathe. I sense that what is being proposed is a stifling excrescence of high-density urban development.

Point 2 lists a number of policies with which compliance is asserted. This paper should be free-standing and not depend for comprehension on other papers, accordance with which may give rise to dispute.

Point 3 is absolute gobbledy-gook. I have a particular problem with the word ‘sustainable’. I know what it means in English usage. I understand a technical meaning in phrases such as ‘sustainable human development’. I do not understand it in a planning context. The acid test, however, must be to ask our consultees if they have the remotest idea what this convoluted sentence means. "The adoption of high quality architecture, detailing and materials" is a Mothers’ Union aspiration. No one would propose the contrary: but by what criteria are the standards to be judged?

Point 5 lists a remarkable number of uses for an area reduced by the withdrawal of sites ‘D’ and ‘E’ and possibly the remaining Decathlon sheds from the equation. There is no indication of proportionality. There is risk here of over-development. "A sustainable (sic) blend of residential homes across all tenure types" fails to address the need for dwelling mix and in particular affordable, family homes, including some for larger families. Although this is in the current UDP, the Development Control Committee accepted official advice against requiring compliance in the case of site ‘D’. There is already imbalance to be redressed.

The exploitation of the waterfront setting and waterways for public benefit is a point that was made at least at the forum at Seven Islands. This point is a good one provided it does not mean more luxury development for the wealthy as would be the case if, for example, a luxury hotel were allowed to dominate the waterfront and even have a private use of part of the frontage .I regard vehicular access routes as vitally important, including grappling with the problem of the Lower Road,u8ush Road, Rotherhithe New Road triangle. There is environmental pollution caused by congestion and danger from the weakened Crystal Bridge, traffic over which is divided by the bogus cycle track to reduce weight. It surely cannot take more traffic unless it is reinforced.

The final point has no meaning unless it is explained.

The second section on "Environment and Ecology is similarly replete with jargon and unexplained references. The third point is perhaps the only ‘bullet point’ in the entire paper- but please note the correct spelling of the noun ‘peninsula’. I assume town foxes are included as well as waterfowl. It might be appropriate to mention also Surry Docks Farm.

In sum, I do not find this paper to be even a useful basis for discussion. It should be discarded and replaced by a paper that reflects the responses received from consultation. It should be written, like the English Bible, in ‘a language understood by the people’.

Jon Phillips, please pass to Anne Yates, David Hubber, Gavin O’Brien and Lisa Rajan.

Regards to all. Derek Partridge.

(2) sent 28.12.01

To: David Brunskill and others

Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 7:37 PM

Subject: Built Environmental Topic Paper

Friday 28 Dec. 01

David, thank you for your response of 27th Dec. to my e-mail of earlier the same day.

I think it is clear from my e-mail that I do not regard the draft as capable of amendment. My proposal is that it should be rejected -- I think the technical procedure is 'referred back'. I hope that this can be a joint proposal from all councillors, including Steve Lancashire who has given a commitment to consultation. I would wish this proposal to be circulated in advance with a copy of my e-mail of yesterday. It should then be on the agenda

I shall also wish to propose (again I hope this can be a joint proposal) that Noel Ashton should no longer be on this or any other working group and should withdraw from the FORUM. With the effective withdrawal of the stakeholder he represents, he longer has any locus standi: and he has consistently sought to undermine the work of the forum by refusing to comply with its practices. This draft is an example. It will be necessary to ensure that there is full attendance of voting members at the meeting of the Forum. I shall not be able to attend before 17th January (Although I arrive back on 16th January, there is a meeting of the Development Control Committee that evening, at which Decathlon's application may be on the agenda. If this is granted I may wish to propose their representative withdraws as well). Andrew Doyle's responsibilities as Rural Dean give him difficulty. Ian Owers must be there. The secretary has responsibility (although he has denied this) to ensure a suitable date is chosen.

Would you please pass copies of your e-mail to all to whom I am copying this, including Jon Phillips. He was inadvertently omitted from my distribution yesterday (this has been remedied) and I am relying on him to copy to Anne Yates, David Hubber, Gavin O'Brien and Lisa Rajan. Would you please copy this correspondence to Steve Lancashire whose e-mail I do not have. I am assuming has copied my comments to all recipients of Noel Ashton's paper. I should like to receive copies of the comments of others.

Regards Derek.

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Bulletin 32