Sunday, 31 August 2008

Mammon repelled from Norton Folgate

On 15 August a government Planning Inspector rejected an appeal by the City of London Corporation against the refusal of its planning application to demolish and redevelop parts of Norton Folgate.

The area is characterised by Georgian houses, Victorian warehouses, the art deco decoration of the former Nicholls and Clarke 1930s shopfront, historic street features and patterns resonant of the mediaeval Priory of St. Mary Spital.

The application had a contentious history. Tower Hamlets' planning officers, with backing from CABE (the government's Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), had recommended that Council Members grant planning permission for the scheme on the basis that the scale, height, detail and designs proposed made a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area. English Heritage did not object. However on 25 June Council Members rejected the application after hearing the objections of local residents and of The Georgian Group, The Victorian Society, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Spitalfields Society and the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust. The objectors pointed out the merit of the area's historic buildings and character and the damage, including the demolitions and the loss of light and overshadowing, which would result from the over-scale and inappropriate nature of the redevelopment proposed.

The Inspector had made a site inspection and noted the locally listed buildings, the fine 1886 buildings of Blossom Street, the 1880 Norton Folgate terrace and its rear wash houses, water towers and the historic road surfaces. The Inspector considered representations from the City Corporation and objections from local residents, architects and the Spitalfields Trust before reaching the decision. Tower Hamlets Council's officers found themselves objecting to the scheme which they had previously recommended. The Inspector decided that the scheme as designed missed the opportunity to enhance the Conservation Area and that the loss of existing historic buildings and other features taken together would cause "considerable harm to its character and appearance as a whole".

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Liberty of Norton Folgate

"There is no way this mediaeval so called Liberty of Norton Folgate can be allowed to stand in the way of progress. It's a diabolical liberty. This is Madness.
Sir Alfred Mammon GbH, C.E.O., Global Regeneration (Bahamas) plc

The Worship of Mammon 1909 by Evelyn de Morgan

“mammon”: (noun) possibly of Aramaic origin, meaning riches. First personified in English as the false god of wealth, avarice and injustice in the mediaeval poem Piers Plowman and later as the fallen angel, Lucifer, in Milton's Paradise Lost.
“mammonistic”: (adjective) consumed by the desire for wealth at the expense of beauty, creativity and the human soul.
"mammonists" : (secretive) the dark forces, including philistines, pursuing material gain by the obliteration of heritage, identity, culture and sunlight in the name of regeneration, best value, necessity and progress.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Patrick Hughes' welcoming words.

WHOREDITCH have been
without the city walls for
500 years of theatre,
Markets and market gardens,
Hospitals and hospitality,
Fashions and the unfashionable,
Boos and booze,
Real work and
The pleasure of leisure.

We are proud whores here,
Selling shocks to the city suits
Who need our vision as much
As we need their lucre.

Don’t let them takeover –
They love takeovers –
Our Ditch,
Put out our Light and
Replace it with another
Deeply dull erection
Just like the other ones.

Keep our Independence from
Bean counters,
Mouse wagglers,
Planners and ponces.

Patrick Hughes, July 2008