No Left Turn

As I leave the house and turn right heading north in Brackenbury, everywhere there is evidence winter is gone and spring is here, marked by the bare tree branches suddenly bursting into life. Glorious pink and white cherry blossom, giving the appearance of Neapolitan ice cream, line our streets. Japan may be famous for its cherry blossom but here in Brackenbury we have it too.  And it puts on quite a show.  My spirits are lifted.

Overstone South Overstone North

LOOKING SOUTH                                             LOOKING NORTH

However, as I leave the house and turn left heading south in Brackenbury, my spirits crash. All I can see are tall, poorly designed buildings scaring the area with more to come courtesy of St George and their major development of the Kings Mall car park and the UIP building in Beadon Road.

As Boris speeds headlong towards his target of building 100,000 affordable homes by the end of his term in office, David Cameron’s favourite council is doing their bit to help by approving some of the most unattractive and badly designed structures around.

While BRA is not opposed to the principal of tall buildings, we do believe that any built should be sympathetic to its surroundings, particularly where there is juxtaposition to a conservation area as there is at the southern end of Brackenbury.

When I see the shape of developments to come, Prince Charles’s latest appeal for “mid-rise” mansion blocks and characterful streets and green squares does seem very attractive. If you, like me, are concerned about London’s skyline, sign up to The Skyline Campaign which was launched on Friday and supported by The Observer and Architects’ Journal. Griff Rhys Jones is also a key supporter.

The Skyline Campaign is linked to an exhibition at new London Architecture (NLA): opening on April 3rd, and called London’s Growing Up!  It highlights the extent of skyscraper development about to hit the capital.

You’re in for a shock.