Sadly, but entirely predictably, Tower Hamlets has voted in favour of putting a large shopping mall into a deserted car park half way up Brick Lane without regard for its impact on the character of the area. One sees the relentlessness of the process of gentrification: artists discover an area; urban pioneers move in; then the big brands begin to take over, eating away and progressively destroying the character of an area, while developers cream off the profits; small businesses are driven out and it becomes soulless like the Kings Road and Covent Garden. The decisions lie with the members of the Tower Hamlets planning committee who, as they say, are simply applying the rules. It seems odd that the character of this part of London and its future should depend on such a small group and if they are just applying the rules, then surely the rules should change. But then one remembers that developers are the biggest donors to the conservative party, so you realise that the system has been effectively stitched up. Sad, but true.
2 thoughts on “Saving Spitalfields (2)”
I assume that local politics (city councils, planning committees/departments, etc) are much the same in London as they are in LA. The largest donors to the local politicians in charge are always the real estate industry and it’s various associates. It is not on party lines or politics or ideology but rather a means of insuring that their interests are foremost in the minds of the councils etc. I am sadly jaded enough that I believe they just use these donations with leverage in mind and give equally to any party. And sadly, it is very effective for them.
It seems to me very weird that such key decisions on the future of the city are taken by a group of three people only, one of whom voted against the proposal, and a fourth would have voted against as well, but wasn’t able to attend the meeting because she was self-isolating. Charles