It was wonderful to see the design for the Battersea power station redevelopment last month (CM July/August, page 7) and I noticed some striking similarities between this article and Chris Blythe’s column on eco-towns on page 12.
Mr Blythe writes that the government’s proposed eco-towns ‘may be wide of the mark’, but the design statement for Battersea fits very closely with the remit for an eco-town.
Mr Blythe states that eco-towns should be built on brownfield sites: we can all agree that Battersea is a brownfield site. Proposed eco-towns will include between 5,000 and 10,000 homes and Battersea will provide around 6,000 homes. He states that eco-communities should be constructed within existing towns: Battersea is only just outside the London congestion zone. And eco-towns should also be sited in highly populated areas with high employment – places like Battersea.
The Battersea development goes even further. The London underground will be extended to service the site, thereby alleviating Mr Blythe’s concern that the eco-towns will be too remote from places of work.
Despite the negative press the project has received, I think our own chief executive approves of the project, and for all the right reasons. Rather than a ‘major menace to London’ and a ‘vast gimmicky tower’, as some industry sceptics have described it, this is a design for the future that gives Britain the chance to lead the rest of the world by example. I think we all should show our support for such a ground-breaking concept and project.
Heath Powell MCIOB