Thursday, 7 June 2012

How misguided planners tore the heart out of Deptford High Steet: BBC 2's anger-inducing opener

If you missed it on BBC 2 last night catch up with The Secret History of Our Streets. The first episode about Deptford High Street left me seething with anger. 
The area called 'the Oxford Street of South London' at the time Charles Booth was mapping the distribution of social classes in 1886, had its heart ripped out in the 1970s.
To say Greater London Council planners were misguided is to be charitable. They look like social rather than civil engineers guilty of class snobbery believing they knew what was best for working class communities.
It now appears health and housing officers were expected to condemn houses as slums. The homes could have been renovated and a bedroom turned into an indoor bathroom and toilet. Instead they were levelled against the wishes of tenants and in their place horrific tower blocks constructed.
Local people dispersed rather than live in them. You can bet those responsible for building the towers didn't have to live among those too poor to have any other option.
There is much more in the programme to provoke rage. By some quirk houses in a near-by street, which weren't bulldozed, now change hands at £750,000 as do similar homes in other areas of London that escaped the attention of the planners.

1 comment:

  1. Very good television last night - my only concern is the negative reaction the program showed Nicholas Taylor, the former Lewisham councilor of some 31 years standing. Clearly someone who had his heart in the right place but a complete naive individual. He appeared to be in the pockets of the developers by defending the indefensible -clearly he done well for himself a big Victorian house near the Hill?

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