For those of you that may remember, the last time the regeneration was being touted in the Alton Estate there was a survey that was undertaken by Stuart King, the Labour MP candidate at the time. This was back in 2008. It’s worth a read, as it raises some questions about, the views of Labour at the time, and the Labour of now.
Choice quotes from the survey
Well, have a read of the following choice quotes that were in the survey and have a think about how these views compare with the current regeneration. Do any of these quotes from 2008 still ring true for today?
What’s happening now
“And though the council says publicly it wants to help local people buy some of the new homes, in council committee reports it talks about creating a “balanced community” – political speak for getting more outsiders into Roehampton”. (page 2)
“Create a more mixed and balanced community with new and improved high quality housing that will raise the living conditions and widen housing choice”. (SPD page 28).
Roeregeneration: Notice that “balance community” has been revisited?
“The Conservatives claim that “there will be no overall loss of open space” but they haven’t shown where the open space they’re taking will be reclaimed elsewhere”. (page 2)
The view has been the same for this regeneration.Roeregeneration: so far, two for two as being the same.
“I’m not sure why the Tories feel Roehampton needs a new library. Is there much wrong with our current library?” (page 2)
“It is envisaged that the facilities may include:A new library facility in Roehampton Local Centre”. (SPD page 35)
Roeregeneration: So, there’s no need for a new library, the current one is being demolished, and we “may” have a “new library”.
“All deliveries, shoppers and staff will get to the store via Danebury Avenue. The council isn’t planning to widen Danebury Avenue, though it does want to widen Harbridge Avenue so theLorries can go down it”. (page 3)
Roeregeneration: Harbridge Avenue is possibly still in the plans, though this time around, Labour seems more interested in Danebury Avenue rather than Highcliffe Drive?
“While shopping choice is good, the Tories’ plan seems to be to build a major supermarket that will bring even more traffic into Roehampton. The Tories seem to be trying to attract expensivestores aimed at commuters and not local shoppers”. (page 3)
“2.13 There are shops and services within the area which benefit existing residents, however the quality of the offer fails to cater forthe daily convenience needs of the catchment population”. (SPD page 22)
Roeregeneration: So nothing’s changed then?
“And closing the Alton Club in Dilton Gardens is the exact opposite of what we should be doing: young people need more to do to getthem off the streets, not less”. (page 3)
Roeregeneration: The Alton Club is to become possibly become – “Potential for 4 new family homes on Alton Youth Club site”. (page 10 of the Preferred Options Consultation presentation board)
Roeregeneration: Labour, what do you have to say about this?
“The buildings the Tories want to build will be too high. While Allbrook House is 9 storeys, all the surrounding buildings are of a human scale: 3 or 4 storeys along Danebury Avenue. Havingall but a couple of buildings 5 or 6 storeys high will make Danebury Avenue darker, more like a canyon and could make the area bleak and windswept”. (page 4)
Roehampton Partnership comment by the Vice Chair in that the amount of new buildings is equal to 18 tower blocks and the more the merrier. (25th March 2015)
Roeregeneration: These tower blocks are 11 stories tall. Again, Labour, what are you doing about this?
Let’s not forget that our Labour Councillors campaigned on the current regeneration being ‘farce’ in no less than three of their campaign leaflets at around the time of the local election in 2014.
How can residents put their faith in elected Council representatives if they can change their minds so much and not explain themselves as to how these changes have come about?