The Camden New journal pondered a potential landgrab, “what will happen to a potentially-lucrative site in Somers Town if a primary school is closed?’ (10 May 2019)
Well, we know now. So silly of us not to join up the dots! Somers Town is to be the new silicon valley: ‘Phoenix Court’s online briefing on Somers Town as the new Palo Alto‘, as Esther Leslie write in the CNJ (20 June).
It was all so obvious! With Facebook (Regent Place) on one side; and Google at King’s Cross on the other, and next to links to Europe; what hope this little patch squeezed between?
And we hear that there is an exciting new greening project for the route between the two stations – Phoenix Road which links the new St Pancras to Euston is to be ‘greened’ – how lovely!
So forgive us for not sounding grateful, but this is not for locals at all (after all, many of us are still waiting a long time for basic repairs and greening on the estates that radiate from this road) – it’s clearly for the benefit of all those commuters and presumably, future normcore Zuckerberg wannabes that will be passing through, mercifully saved the eyesore of the surrounding estates’ dilapidation, presumably by that handy green tunnel, which may well have been greened by locals, since, luckily for us, us locals have the opportunity to ‘get involved and garden’ (or would that be slave labour?)
So at one end a glass tower of 25 storeys of luxury flats is to be erected, courtesy of the council CIP plan selling off its own green space (irony) to fund a school which needed to be increased in size, and cost, because of a projected rising population. Except – hang on a minute – we’re now told Aloysius School must close because of a decrease in need for school places). Gosh! it must be confusing working in the council with these last-minute changes in population.
And so enterprising of them to green one new bit, because we’re all super-aware of the Mayor’s initiative on trees and reducing pollution, except that, er… you’ve just agreed to build over a perfectly good existing park. But we all know that concreted-over landscaped trails with tiny shrubs are so much more effective than grass park with mature oaks, don’t we…?
And at the other end of the road, Euston is to be re-re-generated, ripe for massive commercial/ retail exploitation as it is.
Some remember the beautiful Euston Station and Arch that was ‘regenerated’ out of existence in 1962.
Some things – like trees – are better left.
And guess who is driving the HS2 cash cow, none other than Lendlease. These are the same people who rid Elephant and Castle of its unsightly social housing tenants.
And I think we all fear what is coming next.
Watch this space, as they say.