Kirkdale decision is a victory for real people

Good news! The planning process does indeed work for real people. And what a relief THAT is. I have to say, I was having a bit of a wobble altogether (not that it takes very much to unsettle me at the moment).

Further to my last two posts in regard to the community assets in north Liverpool, I am delighted to report that the planning committee there last Tuesday morning took a most enlightened approach to the whole issue of the Kirkdale Community Arts project and the land around it, and found in sympathy with the residents. Rotunda had its planning permission granted to create an arts and wellbeing pavilion on its section of the greenspace in front of the terrace.

And this is an unconditional permission. Furthermore, the committee was so supportive of the community position altogether, it  has deferred the decision on the proposed residential tower so it can undertake a proper site visit and assess its suitability.

It remains to be seen of course if the planning committee does think it suitable. But I understand that the case against is pretty stark. And (“gobby Scouser”) Emma Jensen of Rotunda is now very optimistic saying “To our delight and surprise they loved everything we are achieving so we have high hopes now!” and then, simply, in absolute joy, “Woooohooooo!”.

This is a great victory for a hard-pressed community who have never had much in the way of resource and who have done rather a lot with very little. The residents and the stakeholders are to be congratulated.

However, the real congratulations should go to the planning committee concerned, which has shown the way with its sensitive treatment of this site, and the conflicting demands made upon it. That committee is a credit to the planning process generally. And it restores your faith in the whole ethos of the Local Plan.

In another part of the forest, I see Vittoria Wharf (see last post also) featured in a (pretty sensitive) article in the London Evening Standard this week. It would seem that the weight of public opinion is in favour of conserving this piece of East End heritage. Let us hope that the same forces of enlightenment as we’ve just seen in north Liverpool coalesce around the preservation of that hard-won Asset of Community Value. The East End of London needs its creative industries, they are its life blood.

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