Friday, 25 September 2009

Business as usual

Hello folks. How's it going?

Normal service is resumed. We return refreshed and revitalised after our various summer sojourns in far flung Wales, Bognor, Paris and Ireland. The latter involved an impressively intrepid trek over land and sea with two children in tow. Carbon footprint? Barely a trace in the sand.

Okay, we didn't catch any planes this time round and only drove one car. But smugness is an unattractive trait. And just in case you get the wrong idea, we are not completely plane averse... if any of you jetsetters were thinking of whisking us off to Cannes in the South of France at taxpayers expense, go right ahead!

So what's new?

The footy season has started, the nights are drawing in, it's Strictly v X Factor, isn't tradition a wonderful thing?

And right on time the Council has honoured its tradition of ignoring H&F residents in favour of property speculators by pushing through a highly contentious planning application for the Goldhawk Industrial Estate.

To accommodate a new high density residential/commercial scheme, local successful businesses will be forced out, including Innocent Drinks and the Soundhouse Studios, one of London's busiest and most experienced recording studios and post-production facilities.

Residents put up a solid opposition, led by the Brackenbury Residents Association. They even employed a QC specialising in planning law to take apart the Council's dodgy case for pushing the application through.

But all to no avail, the considerable body of evidence and legitimate concern was ignored in favour of a planning report full of inaccuracies and bias. Read here for a thorough account of the whole sorry business - and note in particular that the standard allocation of affordable rented housing was cut to zero and the Section 106 funding was startlingly low. It seems the current economic climate is being used as an excuse to shaft anyone who stands in the way of this Council's blissful marriage to big business.

If they will do this, what chance for our council estates?

Tell us what you think. Is there anyone out there who still has the nerve to call this scaremongering?

There's more news but not tonight. Gotta go and practice that rumba before Match of the Day.

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