Westsiiide, Aii

If Eastside wasn’t an awful enough name, the latest Big City Plan stuff introduces us to Westside. And it’s associated Ali G connotations. What next? The area between the Turks Head and the Royal Mail Sorting Office becomes Northside, and residents are themed into madchester gear and trained to say “top” a lot?

There’s a website, full of the usual vile canalside living photographs and meaningless words like “global”. And if you dig there are little PDFs where the “vision” for the various areas are explained — they seem to be already hived off to developers, during the consultation process (?) — including the previously mentioned Baskerville Wharf.

Taking a look at the drawing, and comparing to the recent now with Google Earth (click on the pic for big) and there seems to be no difference, apart from painting the car park white and the water blue. It looks like at this stage they don’t have any ideas.

But they have words (albeit meaningless redevelopment words):

“Baskerville Wharf has the potential to deliver Grade A office accommodation, high quality city centre  apartments, family housing, hotel and conference facilities and a range of shops, bars and restaurant facilities throughout. A sequence of active streets and public spaces will lead pedestrians from Centenary Square to the new canal-side destination and beyond into Brindleyplace and the Jewellery Quarter.”

Sounds good doesn’t it? Except that there are already apartments (or flats as we called them before), family housing, conference facilities, bars. And offices. And proper pubs where the music heritage of the city is grounded.

We dont’ need another Brindley Place. Clean up the canal, improve the lighting, improve the signage, the transport links. But not more canalside living, please.

2 comments for “Westsiiide, Aii

  1. srb
    26 November 2008 at 12:37 pm

    The best part is that the development plan seems to be dedicated to creating living spaces that are worse than the supposedly terrible back-to-backs. No green living space? check. Nowhere for children to play? check. Shared walls with neighbours? check. Flimsy and cheap construction? check.

    The current developments are replacing temporary dead zones in the city with permanent ones where developers get away with leaving their street level concessions empty on purpose by overcharging or creating spaces that are too large. The streets are deserted around most of the new buildings.

    Cities grow organically. Big Plans are Big Mistakes by Big Politicians done for Big Money by Big Business. It’s political Viagra. Then little people get to live in these mistakes or as tends to be the case in Brum – move out to the surrounding areas like Moseley where organic growth has been the case.

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