Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lewisham and Croydonisation

I must admit I haven't been giving due attention to plans for the redevelopment of Lewisham town centre. As I understand it two separate large scale developments are planned - Lewisham Gateway and Loampit Vale. Both of them have planning permission from the Council.

As both Brockley Central and Max Calo report, 'This coming Thursday 12th November, at 7:30pm at the Tabernacle, Algernon Road SE13 7AT there will be a public meeting held by the Central Lewisham Action Group, a group of residents that opposes the current plans for redevelopment of the area often referred to as Lewisham Town Centre although currently this area is still mostly a transport hub with a roundabout'.

There's also an 'alternative Lewisham gateway' site run by objectors to both schemes, making various criticisms including lack of community facilities, scale of buildings, loss of open space etc. I was struck by their anti-Loampit Vale development poster with its slogan 'No to Croydonisation'. Not sure who coined this word, but a quick google search shows that it has been used by opponents of development in Dalston, Chiswick, Ealing, Canada Water and Putney (and no doubt soon, Paris). Seemingly becoming like Croydon is the worst fate many can imagine.

It all put me in mind of Jamie Reid's famous image from the Situationist-influenced Suburban Press from the early 1970s (mentioned here before). It shows a picture of Croydon with the headline 'Lo! a monster is born... Croydon redevelopment 1956-1972'). So some people were critiquing the 'Croydonisation' of Croydon itself while it was happening.

1 comment:

bob said...

See great article by Les Back, "So fucking Croydon": tabula rasa: urban skyline projections