Thursday, 17 January 2008

Intensive careless?

'Intensification'. Not a word I use frequently. But then I never play Scrabble.
However it has cropped up, worryingly, in Sutton Councils 'Development Plan' - their vision for the Borough over the next decade.
"The Council will promote Wallington, Rosehill, North Cheam and Worcester Park as town centres for intensification of housing and retail development."
Hmm... as we emerge bloodied and bruised but victorious from our latest battle against St James' Homes expansion of The Hamptons development, the prospect of further intensification of housing development is a worrying one. Perhaps in itself this new plan will clear the way for expansion of The Hamptons. Consipracy theory, anyone?
I await with anticipation more details on how Worcester Park's roads and local services will cope with any futher development.
And what about the 'intensification' of retail development in Worcester Park? The space is there - there are empty shops aplenty in Central Road, so no shortage of commercial opportunities. One only has to look at New Malden (if you must) for an example of a town centre that has lost much of its much loved independent retail traders, who have long since shut up shop taking with them the unique character of that High Street. So by those standards, Worcester Park is doing well in terms of thriving general and specialist independent shops - it needs help and investment. Whether this falls under the remit of 'intensification' remains to be seen.
It's all horrendously complicated. There's several hundred different documents, proposals and plans filled with planning jargon for your delectation at: - and of course anyone who can comprehend any of it is welcome to join in the consultation.
Now get reading. I'll be setting an exam on it at the end of the week.