I’m really looking forward to The Shard opening, complete with a public viewing platform that will give stunning views out over London. However, there is a problem, as I wrote about when profiling Lib Dem councillor Poddy Clark:
What is for me one of the best aspects of The Shard development is for her a ward nightmare: the viewing platform that will be open to the public and, at 243.8 metres height, offering amazing views across and beyond London. With estimates that this will attract as many as two million visitors a year, the viewing platform will offer a fantastic opportunity for tourists and locals to enjoy the sorts of views that are normally reserved for the very rich in private spaces at the top of the tallest buildings or in helicopters and private planes.
But two million people may cause enormous congestion issues, even with London Bridge, a train, tube and bus station, being heavily rebuilt. There is a particular problem with pavements in the area that have not been able to be improved because they are cluttered up with scaffolding which is holding up semi-derelict buildings that would otherwise collapse. Landlord King’s College is the particular target of local ire for the state of some of its properties.
There is however now good news:
For the past five months Cathedrals ward councillor David Noakes has worked with residents,Better Bankside and campaigning organisations including Southwark Living Streets and Boroughbabies, to urge council officers to take enforcement action against the college if it didn’t take steps to improve the appearance of the buildings.
Now King’s College London has confirmed to the council that it is planning to move the structural support inside the buildings, enabling the pavements to be cleared of scaffolding and returned to their full width…
The presence of the scaffolding meant that the pavement in front of the two buildings could not be upgraded during the recent resurfacing of Borough High Street by Transport for London. Southwark Council has agreed to ask TfL to bring the two sections of footway up to the same standard once the scaffolding has been removed.
A great case of literal pavement politics.