Thursday, 19 July 2012

A property-owning democracy

Another day, another speculative and shoddy plan to 'regenerate' this benighted town. More shops, more hotels, more architectural excrescences - and a market that's going to be 'transformed' by the presence of a massive Sainsbury's. Just like mountains are 'transformed' by mountain-top removal mining (it really exists, sadly).

Where did this plan come from?
this vision has been shaped with the direct input of developers, agents, landowners and major businesses.”
Ah, I see. Or rather I don't see one particular category listed here: us. The citizens of the city. The movers and shakers - and Uppal's fingerprints are all over this one - haven't noticed that we live in the era of Occupy and Open Source democracy. They'll no doubt demand the same things they always do: no planning restrictions, tax breaks, low wages and the control of public space.

But why on earth does the council not think of asking the inhabitants what we need and want? Do they really think we're too stupid to have an opinion? (Probably, yes). Until about a century ago, the vote was restricted to citizens who owned a certain amount of property, on the basis that only they had a settled stake in society. This kind of project makes it abundantly clear that the property qualification is back, and it's more undemocratic than ever.

To add insult to injury, this 'artist's impression' is the worst bit of Photoshop I've ever seen. How small is that train? What about the guy under the hotel canopy? I notice too that - unlike this delightfully diverse city - the imaginary version is whites only.

Political Fail. Photoshop Fail


Anonymous said...

Bilson also said the council’s planning team had become more "commercially aware and business-friendly," which had contributed to it recently winning the West Midlands Local Planning Authority of the Year award.

I do hope that award is worth shit. For they are shit, through and through.

Anonymous said...

WTF is that artist's impression about? The market is on the OTHER SIDE OF TOWN.

word recognition ICKGOVEN. heh.

The Plashing Vole said...

Yes, it's an appalling and inaccurate graphic.
As to the council's attitude: they're incapable of novel or creative thinking. Totally captured by business interests. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Were they dropped on their heads as a child? How is this improvement? Am I seeing this correctly? The road just stops in front of the Brittania Hotel and then it becomes a pedestrian area? (In real life that's the intersection, right? Where they took forever to put up the traffic lights?)

And not to be on the offensive side, but the photoshop 'artist' deserves a swift kick in the posterior.

Buy to Let Landlord Solutions said...

Yeah I agree.