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Archive for July, 2010

There’s excellent coverage in the local papers this week of the fight against the proposed UKCRI medical laboratory behind the British Library. The CNJ reports on the delegation to the full council meeting on Monday night, and runs a delightful letter that describes the second effort as a design for the site as looking like a gargantuan bluebottle.

The Ham & High also ran my letter pointing out that opposition to the plan is coming from an increasing number of directions. (Digital edition, page 16).

What’s encouraging is the sense of renewed interest in the media in the campaign, and a lessening of the sense that this is a fait accompli. The CNJ leader asks: “Why can’t the existing centre in Mill Hill be transformed? Wouldn’t it be better to build homes in Brill Place?” adding… “After a long campaign by residents these questions remain unanswered.”

Both the CNJ news report and the letter to which I’ve linked express astonishment, shared I think by pretty much everyone in the council chamber on Monday night, about the extraordinary attack from Somers Town councillor Peter Brayshaw on the delegation leader Candy Udwin. He launched into a barrage of questions against her, all hostile.

I can only imagine what might have happened had veteran local councillor Roger Robinson, who is with the huge bulk of residents in being firmly against the scheme, been in the chamber. I suspect when Roger catches up with Peter that will be an interesting meeting…

Meanwhile, while the developing consortium is sending out fancy pictures of the proposed edifice, I’ve snapped some images of the models now on display on the site, which give a much better idea of the enormous, disproportionate scale of the proposed structure. The lighting in the display is poor, but you should at least get a sense from these:

UKCMRI model

ukcrmi model

That’s local homes – council housing on Ossulston St – being towered over in the foreground of the second picture, and the historic Grade I-listed St Pancras station blotted out in the background. In the first picture it’s the Purchese Street open spaces, one of the few patches of open ground in Somers Town, and the sheltered housing of Monica Shaw Court and the council housing of Phoenix Court that will lose their sun and light.

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