I was intending to call it the conclusion, but of course that would be so wrong, as this is simply the start of a long road, the beginnings of the groundworks for the labyrinthine British planning process. It was interesting to see the preliminary outline that had been constructed from the various interactions the team have had with both individuals and groups of residents.
I frequently used to drive the road before it was routed around Chaul End, so this morning I took time out to take a stroll around the hamlet, to see the idyll that these residents wished to preserve; ironic to think that its very isolation was due to Vauxhall diverting the pre-existing through road to create the cul de sac, that they now want to preserve.
In the new venue at Caddington Village School, a summation of the ideas put forward over the weekend and earlier, were presented at breakneck speed to allow John Thompson to deal with their understanding of the neighbourhood’s priorities, and ideas that they had diligently coalesced. The first of these images were some of local teenagers’ work, highlighted by one Sam (I know no more than that) who had created a very detailed drawing with clear indications of his thoughts. At the end they handed out some printed pamphlets that gave hard copy for what had been in his presentation, which will provide thought-provoking bedtime reading.
One point that John mentioned was this development was to be to European standards, which I brought up with him and GM’s Head of European Real Estate, Julian Lyon before he left – I hoped that GM would try to ensure that there was some form of covenant drawn up that ensured that a major proportion, (possibly for 70% of the dwellings) had room sizes that met European building standards, because Britain’s standard minimum sizes fell far short of our European neighbours. I believe that GM are in a strong position to exercise their corporate morality in such matters when drawing up the rules by which developers must operate.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this project proceeds, because unlike many such gatherings, there was little or no animosity towards those making the presentation.