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Published: 7 August 2009
Fighting for our play space

COUNCILLOR Philippa Roe’s piece on improvements to council estates (Forum July 31) would be welcome were it not for glaring omissions and misleading statements.
She omits to state that the Luxborough Street play space is being sacrificed for luxury flats to be sold on the open market.
She omits to state that the very belated offer of an alternative play space is risible, a site a fraction in size of the existing space and tucked away in a secluded corner of Luxborough Tower’s car park, thus lacking the open surveillance of the present play space.
She omits to state that with Luxborough Tower more than two-thirds privatised, its residents are furious that the Westminster City Council thinks it can take away their play space.
Cllr Roe says that ‘…we are not proposing a scheme that will in any way disadvantage children in the area but will in fact enhance the whole neighbourhood for everyone”.
How can the loss of valued play and breathing space enhance the whole neighbourhood of Luxborough Street and Marylebone?
Sue Robinson
Save Our Space Campaign, W1


I CANNOT speak for the other areas where building hundreds of affordable homes and regenerating neglected estates is going on
but at Luxborough Tower the consultation with the local residents by Westminster City Council and its CityWest Homes has been woefully lacking and it has only been after we, the local residents of the area, have expressed our concerns (via a petition containing 800 signa­tures in opposition to this proposed development of 19 flats on an existing play space) that there has been any talk of a “brand new play area just yards away”. And where is this play area going to be located? In the back area of the estate where it will be difficult to monitor its use.
The police have expressed their very real concerns regarding both the loss of this amenity and/or its relocation.
This estate has surrounding grounds intended to offer its residents a haven of green and open space in the midst of concentrated housing.
What extra land has Councillor Philippa Roe found to build this new play space? Why build 19 flats on an existing play space, which the council itself has designated as “protected open space”, and then force the residents of the estate to give up even more of their estate grounds to build another?
This play space is protected and the government should be looking at improving it, not building high-end flats on it. We need to keep this space for the young persons of the area.
Christina Gibson
via email

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