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Monday, 1 November 2010
A Letter from Florence Gersten.
Letters to the editor: October 27
Oct 27 2010
Liverpool Daily Post
"Wedge’ buildings disfigure waterfront
I RECENTLY read a letter to the local press, expressing horror at the appearance of two huge, dark, wedge-shaped buildings nearing completion on the south side of Mann Island.
The writer asked how such a development could have been permitted.
Well, I can answer that.
At the Planning Committee meeting which considered this development, four individual objectors spoke very strongly against it.
We all said much the same things: that these structures were totally unsuitable to their surroundings in every way: size, style and materials, and that they would utterly destroy some of the finest views in Liverpool.
Some of the committee members were concerned enough for a vote to be taken. Unfortunately, the result was 50/50.
The Chair of the Planning Committee then used her casting vote. She said: “This is a young architect and I think young architects should be given a chance”, before approving the development. This was one of her last decisions before retiring from local government, so the black wedges may be called her legacy to Liverpool. I understand at the time she held the position of English Heritage Environment Champion.
Until recently, if one stood in Derby Square and looked down James Street, there was a view right across the river to Birkenhead and beyond.
Now the view down James Street is cut off by a high black wall. The formerly spectacular view of the Mann Island buildings, seen through the stone arch at Wapping Dock, was reproduced on postcards and in books of Liverpool scenes.
Now the view through this arch is filled and surrounded by solid black, above which only the upper part of the buildings are visible.
These are undoubtedly the worst of the many large structures which now disfigure our beautiful waterfront.
However, they may yet be outdone by views of the north docks area if the Peel proposals go ahead.
Florence E Gersten, Wavertree
I am not so kind to the self serving abomination that was the planning committee Chairwoman at the time Doreen Jones. I watched as she played politics with our historic skyline. She should be remembered for what she did.
Her Legacy, The Dame of Disaster Lady Doreen Jones. While she was a heritage supremo. A joke. See what Mike Storey's mate little Larry Neild had to say.
Council appoints Rot Czar
Jun 7 2001
by Larry Neild, Liverpool Echo
VETERAN councillor Lady Doreen Jones was today named as Liverpool's Stop the Rot supremo.
The appointment is civic recognition of the ECHO's campaign to renovate the city's eyesore historic buildings.
Cllr Lady Jones said she was looking forward to working with the ECHO on tackling the problems of unsightly buildings.
Council leader Mike Storey said: "Lady Doreen has stepped down from the council's executive board and now she has time to become involved in this very major issue.
"I am sure that with a politician of her calibre in charge, we will see real results."
Lady Doreen's brief will also include improving the heritage potential of the city.
The council is on the verge of appointing a full-time officer to concentrate on eyesores and caring for the heritage of the city.
Lady Doreen has already won success for one of her ideas -- floodlighting of public buildings. As chairwoman of the now disbanded civic halls committee she helped pave the way for major projects at the town hall and St George's Hall.
She said: "I am delighted to have this new role for the council. I want to ensure that we have a city that is welcoming, clean and pleasant for people.
"We have some of the finest architecture in the country, but things can be spoiled by fly-posting and derelict buildings.
"I will be working closely with Mike Storey and the ECHO on this strategy.
"The problem we have is that the state of the city comes under the umbrella of different directorates. With this role I can involve every directorate as appropriate.
"I am looking forward to early action on the things that need to be done."
And then she turned the World Heritage Site into an eyesore right in front of Little Larry, who was there making notes at the fateful planning committee that sealed the fate of the Pier Head.
Incidentally Larry then went to work for October Communications who were the PR company selling the WHS disaster to the public. Jon Egan &Co, now Aurora are still feeding the local press, plumping them up like fat little chickens with free lunches, only now its little Larry doing it with them.