Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Planning Inspector's site visit Seething Wells


Security guard on the wall between FB's
Driving back to the coal wharf 11am
The site visit was scheduled for 11am on a cold foggy morning. there were approximately ten attendees including three from the Friends of Seething Wells as well as the planning consultant and  landscape architect for the developers Hydro/ Cascina. At 10.55a.m the security guard drove his car down the slope and onto the platform between FB's 1 & 2. He got out of his car making sure that all the lapwings flew away. He got back in his car and returned to the coal wharf (which was our meeting point).

Simon and Howard at the rear of our party
Foggy wetland
We walked back along the filter beds and were shown some yellow marks on the pillars along the Portsmouth Road which are supposed to depict the heights of the apartments or the tops of the photovoltaic panels. We heard the eerie call of a lapwing through the fog, which could be seen flying from the wall at FB 5.
Yellow marks on the pillars
Returning to  the coal wharf to view the iron plates that were once the base for the transport of freight around the site, one of the developer's staff almost fell down a large hole. This was the top of the barge tunnel, which still appears to be missing it's hatch. 

We returned to the Portsmouth Road where the Chelsea and Lambeth listed buildings owned by the University were identified. We couldn't view the tunnels, whose listed portals project into the coal wharf, as the vegetation was so overgrown even the long incline or rake down to the tunnel was obscured.

Finally the plot which was once James Simpson's house the architect of the site) was pointed out by Howard. The Inspector will return on her own in better weather in order to assess the strategic views from Barge Walk etc. The results will be known in the New Year.

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