Tag Archives: Planning

Victoria’s secret: how a carbuncle got away with it

Building Design magazine’s awarding of its Carbuncle Cup for this year’s worst new building to Nova, a new office and retail development around the corner from London’s Victoria Station, sets off predictable reactions. How could it have been built? Who … Continue reading

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Peterborough: how an ancient city became a New Town

There are few pleasures like exploring an unfamiliar town on foot for the first time. A new series of posts on this website, In Praise of Ordinary Places, looks at Middle England towns that are overlooked by tourists (Oxford, Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon … Continue reading

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Northampton, a town that needs to grow up and become a city

There are few pleasures like exploring an unfamiliar town on foot for the first time. A new series of posts on this website, In Praise of Ordinary Places, looks at Middle England towns that are overlooked by tourists (Oxford, Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon … Continue reading

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Think out-of-town shopping centres are a thing of the past? Take a look at Rushden Lakes and despair

The river Nene – the slowest-flowing river in England, and its tenth-longest – meanders through Northamptonshire past water meadows and dozens of former gravel pits, long ago flooded and now a nationally important habitat for wetland birds. Northamptonshire’s an underrated … Continue reading

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Of all the places: in praise of Northamptonshire, the middle of everywhere

German has a good word – unheimlich – for this eerie feeling: when something mysterious or unfamiliar somehow makes uncanny sense. Over the last year I’ve felt it in the most unlikely of places: Northamptonshire. Let me explain why. Nearly … Continue reading

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Inside the planning committee: it’s not enough to say it’s all fair and impartial. You have to show it is, too

What goes on at Town hall planning committees these days? In theory it works like this. A committee of about a dozen councillors, politically balanced to match the composition of the council as a whole, assesses planning applications based on … Continue reading

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My old snapshot from 1991 shows how the London skyline has changed utterly – and how it has stayed the same

Sorting through some old photos in my cellar a few months ago I came across a snapshot of the London skyline I took, as a callow 17-year-old, in the autumn of 1991. Out of curiosity, in late 2014 I went back … Continue reading

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