THE BUILDINGS 2
A BIT OF RECENT HISTORY
A BIT OF RECENT HISTORY
Pepler House on Wornington Road was designed by Clifford Wearden, pupil of Basil Spence, in 1965. It is a well designed building that has stood the test of time. Residents have asked The Twentieth Century Society to consider recommending it for listing to English Heritage. Many residents have lived there since it opened;some were born in the houses it replaced.
The blocks and houses around Athlone Gardens were built in 1977/9 by Chapman Taylor. They are also pretty well designed, and Munro Mews and the Wornington Road houses are pleasant and work well around the park, though this could be improved. Edward Kennedy is a later infill from 1985 by Green Lloyd Adams, reasonable inside and well cared for by residents.
The most problematic blocks are the central and west group, interesting but a less sympathetic design than those around the park though they were built at the same time and by the same architects. They were originally all joined by walkways (streets in the sky and all that), but some of these were demolished in the 80s because they were being used as a rat run for local miscreants. There was also some remodelling at that time, not especially successful long-term due to poor maintenance. Nevertheless, some of the residents in these buildings are reluctant to consider any change, probably because they don’t believe anything KHT tells them, and because the masterplan they have seen so far is horrendous!
The Venture Centre is the local community centre and is owned by the Council. It also needs to be ‘reprovided’, and would work much better if it was in a good relationship to the park; maybe flats on top.
Use of open space in the central and west blocks is frankly appalling and there are many pockets totally unusable. Many residents feel this is the best area to increase density, and many would agree if a developer could give them something exciting design-wise with good open spaces, with a couple of taller buildings (8 storeys max) to provide the extra 200 bedrooms needed, and re-knit Pepler and the Athlone Gardens blocks into a more cohesive unity. There is no need, indeed a surplus, of private in the borough. A decent mix of keyworker, low cost home ownership/shared ownership, and social rented would supply local need, give a modest mix, and keep working offspring in the neighbourhood – which most of them seem to want.
LINK TO:_THE PEOPLE_