London developer makes last-minute changes to lock poor kids out of "communal" playground

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/25/london-developers-last-minut.html

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#2

You know what I don’t hear? Amid all the outrage, I don’t hear plans to remove the hedges.

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#3

A little herbicide here, a little hedge trimming there, and voila - open access. See if the upper class twits have the balls to boot the poorer kids directly. And if they do, make sure it’s filmed.

Selfish, disgusting bastards.

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#4

You Brits can’t point at the USA anymore and laugh, until tRump tweets again anyways, probably in five or so minutes, sadly.

@Boundegar Don’t they have a Resistance over there?

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#5

Q: Was this a cynical move?
A: Yes.

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#6

Those with plans to remove the hedges won’t be talking about them in a public space. The cops tend to get involved if they do.

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#7

Begging the rhetorical question? /s

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#8

They do. They will.

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#9

I was going to make a joke about the Occupy movement coming to playgrounds now, but nothing about it is funny!

(Maybe Banksy can add guillotines to the rich area slides, eh?)

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#10

Then I will not be the one to regale you with troubling tales of wealthy connected California beachside homeowners who’ve (and still do) periodically claimed public beaches for their own private use. No. I will not be the one to… oops. Too late! :smiling_imp:

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#11

I have recently been introduced to this formulation and I feel like I recognize examples everywhere now.

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

Of course, a society organizing itself this way may profit from constantly reminding its citizens which group they’re in at any particular time or in any particular situation. Little, petty, easy, trivial reminders, like segregated water fountains, “poor doors,” and restricted playgrounds. And that seems to check out.

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#12

This is in my view the true horror of this kind of thing - the people who are allowed to use the play area are not upper class twits.

They are just slightly richer than the ones in the social and affordable homes.

But still the sort of oiks that upper class twits would spurn as hopelessly poor and chavvy.

I think there is also a fence.

To be fair, the ‘playing area’ in question isn’t much to get excited about although I appreciate it’s the principle of the thing.

It’s that pointless green bit in the courtyard. I can’t see children playing in there being tolerated for long, no matter whose kids they are. Someone drinking their G&T on their patio will get annoyed at the noise or having a football knock over their drink… This is Britain after all.

The playing area for the social housing is the little red-brown strip on the bottom left before the football pitches start.

The football pitches are not part of the development.

Lambeth Walk Open Space is just on the other side of Lollard Street.

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#13

Led by Playground Penelope.

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#14

… the freeholder (a ridiculous feudal institutionthat the English tolerate for mysterious reasons)

Brexit aside, the freeholder/leaseholder tradition is so bad it’s sufficient reason to want to leave Blighty and start a new life elsewhere.

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#15

Like the practice in NYC of treating the residents of forced inclusion affordable housing in luxury buildings to be treated as second class citizens. The rent is 83% off, but you have to chuck in an (about) an extra month’s rent per year to get access to the fitness center.

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#16

Eat the rich.

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#17

“[although] the block overlooks the swing area, the residents have no access to it. This is for [a] very good reason – being that [they] do not contribute towards the service charge…This is in no way discriminatory but fair and reasonable.”

I guess that’s it’s folks. Case closed.

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#18

A British friend was surprised to see how many playgrounds were open to the public in the US. I haven’t been there for any length of time, don’t know if that’s true, that public swings and such are more common in the US than there.

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#19

Really, they just need to get some overalls, a white van, and some “work orders.” Cut a hole in the hedge, install a gate, and problem solved.

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#20

Sentiments agreed but not the target. The other residents are not necessarily upper class twits. Just people who could afford to buy one of these places (and some are no doubt struggling/stretched to do so, as are most buyers in London) as distinct from the people renting the “affordable” places.

The culprits here are NOT the other residents (nothing in the story I read referred to them) but the developers/estate owners who changed their plans. The original plans showed a single communal play area. The planning permission wording enabled them to subsequently change this to 2 play areas so technically they are still compliant with the permssion granted, as there ARE still play areas for all residents. Where it says in Cory’s post that “Henley got permission from Lambeth Council to replace the gates” I suspect (and as I read it) that it is more a case of Lambeth found it had no powers to prevent this, given that the development was still compliant with the wording of the permission granted.

Why the developer thought this was necessary or desirable is a mystery* and these developers should be the target of all the rage and any action to rectify. The other residents do not have any ability to take action to rectify, only the developer does, AFAICS.

I would not be surprised to see a 38Degrees.org.uk or Change.org petition pretty soon and some developer back-pedalling as a result IF they care about their reputation. But they probably don’t.

Practical effects and resolution aside, I really want one of those bastards to be shoved in front of a microphone and not released until they have explained why and how they thought kids needed segregating and in whose interests they thought they were acting (and what they thought those interests actually were) and whether they even asked any of the people in whose interests they thought they were acting whether they agreed. I note the story does not have any interviews asking the non-social housing residents what they think of this.

*Mystery as in: we believe (stupidly) that we’ll get higher prices for these places if a selling point is that the poor renters will be out of sight and out of mind, along with their noisy children.

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