A leading architect has lambasted Preston City Council's year zero approach to architecture and development.
Sally Stone, a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Manchester School of Architecture and co-author of Re-readings: Interior Architecture and the Design Principles of Remodelling Existing Buildings has written an impassioned plea in defence of Preston's "unique character" - warning that council proposals could transform Preston into a city that is "ordinary and bland" - "a soulless mid-European city".
In Monday's Lancashire Evening Post Stone defends Preston's green spaces in a way that directly echoes the arguments posted by local people on the 'Save The Ribble' blog:
What other place has cows grazing so close to the city centre? How many cities have as much green space?
The Winckley Square – Avenham Park – Tram Road corridor is incredible, a unique succession of green spaces spanning the river.
It is an asset to Preston, our green city
Cows graze within minutes of Preston City Centre : Originally posted here
This is almost certainly a criticism of the Riverworks proposals - which include proposals to build housing estates on crucial green spaces near the river.
She speaks too in defence of Friargate - one of Preston's most ancient thoroughfares - threatened with total obliteration if Council Planners get their way.
Preston City Council would do well to listen to people like Sally Stone, who believe in development that is sympathetic to the existing character of the City, that fits in with the lifestyles of the people who live here, respects the existing, organically grown pattern of streets and buildings, and which celebrates the rich heritage of Preston and it's surrounding area.
Instead the council looks determined to repeat all the mistakes of the 1960's 70's and 80's - with wholesale development that is imposed on local people, out of character with the area, environmentally disastrous, and driven by profit rather than local people's wishes or needs.
Residents of Preston have seen successive council schemes wreck and re-wreck the Town Centre, and feel it would be a terrible and needless tragedy if this were to be perpetrated yet again. We feel too that to wreck our beautiful river with a barrage that would starve the estuary of its nutrient silts, and drown mudbanks, to build housing estates over green belt, floodplain, allotments and sports pitches, to concrete over riverbanks and to artificially block the life-giving tides, would be more than a tragedy - it would be irreparable environmental vandalism of criminal proportions.
architecture Preston heritage environment