Sunday, 11 April 2010

Queen Caroline Estate, Hammersmith

We often cycle through the Queen Caroline Estate near the Thames at Hammersmith. I can't say that it's very beautiful, but it is a nice location and always seems peaceful and pleasant.  It is also a council - social housing - estate.

Now the community there may be broken up. When the estate was built, nobody wanted to live in what was then a semi industrial bit of Hammersmith, but now it's a desirable area. Hence pound-signs are appearing in the eyes of the local council and businesses.     Of course, they don't admit it. The public line is that they wish to break up estates like Queen Caroline and disperse the residents in "mixed affordable housing" scattered around the borough.  This will mean the council no longer has responsibilty for looking after the estate, and - oh, yes, by the way - the land can be sold off.  See this Guardian article which reveals, among other things, that Berkeley Homes developers is among those who have attended consultation discussions on thist topic.   One suspects they have not done so out of mere public spirited enthusiasm for being part of the Hammersmith and Fulham community.

It is in everyone's interest to have communities that are stable and that work. Either we live in them ourselves, or we have to walk past and through these places, and deal with the people who live there. If people feel alienated and communities fall apart, crime rises, and any of us may fall victim to that.  Heaven knows, there are already enough parts of London where everything feels unconnected and alienated; we should treasure the places that work. 

Here's the Queen Caroline website: check it out and perhaps sign the petition. .

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