Peter Murray

 

London could contribute a million more homes to the goal of easing its ongoing housing crisis if it de-designated and used some of the scrappier, less ‘green and pleasant’ parts of its considerable Green Belt land.

That was one of the key views to emerge from an APPG meeting on whether it was time to re-think the Green Belt, held in Westminster 23 July.

london green belt

The session was introduced by APPG chair Rupa Huq and London Society chairman Peter Murray. The Society was responsible for originally introducing ideas around the Green Belt to prevent sprawl and provide a green lung for the city, but Peter Murray called it a ‘toxic’ issue which politicians nowadays ordinarily shy away from. Having a mature debate about such an important but often neglected issue, especially as the issue is controversial and emotive, was essential.

He then introduced Siobhain McDonagh (SM) to speak on the issue.

Siobhain McDonagh (SM) – The vast majority of issues raised at her surgeries are housing related, the 300,000-new home target per year has not been met since 1969 and London is gripped by a housing crisis which leaves families without adequate accommodation or in the grip of the private renting sector. We desperately need to build more homes to solve this crisis

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Peter Murray

 

September is a busy month with a series of fantastic talks, intriguing visits and an important debate. The Saturday Morning Planning School is back following the success of the Architecture School earlier this summer: knowledge of the complexities of London’s planning system is essential if one is to understand how this city is being shaped so this is a really important strand of the Society’s programme. The Behind the Scenes tours will take us into 30s town halls, one of the ‘Magnificent 7’ cemeteries, a school of architecture as well as the TUC’s Headquarters – a Modernist icon designed by the brilliant but unproductive David du Aberdeen. And we have an amazing line up for our Brexit debate: under the chairmanship of On London’s Dave Hill, Lord Adonis  and Caroline Pidgeon (Remain) and Daniel Moylan and a further speaker (Leave) go head-to-head on the outcome of the current negotiations and their effect on the capital. 

In the way that London’s history repeats itself Brexit reminds me of the Hanseatic League in London. It had been trading here since the 13th century, but their success riled the local merchants and in 1596 Queen Elizabeth I threw them out of the City. They had been based in the Steelyard (Stahlhof) on the river west of London Bridge, a walled compound which comprised warehouse, homes and a church, all destroyed in the Great Fire.  The League continued to own the site until 1852 when they sold it to the South Eastern Railway Company who built Cannon Street Station upon it. Only a plaque remains to remind us. Now wouldn’t make a good lecture!

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Peter Murray

 

The 2018 AGM of the Society was on Monday 16 July 2018 at 6.30pm at Allies & Morrison, 85 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0HX.

The draft MINUTES of the meeting can be downloaded here. The minutes will be formally approved at the 2019 AGM.

The 2017 ACCOUNTS (which were approved at the AGM) may be downloaded here.

 

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Peter Murray

 

Conservation & Heritage: champions and challenges

A residential symposium in Liverpool’s historic centre

Liverpool has more listed buildings than any other city in the UK outside of London, and as such is a fitting location for Martin Randall Travel’s 2018 symposium; Conservation and Heritage.

Taking place over three days (7–9 November), this ambitious symposium brings together movers and shakers in the world of architectural conservation to examine the impact of tourism and new developments, as well as celebrating the skills and scholarship that make restoration and regeneration possible. Topics range from conservation in conflict zones in the Middle East, to Windsor Castle 25 Years after the Fire and championing the UK’s northern architectural heritage.

The symposium is held at Bluecoat, the oldest standing building in the city centre, together with an evening lecture and reception in the Grade 1-listed Town Hall. Among the twelve speakers are Sir Simon Jenkins, Sir Donald Insall, Dr Simon Thurley, Jane da Mosto, Marcus Binney, Henrietta Billings and John Darlington.

Prices from £580 pp (two sharing). Includes 2 nights hotel accommodation, breakfasts, refreshments and one dinner, admission to the talks, and some coach travel within Liverpool.

For further information, please click here or call 020 8742 3355

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Peter Murray

 

We’re delighted to announce a new speaker for the London Brexit Debate on 13 September.

Joining Lord Adonis and Daniel Moylan will be Caroline Pidgeon MBE, London Assembly member and former Lib Dem candidate for the Mayoralty.

‘Early Bird’ tickets for the debate are still available, meaning London Society members can attend for as little as £5. Full information can be found here.

The London Brexit Debate will be held at the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square on the evening of Thursday 13 September and will be chaired by Dave Hill of the On London website.

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