But it’s not hard to see the mistake they made – a massive suck-up to corporate Britain in the 70s and 80s did indeed attract the likes of Sun Life of Canada,Wintethur and IBM to the chalky slopes of Basing View. Their offices, poorly constructed and built to support corporate hubris now lie deserted, semi demolished or at best occupied by demoralised workers whose office view a series of smashed window from an adjacent ruin. The streets in summer are covered with the dust of pulverised concrete.
Add to that, a council’s slavish adherence to the corporate retail mantra led to the construction of the Anvil and its shopping centre -surely one of the worst places to shop in Europe. An addiction to multi-storey car parks adn 24/7 on-street parking charges rendered the city centre a place of fear for the motorist caught between extortionate parking charges and the fear of fines from the legion of clampers and parking attendants who seem Basingstopke’s sole boom industry.
Then there’s a road ystem that is designed to parade you from industrial estate to industrial estate with the occasional option to visit an out of twon supermarket or one of the hideous theme pubs that stand on the outskirts of toen as a sorry reminder of a time when “local” meant more than “Harvester”.
All that is wrong with British town planning can be found in Basingstoke. No one will be held accountable for every decision was undoubtedly taken for the common weal but bad planning is never good for social behaviour and what Croydon, Tottenham and Birmingham have in common is inner city planning blight.
Despite a rumour of a riot at Toys R Us on Tuesday 9th August, Basingstoke appears to be unscathed by recent riots – depite its 19th century history – read here! Massaganiansism is one thing- what we are seeing on the streets of Britain is another but Basingstoke- don’t be complacent!
- Raymond Brown awarded £1m Basingstoke station contract (rail.co)
- Invensys Rail awarded Salisbury to Exeter Signalling Recontrol contract (rail.co)
- Basingstoke Canal funding e-petition – Another side to the story (surreyheath-residents.co.uk)
- My stay in an NHS hospital cheered me up (telegraph.co.uk)