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Taking the rise

Letters

We are constantly reminded of the need to increase the density of urban living in the UK, to accommodate the changing demographics of the nation and minimise land-take from the green belt. This can be partly achieved, for example, through the careful siting of high-rise offices and apartments at key transport interchanges.

This seems like an eminently sensible solution. However, when it really comes down to it, NIMBYism is still the ruling factor in urban planning, not the need to provide 10,000 or whatever extra homes.

I refer, of course, to the recent decision to reduce the proposed Paddington Station tower from 42 storeys to a mere 10. The Royal Parks Agency claims the taller tower would intrude on their turf. But I do not believe that people really go into green spaces in central London and suddenly think they are in a tranquil part of the countryside. There is the small matter of the roar of distant traffic, jets screaming overhead and numerous other people around them - city living is still city living and in my experience, many people are happy with it.

Parks can provide far more amenity to the population if they can also be enjoyed from a distance, from one's office window or apartment balcony High-rise living and working may just help the situation.

Mark Thompson mchtommo@emirates.net.ae

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