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Cartoon gets it right on the South Bank

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Hellman's cartoon of Rick Mather and his plans for the South Bank (aj 13.5.99) put in stark perspective what is being fudged in the debate about the future: will the Hayward Gallery complex and the other 1960s buildings be sacrificed on the altar of an outdated dislike of concrete and walkways?

It is often said that precisely when most people wish to knock a building down, that is the most important time to resist demolition. We have seen this time and time again in London, and the South Bank looks no different. From the work I have seen of the Mather office, its approach to design is sophisticated, and it is surely unlikely to leap to premature conclusions about the future of the Herron, Crompton et al designs which have formed a backdrop to London life for so long. Mather has made no promises to save the buildings, but neither has he made any promises to demolish.

The public must have its say on this matter - in full possession of the true costs of different options for the future, along with design proposals.

James Enfield

London SE18

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