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Waste warning is hit by Chinese whispers

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While one should learn to live or die by one's own words, my own attempts at verbal kamikaze have been distorted by the Chinese whispers of journalism.My comments about Westminster Underground Station (Astragal, AJ 13.09.01), which noted how it looked as if a group of brilliant youngsters had been given rein, were reported in the Daily Telegraph as 'they must have put the B Team down here (in the station)', which was then (lazily) picked up in Astragal (AJ 13.09.01) as 'The B Team must have worked on Portcullis House'. So a chain of inaccurate reporting that started with my admiration for the station ends up offending the whole of the Portcullis/Westminster team.

My own 'flip' comments are exceeded by those in Astragal's reporting of the Arsenal stadium proposal. My problem is not so much with the CZWG housing, but with the the proposals to shunt North London's largest Waste Transfer Station from an industrial site into a residential area, of which our house forms a tiny part. The urban design report prepared for Arsenal justifies this move with the disingenuous argument that 'the new facilities can take their place in the city in a way which reflects pride in the provision of public facilities'.Who are they kidding?

Of course my comments are driven by 'Nimbyism' (and so would yours when faced with up to 400 lorry movements a day), but they reflect a wider anger that Arsenal is happily developing the gentrified parts of the borough on one hand, while dumping the rubbish (literally) on one of London's poorest wards. This is not my idea of social redistribution. The efforts of the architects (not CZWG) to disguise the waste transfer station by wrapping it in housing (some of it single aspect) does not help rid the potential stigma, particularly when one suspects that this will be the housing designated for key workers.

Teachers and nurses with their backs to a wall of waste does not make for edifying social or environmental conditions. For this reason alone, the proposal deserves a more serious investigation from The Architects' Journal than a few flip comments in Astragal.

Jeremy Till, London N7

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