Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mayor Bullock set to abandon Church Grove traveller site

Sir Steve Bullock, Lewisham's Mayor, is being recommended strongly by officers in a report published today (see to abandon proposals for a traveller site at the former Watergate School site and to look elsewhere for a site to meet the Council's Housing Act duties.

Officers recommend ". . . based on the outcome of the consultation and an independent Technical Report on Access, the proposals for redevelopment of the Church Grove site to meet the current accommodation needs of the gypsy and traveller community in the borough be discontinued and a new site search begun."  Paragraph 18.3 continues "The key issue of concern is access . . . Although it may be possible for some caravans to safely access [sic] the site, the revised legislation means that it would be very difficult for a caravan of the maximum permitted width to safely enter [sic] the site without potential damage to other vehicles or mounting an already narrow footway. The use of mitigation measures have been considered but it has been concluded that these are either impractical or have significant disadvantages.

Paragraph 18.6 concludes "In order to address the need to identify a site or sites to meet the needs of the traveller community, officers propose to fundamentally reconsider [sic] the existing approach to the identification of potential sites. This would involve a re-appraisal of the criteria previously used and a new site search that will take into account both Council sites and those outside of Council ownership."

Split infinitives aside, this looks like ending next week with a victory for commonsense. The arguments from residents seem to have won the day - which begs the question why wasn't there a proper exploration of the issues BEFORE the Church Grove site was put on a shortlist of one!


val said...

To boldly go...somewhere else! Good news.

Longtime Ladywell resident said...

Nice site for a community garden . . . .

GrammarGriller said...

Good news about the Mayor's decision for abandonment! But is it final and what might happen to the site instead? With this respite, on a lighter note: as we are not speaking Latin, what is wrong with using split infinitives? The Fowler brothers in the authoritative ‘The Kings English’ (1907) described the aversion to split infinitives as a “curious superstition” and two decades later in the Dictionary of ‘Modern English Usage’ wrote that writers who avoid split infinitives are “bogy-haunted creatures.”. A split infinitive can be necessary to emphasise or clarify: ‘they wanted her to dance beautifully” and ‘he intended to really enjoy the feast’ are examples of where splitting and non-splitting respectively would have been clumsy or unclear.
Was Byron (1788-1824) a poetic failure in writing “To slowly trace the forest’s shady scene….” in Solitude? In brief, the stylistic consensus is to not split the majority of infinitives but to be free to split where emphasis, style or clarity dictate this to be necessary. That said, the excerpt from the Council’s text did appear to be a case of the runaway splits - but was it intentionally necessary or just inadvertent error?