I know times are hard but Barking town centre is a mess

RECENTLY I returned from a visit to relatives who have lived in Barking all their lives. I was born and also grew up in the borough and thought it would be pleasant to have a look around my old haunts of the town and the quay area where I played as a ch

RECENTLY I returned from a visit to relatives who have lived in Barking all their lives.

I was born and also grew up in the borough and thought it would be pleasant to have a look around my old haunts of the town and the quay area where I played as a child. It is obvious that there would be many changes over the years, but the buildings I was confronted with were appalling. They should be built in a more sympathetic way and scale.

How can Councillors, town planners and architects agree to a plan for a town centre where civic buildings and residential accommodation are all squeezed into such a small area?

The colour scheme alone can only be described as garish. The walkways between the buildings could also invite problems at night. I am sure the interiors of the apartments may be a great improvement for the residents but they also need a pleasant outlook from their homes, not other walls in close proximity. The Town Hall built a few years ago has a dignity which is now swamped by the surrounding area.


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Facing on to Ripple Road which isn't a wide road is another overpowering building alongside the Police Station. I understand its nickname may be the lemonade building after the famous R Whites Co. Other high-rise apartments built beside the road towards the East Ham route are also particularly ugly. All in all the parts of Barking that I encountered looked a shambles and a mish-mash. Surely lessons could have been learned from other parts of London where high-rise accommodation has been built and mistakes made.

All people in other residential areas of Barking should be proud of their Civic Centre and shopping area and enjoy the overall appearance, but it looks dirty and uncared for. I know with the recession that times are hard, but these plans must have been made years ago. So I for one am not accepting any excuses.

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I might add that I am not in the habit of writing to newspapers, but I was astounded by what I saw. I would be interested to see if any readers are of the same opinion as me, or are they delighted by what has been achieved by the authorities?

You may ask who am I to comment on what may satisfy other citizens, I don't live there. My relatives will forward any replies printed.

Mrs Knight

Oxon

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