Hello Gavin - do you know if the application involves the removal of the Ernest Bevin bust or the Samuel Bevington statue? Both have been landmarks in Tooley Street for many years and any plan that involves their removal should be closely scrutinised.
This is the planning application - 10/AP/0721 (sorry, not sure how to link to it). The statues are not going to be touched and three of the four trees will remain, with only the scrappy little tree closest to the bank being removed.
Yes it is not just reassurance about the monuments that is needed, but also public access to them. I have contacted Planners to clarify this and will let you know what they say. Reason I am concerned is that about five or six years ago there was talk of building on the site and it was suggested Bevin's bust be moved. As experience tells us these sort of ideas don't always go away!
I guess you will all know this but it was put there back in May 1955 following a public subscription,and was unveiled by Clement Attlee.
I've always thought the statue and benches looked a bit neglected, or a at least have untapped potential. It could be a really nice little spot.
There's going to be a lot more demand for lunch places when all the skyscrapers go up.
(I mistyped 'lynch places' then. Freudian slip)
they do look a bit neglected, Beetroot, and could indeed be made into a nice place. However, as Pat points out, it is vitally important that access to the statue and the benches remains free for all, and not contingent on purchasing bad food from an overpriced restaurant (such as is the case with Butlers Wharf where a public right of way was unilaterally removed). Done tastefully and with due respect to prior-standing facilities/historic points (as well as the bust, if I'm not mistaken from the Ordnance Survey map, there used to be a water trough at the point of the toilets for horses and something of a cross roads (long before the days of Tower Bridge and TBR). What we don't want is some yellow-bricked monstrosity (sic).
You are right Beetroot, there is potential for interpretation of both the Bevin and Bevington memorials. The former was widely recognised as a key member of Churchill's wartime cabinet as well as a major trade unionist, and the latter was a very important contributor to life in Bermondsey through his leather tanning business and his many social activities, as well as being its first Mayor. Why not tell our local community and the passing public more about these men? Might the Planners help here I wonder?