Just the kind of design we need
I’M DISAPPOINTED by the rather mean-spirited responses to Ashford’s new street lamps in the shared-space development. This interesting and refreshingly inventive project is one occasion on which Ashford’s council and the design team ought to be applauded for making a genuinely radical decision about town planning. It is nonsense to say that Ashford’s “historic architecture” is compromised by the new development. Ashford is a town largely devoid of any interesting architecture. Nothing particularly impressive has been built here since 1850. At last we have some innovative design in the town and (predictably) a vast chorus of whining erupts in the pages of the Kentish Express. It’s enough to make anyone want to live elsewhere. Imagine London with no Millennium Bridge, no Tate Modern, no Gherkin, no London Eye, no National Gallery, no St Pancras Station and no St Paul’s Cathedral! These were all innovative and costly designs when they were built but most of us are glad they happened. What a dreary place our capital city would be without them. Unfortunately Ashford is a dreary place, or was until the new development hinted at its potential to be a more exciting town. How sad to greet new innovation with a tidal wave of moaning! Matthew King, Kennington.
IN THE 1970s, investment in Ashford was quick, cheap and made of concrete. The Government has told Ashford to expand again but this time the council is trying to do it differently. A few years ago, Ashford’s Future Team had a vision that Ashford could be beautiful and interesting with good design. They applied for funding from home and abroad and got it! Towns from all over Europe applied for money that was to be specifically allocated. We wouldn’t have got it for bog standard lamposts. Ashford isn’t used to anyone caring, it usually has to compete with Maidstone and