Well, dear resident of ‘Vauxhall’ did you know you no longer live in Vauxhall,? Whatever you may think, you now apparently live in ‘Nine Elms on the South Bank’. Where? Never heard of it before? Well, according to ‘The Blob’, NESB ‘covers an area from the Albert Embankment at Lambeth Palace in the London Borough of Lambeth to Queenstown Road in the London Borough of Wandsworth’.
And ‘The Blob’?
Like ‘NESB’, ‘The Blob’ is another made-up word, this one borrowed from the 1958 and 1988 science-fiction films of that name. Back then, The Blob meant ‘an alien life-form, without soul or vertebrae, that consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.’ Around here, it still does and as we see it in Vauxhall is presently composed of a faceless mass of local government functionaries and PR persons. Supercharged with money, public and private, and freed from local consent or regulation (such as a requirement that 40% of new homes should not be for the rich), The Blob slithers on and on.
Thus, you go to sleep in Vauxhall and wake up in NESB. Who says so? The Blob. Where did the Blob come from? Not from outer space, it seems, but from the office of the present and preceding Mayors of London, one Labour, one Tory, both of whom Think Big. So big that the thought became the deed, or at least The Blob. Around here, it began as ‘VNEB’ (for Vauxhall Nine Elms and Battersea). To this was tacked on ‘Opportunity Area’, so launching in the Middle and Far East a property gold rush along the Vauxhall bank of the Thames .
Blobbing along the riverbank little can grow in its wake except tall glass. It’s trying to do away with Vauxhall Bus Sation. Now The Blob apparently has engulfed and done away with ‘Vauxhall’ itself, a name dating back to the early 13th century. Vauxhall wasn’t consulted about being abolished in The Blob’s eyes, and there’s still a bit of Blob called the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, but for how long the ‘Vauxhall’ bit will last, who can say? For box-ticking reasons, The Blob – through Richard Buckle, Head of Urban Design at the Mayor’s Transport for London – now seeks your thoughts on a ‘Public Realm Design Guide’. That’s the odd inch of green stuff between the swathes of ‘private realm’ or ‘all those absentee-owner flats and Chinese-owned hotels’.
Consultation (until 16 February):
What did The Blob ever do for you?
Save Vauxhall Bus Station online petition: