Sir: Lord Attenborough and others (letter, 22 February) are right to highlight the planning nonsense that is affecting the Thames in Richmond. Sadly, the problems of out-of-scale, inappropriate development on the banks of the Thames are not confined to Richmond and Twickenham, but are affecting the Thames and its banks along its entire London stretch.
Much of the development is for so-called "luxury housing" which does little to deal with local housing needs, often adds to local transport chaos by demanding unnecessary parking spaces and denies rights of access to the river which, in turn, restricts recreational and educational opportunities for millions. In some parts development turns the river banks into concrete canyons, which denude the banks' natural quality and ability to deal with flooding. Proposals at Wapping and at Fulham football ground go as far as to build into the river - a true indication of the inefficient use of land in London.
Old Father Thames is literally being sold down the river. Significantly, in its proposals for the Greater London Authority, the Government mentions the Thames once, and then only in terms of transporting waste or tourists.
PAUL de ZYLVA
Friends of the Earth London
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