Letter: Science Museum 'Nimbys' hit back

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The Independent Online
Sir: Local residents who fear that the Science Museum's huge new Wellcome Wing will reduce the amount of daylight entering their windows are portrayed in Jonathan Glancey's article "The outer darkness" (25 April) as reactionaries standing in the way of progress. The residents of 169 Queen's Gate, described in the article as "anonymous" and living in a "grandiloquent block of late Victorian mansion flats", come in for particular opprobrium.

These same residents have publicly stated their support for the Wellcome Wing on several occasions. What concerns them is not that the new building will exist, but that it is oriented in such a way as to shadow their living rooms and bedrooms. They have merely asked for their right to adequate daylight to be considered. If this is Nimbyism, how would Mr Glancey describe the actions of anti-motorway protesters?

The article does not even mention the major issue. For dozens of residents in the surrounding streets, the main problem is not the Wellcome Wing but the separate industrial-style block which the museum has proposed for its new conference centre in Queen's Gate itself.

The local council has now asked the Science Museum to submit a more suitable design. To represent this as a triumph for a handful of Luddites who are "suspicious of science" is absurd.

Jonathan Glancey should check his facts before sneering at the community spirit of ordinary people who want this multicultural part of London to remain beautiful.


Chairman, 169 Queen's Gate Ltd

London SW7