Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Open spaces.

I'm not the only one to notice that Stoke-on-Trent is through a massive process of demolition with little evidence of building taking place.

My own parish - Hanley - which broadly covers the ST1 postal area - is being progressively cleared with very little building taking place. Admittedly there have been some new houses built (though that seems to have stopped) and the towpath to the canal was closed almost for a year while that was restored - rather well, I admit. But look across the Stoke-on-Trent skyline. How many cranes are visible? I mean the construction type - not the birds - though the answer is the same: 0.

Just to give a flavour, when I walked the dogs around just part of the parish yesterday, following the newly restored towpath, I took photos of the scenery. I should emphasise that I did not deliberately seek out demolition or clearance sites - the parish is not especially large. Neither did I visit the largest area of clearance which is well to the West of where I walked. I used my iPhone because it geotags the images, so it should be possible to pinpoint more or less exactly where they were taken.

You can see the images (and map) here. The images of 'Botteslow Park' are particularly striking.

It is clear that many of these are not temporary sites. Some have grass and daisies growing. Others have been banked in order to prevent vehicles driving onto them. Some are more recently cleared. Others are buildings waiting to be demolished.

This is the state of the City Centre of Stoke-on-Trent.

There is little evidence of construction taking place. And they plan to knock down more.


Update (21 April): more images have been added to the flickr set and the accompanying map showing the areas to the west of the parish.

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