Examination of Witness (Questions 420-425)|
WEDNESDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2001
420. Can you give us an example where multi-use
facilities incorporating retail and child care and other facilities
have proved to be a success?
(Mr Rouse) You could look at a succession of leisure
centres and sports facilities, some of them developed by the private
sector over the last five years where they have incorporated retail
uses on the ground floor level. There is one in New Malden, for
example, that I have seen recently. I prefer to use those small
examples because they are more prevalent, where you do not have
to have blank frontages and blank walls which represent the gymnasium
or the sports hall. You can use the ground floor area for having
active uses that other members of the public can come and use:
a cafeteria, a creche, a health centre, a physiotherapist. We
can be a lot richer in the types of uses we mix within these recreational
421. Go upstairs and tear your muscles and come
downstairs and have them fixed?
(Mr Rouse) Exactly. And it is good economics.
422. How do you think PPG17 could better address
the design of new facilities? Where do you see its shortcomings?
(Mr Rouse) The first one which I had started to articulate
is the importance of stressing that these should be mixed use
environments. If you give the example of Arsenal, the first time
we saw the Arsenal stadium it was just a stadium plonked down
with any other uses that might get in the way siphoned off into
other parts of that borough. We said that was not good enough.
Arsenal, to their credit, went away and they have now come back
with a scheme which incorporates a significant amount of new housing,
new retail facilities and the stadium and it is going to be a
much livelier environment, it is going to be a new piece of London,
and I think they should be commended on taking those steps.
423. Do you really think someone wants to live
close to a football stadium?
(Mr Rouse) If you talk to the people who have lost
stadiums in recent years, the people round what used to be the
Baseball Ground in Derby, the people around Goodison Park, they
are mourning the loss of those stadiums to other parts of the
424. I can understand pubs and small shops mourning
them but I would have thought that most householders would be
quite pleased not to have people being sick in their gardens and
doing other nasty things to their property.
(Mr Rouse) What is the alternative? The alternative
is that you put the football ground right on the edge of the city,
not part of the urban fabric. You have to drive to get to it.
There are acres of car parking around it. That is not the type
of urban area that we want to create. We want to create vibrant,
mixed use areas where different things are going on at different
times of day.
425. Are you aware that there is in fact a great
deal of local opposition to the stadium at King's Dock in Liverpool,
and that opposition is to do with the possible environmental impact
of large crowds and movement of people in an area which has housing
and the fact that it is close to the city centre?
(Mr Rouse) We are very aware of those issues because
we are enabling that project. We are working with the clients,
including Liverpool City Council, to try and get the best quality
environment we can. Once the decision had been taken that the
stadium should move there, the key now is to ensure that that
historic part of Liverpool remains a high quality environment
which is about making it mixed use, which is about ensuring that
the overall environmental impact is uprated by getting other uses
around the stadium.
Chairman: On that note, thank you very much
for your evidence.