Regional Destruction Agency: Why SWRDA would rather demolish than make sustainable
8th January, 2009
The South West Regional Development Agency is letting down planet and people despite promises to redevelop the former site of Morland leather works 'sustainably'.
The "£20 million pound traffic lights". That's what the 15 strong 'Morlands crew' currently occupying a derelict industrial building at the Morlands site near Glastonbury call the road works outside their door. In the eight years since the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA, pronounced "swerda") acquired the 12.5 hectare site for an estimated £6 million pounds, all they have done is demolish some fine industrial buildings, and construct an access road with traffic lights.
The squatters moved into the red brick industrial building on 5 January 2009, because SWRDA, just a few days before Christmas announced that they would be starting demolition on that day, on the pretext that kids were getting inside and it was "dangerous".
After the RDA acquired the site in 2001, with a brief to redevelop it 'sustainably', several major local proposals for sustainable reuse of the existing buildings were being proposed. One of these was a joint venture for a sustainable buildings research centre, involving Bristol University and The Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development (now ECOS), who built the award-winning Bow Yard ecohomes at Langport. All of these projects were snubbed by the RDA, who...
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