London 'has given up on public realm'

Reports that architect Sir David Chipperfield has said that he regards private investment's hold over architecture in London as an 'absolutely terrible' means of building a city feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that Chipperfield said that, in Berlin, where he employs an office of 90, "there is still an idea of the public realm. We have given that up in London. We have declared the public realm dead; the question is how to get stuff out of the private sector. We are unbelievably sophisticated at that."

The Independent reports that a "flagship housing scheme which allows tenants to buy their council house at a discount is eroding Britain’s stock of affordable housing – with only one home being built for every four sold off". The newspaper says that an analysis of figures "show that since right-to-buy was re-launched by the government in 2012, more than 20,000 properties have been sold off, with discounts of up to 70 per cent on market value". But it add that over the same period, "local councils have begun building less than 5,000 homes to replace those sold – despite a claim by the then housing minister, Grant Shapps, that ‘every additional home sold will be replaced by a new affordable home on a one-for-one basis’".

The Independent also reports that comedian Russell Brand joined residents of Hackney’s New Era estate yesterday to protest against US property owner Westbrook, which it says is threatening 93 families with eviction. The newspaper says the protesters then marched to Downing Street, "where they handed in a petition signed by 294,000. An estimated 400 people took part in the event which was led by Brand". Rent on the Hoxton estate "will reportedly be raised to £2,000 from £650. However, Westbrook hand-delivered letters to all tenants last night which promised that rent will not be increased until the middle of 2015", the newspaper reports.

The Times (subscription required) reports that chancellor George Osborne will tomorrow announce the creation of a "multimillion pound science institute in Manchester" as "the next step in his plans for a ‘northern powerhouse’ to rival London’s thriving economy".

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