Very much as expected, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson yesterday granted approval for Hutchison Whampoa's ambitious plans to shoe-horn 3,500 new homes into the former royal dockyard site on the Deptford waterfront.
The entire hearing was filmed and if you have the stamina and love to see our great democracy* in action, you can watch it in its full three-hour-plus glory on the mayor's webcast site but I wouldn't recommend it. Not sure if it's a Mac thing or my broadband or what, but the quality of picture I get is very poor.
Being a consummate politician, Boris makes a great play of listening carefully to all the objections (yes, even Dave Fleming!) and he does ask a lot of questions, but there are some quite obvious moments where he fails to pursue the investigation to its natural end, raising suspicions that it is mostly for show. He'd already decided, I think we all know that.
Even his 'decision' to incorporate two further conditions into the approval, purporting to support the community-led Lenox Project and Sayes Court Garden CIC, strike me as nothing more than a bit of good news with which to gloss over the approval of a development with tall towers, high density housing, appalling public transport connections and too many car parking spaces.
Architect Terry Farrell also attended the hearing - having not been seen since the famous 'build from the ground-up' pledge on the first open day - and fresh from his unveiling of the Farrell Review which he worked on for the government. Conflict of interest? Can't think what you mean!
*I use the term ironically of course. One man with the power to make a decision which will irrevocably change the lives of many, and not in a good way.