Can it be true? Beauty has defeated Mammon in the heart of the City of London.
The sainted Eric Pickles has just chucked out the grotesque developers’ scheme that would have seen the greatest parade of market buildings in Britain ruined by offices. A great chunk of steel and glass was going to be shoved through the carefully-considered, flowing lines of the elegant Victorian complex.
SAVE, the buildings heritage group, were heroic in fighting the proposal when things looked really bleak. Their scheme – to turn the market into a series of sensitive shops and restaurants, while respecting the Victorian structure – is wise; the foundation of a new Covent Garden, a reinvigoration of an ancient, beautiful quarter of London.
Is it too much to hope for that, after years of destroying London, government is finally joining the people in realising how much we love old buildings?