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Monday, February 12, 2007

Place Shaping Comes To Mare Street

Regular readers will know that we were all devastated by Tessa's announcement that Britain's first 'supercasino' would be awarded to Manchester. I have been asked by Councillor Nargis Khan to make it clear that this is a coincidence, that Beswick is a long way from Withington and that, in any event, gambling is an abomination of Satan’s handiwork.

For those of us who are more aligned to the Government's position on public entertainment, I have great news to announce in a world-wide scoop for this blog. I should start by explaining that "place-shaping" is local government jargon for making somewhere nice to live. And boy are we going to do some place shaping!

The bad news is that we have been forced to scrap plans for the Anschutz-Pipe Ocean Casino in Mare Street. The Ocean building, ideal for the proposed supercasino, is simply too large for one of the smaller entertainment centres. There has also been a bit of a falling out with Anschutz Entertainment Group, of course, who thought they had the deal in the bag after John Prescott's visit to Kansas and are now "looking into the reasons behind the decision and... taking time to examine the findings in full and considering our position".

Work starts soon, with satellite dish installation on the roofThe great news is that we have identified a suitable building for a smaller leisure complex only a hundred yards away from Ocean and right at the heart of Hackney's busy retail services area, Mare Street's "The Narrow Way".

The choice of this building is made even more appropriate by the fact that it was once Hackney Town Hall and still proudly bears the name "The Old Town Hall" over the portico.

I can now announce the coming of the "Pipe-Chandler FHM Leisure & Gentlemen's Entertainment Centre" in what was more recently the HSBC (previously Midland) Bank building.

Under Hackney's landmark "Dame Shirley" PFI deal, the casino operators will provide the financial investment for the redevelopment and the Council will provide planning consent and local services, allowing the operators to re-focus their resources on developing a more prosperous life for all in London, after their recent minor difficulties in Israel.
And to think that only a few years ago such proposals were rejected out of hand by Hackney Planning Department. Hoorah for Sue Foster OBE!

After 800 years it's time this old eyesore was redevelopedThe new facility will offer a comfortable lounge with a broad range of sports betting services and unlimited prize slot machines on the ground floor. The upper floors will offer the more discerning customer a choice of roulette, blackjack and poker - all serviced by a private dining room and hostess bar.

In a deal (yet to be formally announced) with Victor Chandler's FHM Magazine and Sports Gambling Empire (13 Offshore Alley, Notaxes, St. Helier), the new centre will greatly improve the appearance of the building - currently a blot on Hackney's landscape - as well as provide a modern and sophisticated outlet for the relief of excess liquidity from Hackney's more affluent residents. This will help us to keep Council Tax pegged for another year and should ensure our re-election with a thumping majority.

The development will also have the additional benefit of permanently obscuring from sight Hackney Central's oldest building, the ugly and quite unnecessary remains of a 13th century medieval parish church long since demolished. It's a pity we can't finish the job and knock down this eyesore, but the bloody carrot-munchers, swimmers and cyclists get all upset when we make such proposals so we'll leave it for now.

Bringing modern European dining to HackneyGood use will be put to the grassy area surrounding St Augustine's Tower.

The old graves will be recycled (the slabs will make nice table-tops) and the area will be redeveloped by Hackney's Regeneration Squad (once any old paintings, murals and graffiti have been removed) to create "The Pipe-Chandler Al Fresco Dining Lawns".

This exciting development will be a new concept in fine dining in the Borough - offering shoppers a welcome break from Primark to sit and enjoy a plate of venison medallions with foie gras and truffle jus, washed down with a nice glass or two of 1970 Ch√Ęteau Margaux. I've already booked. I can't wait!


philomena gerkins said...

When is it opening? I can't wait to have a flutter. And maybe you would buy me a meal in the gardens? I'll be the one hanging around with a red rose in my lapel.

andy philkins said...

It looks like your spoofster doesn't believe you. He seems to think that this is all to do with change of use and that Corals have bought the site. Where does he get this from?

Clear Hardly said...

At last genuine regeneration. Opportunities for wealth creation in partnership with ordinary Hackney folk as stake holders. Is dear Victor Chandler one of those shy retiring types whose modesty compels him to keep his business out of the spotlight by basing it in the Bahamas and Dubai?

Anonymous said...

You make me sick you fat ginger twat