16 AUGUST 1935, Page 3

A Dilemma for the L.C.C.

Two desirable objects seem to be in conflict in the ease of the proposed appropriation by the London County Council of 80 out of the 340 acres of Hackney Marshes for the erection of dwelling-houses. The Council, about to erribark on slum clearance in crowded Stepney and Bethnal Green, maintains that Hackney Marshes offer the only suitable site for re-housing. On the other hand, it is argued forcibly by opponents of the scheme that this space provides the only playing-ground available for children too poor to belong to clubs, and that the land, offered in exchange is too distant to be of any use. Which is to be chosen—the provision of houses for persons turned out from the cleared area, or the preservation of a much-used open space ? In general, it May be asserted that it is bad in prinCiple And in fact to permit any encroachment on public open spaces on the fringe, of an area • which has already far too few of -them. Every other means should be explored —such as building upwards in suitable blocks as en7 visaged. under the overcrowding Bill—before a decision is taken to appropriate a recreation7ground.