We were in Basildon today and couldn’t resist getting the phone out to shoot some images because sometimes, pictures can say a lot more than words…


This is St. Martin’s Square which used to be a tree lined oasis where you could find some peace and quiet away from what used to be the hustle and bustle of Basildon town centre. In the name of someone’s warped idea of ‘progress’, as part of the ‘regeneration’ of the western end of the town centre, the trees and seating have all been ripped out to be replaced by…what? If only we knew! These ‘works’ have been going on for what seems like ages and no one seems to know what the end result is going to be…


Eventually, this will be the new market…please be patient! Why is the market being relocated? Let’s just say it’s complicated… We’ve done our best to try and explain the place the relocated market plays in a long chain of developments: You seriously couldn’t make this up!


Once you walk past the market, you turn into the approach to the town square. This image was shot on a Saturday. A day that used to be a peak shopping day before a combination of stagnating and declining pay levels restricting spending power plus the inexorable rise of online shopping started the process of killing off town centres. This really is a case of ‘would the last person to leave Basildon town centre please switch off the lights’!

We’ve put together this mini photo essay to illustrate the failure of top down planning. In this case a failure that has wrecked the western end of Basildon town centre. A failure created by arrogant councillors and planners who think they know best and refuse to listen to the common sense views of the residents of Basildon and the users of the town centre. A failure that shows much of what is wrong with the system of local and national governance that’s foisted upon us…