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London’s nowhere neighbourhood

London is building a new district where no local can afford to live

“In the midst of this dynamic, kinetic, upthrust is the sense of an uncomfortable paradox” ©MIKE KEMP/GETTY IMAGE

There haven’t been elm trees in Nine Elms, in south west London, for 300 years. When the railway reached the south bank of the Thames at Battersea in 1838, the area was a swamp dotted with windmills. By the end of the 19th century, when Charles Booth mapped the socio-economic classes of London, the area was industrial, and included a coal wharf, a saw mill, gasworks and coke works. A few…

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