Friday, 22 February 2008

Brutalism of The Old Town

Above is the Malcolm Fraser building for Jeffrey St, this is seeing it looking along East Market St toward the former Bus Depot Site

Brutalism Architecture

Caltongate plan too big for Old Town

SHAME on Edinburgh City Council for voting in favour of Caltongate.

The scale of this development is enormous leading to the demolition of two listed buildings and one or two fine MacRae tenements in favour of a hotel, conference centre, some housing and yet more bars, cafes, restaurants.
It will ruin the area for residents of the Old Town especially the Canongate. It will lead to traffic congestion, pollution and increased noise as well as threatening the World Heritage site.

In spite of massive objections the council has decided to proceed for the sake of commercial gain.The designs seen so far look like brutal Soviet-style buildings more akin to a ghetto. The use of wood is questionable as in a polluted, damp atmosphere it doesn't weather well unless it is regularly maintained.A development of a more modest scale, catering more for residents is required.

Mrs M E Hodges, Meadowbank, Edinburgh

Grandstand view of city's priority list

IT has been announced that the council is about to commit £3 million towards the replacement of the stands used on the Castle Esplanade during the Military Tattoo.

In the same budget we are to face school cut backs or closures, delayed school refurbishments, cuts to the Adult Education Budget, and cuts to services elsewhere. Where is their sense of priorities?

Supporting the Tattoo, laudable though that is in times of plenty, is using public money to subsidise a commercial enterprise. The council can argue the benefits of the tourist trade that the Tattoo attracts, but these are commercial benefits which principally accrue to the business community. The business community in its turn will argue that the Tattoo generates jobs...but jobs for whom? Most jobs generated by seasonal tourist activities are low paid, and increasingly filled by seasonal, migrant workers.

Building new grandstands for rich tourists' bums, while at the same time savagely pruning the education (or any other social) budget is simply wrong: morally wrong. Why can't the council see that?

We have a council sitting in the City Chambers that has quite lost its moral compass. Business interests – as in the Caltongate affair – get whatever they want; while the city residents get what they are given.

The unstable and unhealthy relationship between council, business and voter must be rebalanced in the residents' favour.Politicians always claim that they answer to the voter at the ballot box. At the next local election we can all easily make this happen; just cast our votes for anyone except the sitting member in your ward. If every voter in the city did that, every ward in the council chamber should change hands. A clean sweep.

We desperately need a council better able to balance the needs of community and business interests. Power to the people!

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Evening News Letters

Save Our Old Town Campaign Website