Tuesday, 12 February 2008

What is the point of listing a building if it can be destroyed?

Letter from The Scotsman on 11th February 2008

Obviously the conservation term "listed" is meaningless. If a wealthy development company like Mountgrange can persuade city councillors to demolish listed structures in a World Heritage Site, then why bother putting buildings on the preservation list at all?
I am in agreement with Jane Jackson of the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust (your report, 7 February); the loss of the Sailors' Ark and the Canongate School will be a waste of two structurally-sound buildings eminently suitable for refurbishment and reuse. I also concur with her view that the projected hotel and conference centre will be totally incongruous in that part of the Old Town and will have a "detrimental impact on the character of that area of the city". Let's hope that Mountgrange doesn't get away with its proposal to reduce a neighbouring 1930s tenement block to a facade – a stunningly pointless plan.

MARTIN HETHERINGTON, Queen Street, Whitehaven, Cumbria