Monday, 3 March 2008

Welcome to New Look Britain

**Meeting tonight in The SOOT Shop, 8 St Marys Street, just off the Canongate 7-9pm, see yesterdays post for more info.***

In a letter entitled "Britain is being demolished under our very noses, Almost by stealth, our built landscape is being transformed " Simon Thurley says "Commercial developers are playing them for quick profits, building cheaply and selling on, leaving badly built and designed schemes in the centre of historic towns." see Letter Here
and a letter in response to it here from The Spectator magazine Nov last year.

On the "Tonight" programmeBringingdownthehouse shown on Friday (29th Feb 08) (take a little time to load)

Tonight reports, while new houses are going up, chocolate box villages, heritage homes and traditional old streets are being ravaged.
Tonight reporter Michael Nicholson hears why property tax policies and government-led “regeneration schemes” are being blamed, as well as looking at the effects of airport development and coastal erosion.

This letter is in yesterdays`EVENEWS

The legacy of Scott is being thrown away
EVEN although I love you really, I do have to observe that you did your readers and neighbours no favour with the editorial (February 26) wrongly linking Edinburgh's tumble down the tourism league table, to the difficulty that developers have in obtaining planning permission.

Where there is a fall-off in tourist activity it is more likely to have been led by the inappropriateness of modern developments imposed on historical city centres, not how long planning permission took to be obtained.

When will the council and the business community realise that if the proposals for the Caltongate Centre had been appropriate to its setting then there would have been few objections, and planning permission would have been granted virtually unopposed months ago?

It is not the objectors' fault if the developer lacks vision.The vast Caltongate Centre will dominate the Old Town for 30 years, at which point it will have to be pulled down before it falls down . . like the St James. The Old Town will not be the same with the Caltongate at its heart. It is difficult to believe we have an Edinburgh council appearing to conspire with an outside developer to consign the legacy of Stevenson, Hogg and Scott to the dustbin.

Why should tourists and returning Scots cross the world to stand in an Old Town now dominated by the disastrous new council HQ and the monolithic glass and concrete blocks of the Caltongate? They can visit those in any A N Other new town in Europe.

Does our Scottish government want to go down in the history books as the administration that did nothing as its capital city destroyed itself, all because the businessmen told them to?

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh