Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Caltongate Cash Cows

Caltongate developer Manish Chande wheels his "Brave Moo" through Princes Street gardens at the launch of the Cow Parade Edinburgh in 2006.
The following article appears in the Winter edition of Edinburgh`s Southsider, out today.
In the autumn issue of The Southsider we told you that Edinburgh was to receive a visit from a UNESCO mission in November. The city is the most likely World Heritage Site in the UK to be placed on their danger list. This is due to the level of concern raised about proposed developments - Caltongate, Haymarket, St James Centre and the Waterfront and their impact on the Outstanding Universal Values of the World Heritage Site.

Save Our Old Town and others throughout the city concerned with her future believe that the main things the inspectors took away, was an understanding of the problems raised by developers drawing up master plans and development briefs for sites, and the enormous pride and understanding of the city held by her residents.

The inspectors will report back informally to Historic Scotland in February, so that they can check facts and get any responses or changes underway, and then the report will be published in time for the UNESCO summit in Seville, next summer.

Caltongate developers Mountgrange`s Brave Moo cow was placed opposite the Council`s City Chambers on The High Street part of The Royal Mile.....

Caltongate developers Mountgrange, told newspapers recently, that they thought UNESCO an “irrelevance” and that they were not interested in its view on their development.
As we have found they have not been interested in the community’s views or anyone else’s for that matter either, so why listen to an international organisation?

Now with an economy very different to the one, when the plans were first unveiled in 2005, perhaps those other views on the city and how she develops will now become relevant as they should always have been.

The days of get rich quick property developers are now over, and as TV property programmes are having to adapt and rethink their ethos so must the City of Edinburgh Council.

Perhaps presenter George Clarke from the channel 4 Home Show should be telling them
“Its time to stop seeing Edinburgh as a cash cow and wake up to the fact that – first and foremost – your city is your home”

Mountgrange`s Caltongate cow placed in Hunter Square on The Royal Mile. Showing the lovely development. All Caltongate cows proudly displayed their sponsors name.

Lets look forward to 2009, not only as the Year of Home Coming Scotland, which will see descendents of Scots visit from all over the world, but also the Year of Being Home and where being proud and involved in your town or city is seen as a positive thing and not scornfully pushed aside.