Early Warning System: Buildings under threat...

Moderators: John, Sharon, Fossil, Lucky Poet, crusty_bint, Jazza, dazza

Postby Socceroo » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:01 am

Nimby's :)

What you have just described above happens all to often and i am aware of it and yes it is wrong.

The point i was making is that if is already on the way down then there is little you can do about it.

If a building is stunning and it is at risk, as sadly quite a lot of buildings in Glasgow still are then there should be more intervention with the Council and indeed the Scottish Executive.

However, with regards to the Kingsway, it is not really a site given it's position and geography which would lend itself to reusing the building or indeed the facade.

In fairness to developers in Glasgow just now a lot of them are putting their money where there mouth is. And if after all these years they are not queuing up to redevelop an existing building, then i am afraid it's fate is almost inevitable.

Sportscotland, National Playing Fields Association, Architectural Heritage Societies and indeed Historic Scotland are agencies (some of them quango's) which play the same tune every time. "Concern over loss of amenity, incongruous to the character".

We live in a Society which allows buildings like the Elgin Place Church to be knocked down, the Egyptian Halls to wrot and Alexander Thomson's Church in the Gorbals to sit as a burnt out shell for forty years much to the bemusment of many a visitor to Glasgow.

We should be really concerned about these buildings and the many others like them, and we should be concerned and be more assertive in demanding better from some of the new builds planned for the City.

Kingsway Cinema....it was a local cinema which was nice internally in it's day. Externally i always thought it was a bit ugly.

However, we should be thankful that in that corner of Glasgow where the Kingsway is situated, the area has been relatively well preserved.
User avatar
Socceroo
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Mount Flo, Glasgow

Postby crusty_bint » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:12 am

So are you saying owners are vindicated in allowing listed structures to fall into dis-repair with the agenda of having them demolished? Don't you think GCC Planning and Building Control set a worrying precedent in issuing demolition orders prematurely? Are they above the law?

We should REALLY be concerned about this!
here i go, it's coming for me through the trees
crusty_bint
-
-
 
Posts: 4425
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:52 pm
Location: Glasgow

Postby nodrog » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:23 am

Socceroo, I do think this is an important and healthy debate for us to be having!

You don't like the frontage of the Kingsway - fair enough; that's your opinion. I happen to quite like it :) It's an unusual feature in a streetscape made up otherwise of very similar tenement frontages. I think retaining the facade in a new build would have been a fun architectural challenge for someone.

Whether or not you or I like it though, isn't the point - as Crusty says, it's the worrying precedent here that's the problem.

This is the thin end of the wedge - this sort of thing does happen to 'stunning' buildings as well - like Elgin Place church.
Perhaps if that demolition had been stopped for a week, cooler heads would have prevailed and the facade of that could have been saved...
"I'd just move on to the 'hot-air ballooning vigilante' stage of my career earlier than planned"

www.scottishcinemas.org.uk
www.twitter.com/scottishcinemas
User avatar
nodrog
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 3:37 pm
Location: Glasgow

Postby Socceroo » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:28 am

In response to Crusty's post

Yes essentially that is what i am saying....partly.

If we think that all listed building owners have deep pockets and are able to reinstate buidings to their former glory then we are naive.

Do some developers buy old buildings in the hope of getting Planning for a more financially viable development?..... then the answer is yes.

Irrespective of what i think, and my views are that this is wrong, it happens, always has and always probably will.

I would not think a Demolition Permit was permitted by the Council early. Perhaps the Demo Contractor jumped in too quickly.

Demolition Permit's are usually related to Staged Warrants from Building Contol. Building Warrants follow Planning Permission. Or a Demo Order can be given if sought for a dangerous building.

Yes i am concerned about it, i thought i had stated that, but it is a loop hole which due to the ways the Laws are interpreted and applied is being exploited.

It is the Council and the Scottish Executive that require to be taken to task, particularly the Council.
User avatar
Socceroo
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Mount Flo, Glasgow

Postby crusty_bint » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:41 am

Sorry Socceroo if that came across as a dig at you as tats certainly not my intention - I just feel very strongly about this issue... and Im not long awake. I would say, however, that it's particularly naive of you if you think that I think that listed building owners (as a rule) have deep pockets - listed building owners know what they are getting into when they take on stewradship of such structures!

Nodrog and Gap have already illustrated the fact that this demolition order was issued prematurely, and this, as you rightly point out, is not a one-off! Without belittling this discussion, I have to say that its seems apparent that Planning and Building Control don't know thier arse from thier elbow at times and indeed you are correct in saying that it's the Council and the Scottish Executive that require to be taken to task - but developers are not, and should not be regarded as being without culpability.

The fact of the matter is, and as you have pointed out, so much of the city has already, needlessly, been laid to waste and the qaulity of replacement - which, lets face it, is the real issue here - leaves a LOT to be desired. If we cannot improve upon what already exists ten I see no need, nor point in losing more listed structure for the sake of a faceless developers profit margins!

On a happier note however, i was delighted to see on the news the night before last that the developers of the former Plaza dance hall will retain that facade and incorporate it into thier development - heck, they've even saved the foyer carpet to re-use! This should be applauded and encouraged at every level!
here i go, it's coming for me through the trees
crusty_bint
-
-
 
Posts: 4425
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:52 pm
Location: Glasgow

Postby Socceroo » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:59 am

Crusty i am not saying that you are naive about the financial capabilities of developers, but some of us should be aware of what goes on.

One of the points i am making is that if a site is not viable commercially then it will not be developed. No one is going to put money into retaining a facade if the finances don't stack up.

One of the difficulties the Councils face is that some the developers have more Company Registrations on the go than cards in a pack. i.e. Company X owned the building and sold part of it to Company Y, Company X then dissolves etc etc and Company Y (with the same Directors usually) would like to follow the original scheme, "but hey we inherited it, it is not viable without our financial partners and what do you want us to do about it?".

Many developers have separate companies for each development.

Rattle their cage and they will either shut down the Company or sell the building on to another developer.

The Council are probably just glad that they don't own the building and do not need to deal with it directly. Look at how they maintain their buildings. If it's not the City Chambers or the Mitchell Library then invariably there is trees growing out of it.

We should look to cities such as Paris, Vienna, Prague and Budapest and how they have very strict Landlord and Factor Maintenance Laws, which all Building owners are aware of and follow as they are aware of it from the outset and it is the same rules for everyone.
User avatar
Socceroo
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Mount Flo, Glasgow

Postby viceroy » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:27 am

I’m not particularly knowledgeable on this issue and to be entirely truthful I am not as passionate about the subject as some people undoubtedly are. However I do have a few personal opinions. A frequently recurring theme it seems to me is that if only owners could be legally enforced to pay for maintenance and repairs then the issue of preserving architecturally significant buildings would be largely resolved. On the surface this appears reasonable, however I feel this approach is a bit simplistic.

My impression is that when a developer buys an existing building it is often already in a state of disrepair and neglect. If they essentially have no real use for the building and then face the prospect of being made to pay large sums of money for maintenance and even rehabilitation they are quite likely not going to bother purchasing it in the first place. They will just plan their proposed development around it or may decide the financial risk is too great and not bother with the development at all. Either way the building just sits there quietly mouldering away. Since it is likely to be a commercial or industrial property which has long since lost its usefulness and is therefore not producing any revenue, the probability is that its current owner, quite possibly some ancient family firm teetering on the edge of bankrupty, will be bereft of the funds necessary to do even the most basic work on it.

Buildings are put up because they are needed to perform a specific function, whether social, commercial, religious, transport or whatever. Esthetic considerations are nearly always secondary. My attitude is that if a building has lost its original function it only deserves to be retained either if another, economically viable, function can be found for it, or if its architectural significance is exceptional, in which case the state, as the embodiment of the people, should look after it from the public purse.

Another thing I have qualms about is façade retention. Surely if a building is worth preserving it is worth preserving in its entirety, not just its outer shell? Can you imagine something like that happening to the Glasgow School of Art, with its interior as important as its exterior? There is something vaguely dishonest about the whole process.

There have been a lot of vitriolic comments about the new buildings which have been springing up all over Glasgow in recent years. Of course some of it is rubbish but hasn’t this always been the case? Much of the tenement property built in Glasgow in the latter part of the 19th century was of poor quality, constructed at maximum speed and on inadequate foundations. Many buildings which we now regard as being of architectural significance were looked on with the utmost distaste when they were new. That is also a problem I think – the rawness of new buildings, no matter how good they may be, puts them at an automatic disadvantage. Who knows, maybe a few buildings slagged off in these forums will in a hundred years time become the subject of passionate attempts to preserve them when some 22nd Century developer wishes to raze them to the ground.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at anybody and I much appreciate the good work some people are doing. But in the final analysis what makes Glasgow great are its people, not its buildings, a fact which occasionally I feel does get lost sight of.
User avatar
viceroy
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:23 pm
Location: Glasgow no more

Postby My Kitten » Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:50 pm

viceroy wrote:Another thing I have qualms about is façade retention. Surely if a building is worth preserving it is worth preserving in its entirety, not just its outer shell? Can you imagine something like that happening to the Glasgow School of Art, with its interior as important as its exterior? There is something vaguely dishonest about the whole process.


I don't think it's dishonest preserving just the facade. I'm glad that some effort has been made to save a part of the building that has grasped our attention and that the quality craftmanship has been given a new lease of life.

viceroy wrote:There have been a lot of vitriolic comments about the new buildings which have been springing up all over Glasgow in recent years. Of course some of it is rubbish but hasn’t this always been the case? Much of the tenement property built in Glasgow in the latter part of the 19th century was of poor quality, constructed at maximum speed and on inadequate foundations. Many buildings which we now regard as being of architectural significance were looked on with the utmost distaste when they were new. That is also a problem I think – the rawness of new buildings, no matter how good they may be, puts them at an automatic disadvantage. Who knows, maybe a few buildings slagged off in these forums will in a hundred years time become the subject of passionate attempts to preserve them when some 22nd Century developer wishes to raze them to the ground.


Yes there are some dire tenements out there, but I'd still rather look at them than the horrid cladding things that are being thrown up. Everything moves and tastes change but I feel that there isnt enough thought with some developments on how some of the past could be incorporated into the future. Rawness is a good way of putting it. I can't help but think that modern buildings have a cheap look about them, especially this leaning towards light finishes that are darkening with the weather very quickly and looking forlorn already.

viceroy wrote: what makes Glasgow great are its people, not its buildings, a fact which occasionally I feel does get lost sight of.


Sorry Viceroy have to completely disagree with you there. When I left Glasgow I missed the sandstone, the carvings, the height of the buildings and the history of the city, certainly not the "banter".
User avatar
My Kitten
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 6105
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:10 am

Postby gap74 » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:43 am

My problem with the multitude of new build springing up all over the city is that, in most cases, it aspires to absolutely nothing - any sense of style or location has been designed out, and rarely does one see decorative features for their own sake.

Plop yourself down in a street full of even the most mediocre sandstone tenements and you at least know that you're in Scotland. Do the same in one of the countless little housing estates or executive flat developments springing up in the country now, and you could be absolutely anywhere in the UK. Scotland no longer has an indigenous building style, what a sad state of affairs!

Round my way, when the greenbelt was given over to housing about ten years ago, they built hundreds of red and yellow brick houses with red and orange slate roofs in little cul-de-sacs which are so jarring against the greenery behind them, it makes me cringe whenever I see them. Even the streets were given utterly generic names - Elder Cr, Elm Way, Beech Dr, Spruce, Magnolia, Oak, even an Acacia Way. Course, the current vogue is to name them Gait or Wynd in order to append some sense of tradition or the past onto them.

If you were an architect, wouldn't you want at least some of the things you built to be great? The thought that in 50-100 years time, that building you just designed might be listed? I don't think it has anything to do with rawness of the new, it's just a complete paucity of merit - perhaps it would be an interesting exercise to ask folk what buildings of the last 20 years they think will be listable in the future, cos I'm struggling to think of any! Let's take a look around Glasgow - the Royal Concert Hall? Cineworld? Buchanan Galleries? St Enoch Centre? Any of the various quayside flats from Anderston to Glasgow Harbour? I can't see anyone rushing to ascribe architectural merit to any of these, because they've been designed by committee and accountant, not by architects.

Anways, this debate doubtless belongs elsewhere, and since I'm only just awake, it's probably more of a rant than anything else. But I'm enjoying the issues this thread has raised, and I throw this contribution to the mercy of the board....

Gary
User avatar
gap74
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1532
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:33 am

Postby crossmyloof » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:32 am

Hi there - don't post on here often but I do enjoy being a member of a forum where people are passionate about their city and the buildings which make that city.

There seems to be a little confusion about the relationship between Planning Law and Building Standards Law. The granting of a Building Warrant, whether it be for Erection, Alteration, Change of Use or Demolition, is totally unrelated to any Planning Permission that may be required. There is no specific order in which an applicant requires to get the two permissions (though usually Planning Permission is applied for first as the process tends to take longer and changes made at the initial 'aesthetic' stage are easier to incorporate than major structural or safety issues)

If there is a requirement to apply for planning permission to demolish a listed builing, the fact that a demolition warrant has been granted by Building Control for the building does not give the applicant carte blanche to go ahead.

All relevant permissions require to be obtained before any work starts and this, indeed, is pointed out in notes accompanying the granted Building Warrant.

Giving someone permission to do something is not the same as making them do it.[/b]
User avatar
crossmyloof
Just settling in
Just settling in
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:11 pm
Location: Crossmyloof, Glasgow

Postby gap74 » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:26 am

That does indeed seem to have been the case here, a building warrant for demolition was obtained, but listed building consent (for the removal of the condition that contracts be in place for the replacement building before demolition) was not.

Also, there had been concerns over such things as bats and asbestos which had not been dealt with - apparently the bat inspector attended the other night, only to have to get a security guard because of abuse from members of the public!

Either way, demolition has started once again, after building control declared the half-demolished building to be unsafe, but we are reliably informed that planning regulations were indeed breached and the developer now has some questions to answer...
User avatar
gap74
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1532
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:33 am

Postby Schiehallion » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:26 pm

The Kingsway is now completely gone.
User avatar
Schiehallion
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1625
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 9:32 pm

Postby nodrog » Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:09 pm

If anyone has any photos of the demolition of the Kingsway, and wouldn't mind giving Gap74 and I copies for our site for posterity, please PM me or email info@survivingcinemas.org

Cheers!

Gordon
"I'd just move on to the 'hot-air ballooning vigilante' stage of my career earlier than planned"

www.scottishcinemas.org.uk
www.twitter.com/scottishcinemas
User avatar
nodrog
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 3:37 pm
Location: Glasgow

Crossmyloof Bakery

Postby MalcolmB » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:20 pm

The old Crossmyloof Bakery in Shawlands which I mentioned in another thread is going to be demolished to build flats. I went back to get pitures of it like I said I would but it was all boarded up.

I E-mailed the company highlighting its history and the building is still there.

All the pictures I have are ones I took while making a comic.

Malcolm
MalcolmB
Busy bunny
Busy bunny
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:32 pm

Previous

Return to Hidden Glasgow Projects

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests