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Hometown Foundation attack ‘blinkered’ Owenstown dismissal

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March 24 2015

Hometown Foundation attack ‘blinkered’ Owenstown dismissal
The Hometown Foundation has expressed its ‘disappointment’ and ‘regret’ following the decision of Scottish Government reporter to reject their appeal against the refusal of planning in principle for a £500m new town in South Lanarkshire.

Owenstown would have seen 3,200 homes built on 400 acres of land in the Douglas Valley near Rigside; including offices, shops, restaurants, a hotel, schools, care home and industrial space.

Uniquely the project would have been run on a ‘co-operative basis’ by residents with revenue being reinvested in the town.
Bill Nicol, director of the Hometown Foundation, remarked: “This decision will mean the loss to local people of new homes, vital jobs, industrial units and an innovation centre. There’s nothing else on the horizon of any consequence from South Lanarkshire Council and it’s a great pity for young people whose best hope may now be to emigrate.

“This represents a massive loss to the area and Scotland as a whole. We have spoken to authorities in England, Wales and Ireland about the concept and they have no difficulty understanding its potential.

“We will now be investigating the opportunities that exist in other less blinkered parts of the country. What we can’t understand is why our local and national elected representatives can’t grasp something which is ambitious, visionary and morally right – perhaps it’s because they didn’t think of it first.”
South Lanarkshire Council is keen to ficus resources on existing urban centres
South Lanarkshire Council is keen to ficus resources on existing urban centres
The vision, ostensibly modelled on Robert Owen's New Lanark settlement, could now relocate elsewhere in the UK
The vision, ostensibly modelled on Robert Owen's New Lanark settlement, could now relocate elsewhere in the UK

19 Comments

Auntie Nairn
#1 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 24 Mar 2015 at 14:52 PM
IMHO, I have no issue with this being rejected in favour of concentrating on existing settlements. Brownfield development should be a priority over new towns
Art Vandelay
#2 Posted by Art Vandelay on 24 Mar 2015 at 15:17 PM
Agreed. And surely their co-operative model would only work if there was a sufficient body of people there to support it? It's hardly going to be Vauban.
james
#3 Posted by james on 24 Mar 2015 at 16:47 PM
For some innate reason or other utopia /dystopia is still a recurring theme these days.

The third image reminds me of a scene from Paul Auster's absurdist book and film (with the wunnerful Steve Buschemi), 'The Music of Chance', where if i remember correctly, the two hapless protagonists chance upon a scale model of where they are imprisoned and the people (them) within it... it's an omnipresent viewpoint of their world where they are in microcosm and how they see their lives controlled within it, just exactly as unwittingly this image shows.

Other obvious comparisons abound such as Papa Doc's Duvalierville as in Greene's 'The Comedians', or to a lesser degree, but nevertheless even as sociologically motivated and ideological as Stalin's Nova Huta in Poland.

All in all, a ridiculous utopian PR stunt if ever I saw one. One mercifully consigned to the archives of the gullible and foolish.
Sven
#4 Posted by Sven on 25 Mar 2015 at 10:28 AM
"Uniquely the project would have been run on a ‘co-operative basis’ by residents with revenue being reinvested in the town."

That was never going to happen. Firstly why would you pay towards this co-op and pay council tax to have the council provide very little in return? The Council does not want rivals and people do not like paying for communal areas - they like the space but not the cost.

Secondly for being a new build town in the countryside why is it so high density? That suits the ROI for the developer but Scots do not need to be shoe-horned into tiny spaces when we have so much underused countryside.
wonky
#5 Posted by wonky on 25 Mar 2015 at 13:21 PM
The plans look pretty decent tbh- high density & well planned- but the concept, principles & location are all wrong. As others have said: inner-city brownfield sites would be ideal & abound in & around Glasgow city centre for example. Why out in the middle of nowhere with little to no infrastructure? This tells me it's been targeted towards those still attracted to commuterville suburbia where we have the concomitant environmental problems of car driven pollution. We have Hamiltonhill/Kepochill, areas around Garscube rd/Woodside, Tradeston, & even whole swathes of the East-End that are as deserted as the Russian Steppe. I really don't understand the thinking behind it or how it is "morally right".
boaby wan
#6 Posted by boaby wan on 25 Mar 2015 at 14:32 PM
the fact they are going to try and transplant it somewhere else says a lot about how well the design is set into the context - the first image reminds me of fort william main street, which is not something to aspire toward!
Big Chantelle
#7 Posted by Big Chantelle on 25 Mar 2015 at 15:44 PM
@boaby wan

"the first image reminds me of fort william main street, which is not something to aspire toward!"

Of course not. Concrete modernists like you would much rather aspire towards Cumbernauld town centre.
boaby wan
#8 Posted by boaby wan on 25 Mar 2015 at 17:00 PM
Chantelle, you're showing yourself up now, have you visited fort william recently?
The street is a failure and has a mix of buildings of different ages - you should maybe try to expand your knowledge on the built environment rather than posting the same comment over and over without actually understanding what you are spouting
boaby wan
#9 Posted by boaby wan on 25 Mar 2015 at 17:04 PM
and actually, if you'd bothered to read what I was saying it wasn't a comment on the style as such, it's clearly not designed with any context in mind since they are talking of moving it to a different site (even country!)
your monotonous drivel is getting boring, how about engaging in discussion
Big Chantelle
#10 Posted by Big Chantelle on 26 Mar 2015 at 10:22 AM
@Boaby wan post #9:
"your monotonous drivel is getting boring, how about engaging in discussion"

1. When I quoted you and commented on your post, that was me engaging in debate.
2. Monotonous drivel? My opinion doesn't match yours so that's basically where your anger is stemming from. However, aren't most opinions 'monotonous' by virtue of the fact if we were to constantly change our opinions all the time, we wouldn't, by definition, really posses such an opinion. So, granted my view is 'monotonous' because I believe in a certain type of architecture. And?
BasilFawlty
#11 Posted by BasilFawlty on 26 Mar 2015 at 13:22 PM
Why must every post result in a discussion about Big Chantelle? Less airtime please. This is UrbanRealm not BigChantelle.com
boaby wan
#12 Posted by boaby wan on 26 Mar 2015 at 13:58 PM
chantelle, please can we hear your critique of why something looking like fort william main street should be welcomed and why a new town should be completely context-less and able to be built anywhere?
without mentioning the words "concrete" "loving" "modernist" - I bet you can't because it would mean actually raising a point, I'm interested why you would ascertain that I love concrete - I can only assume that it is because of your serious lack of knowledge about what I am comparing these images to.

You quoted me but didn't actually discuss anything - if you understood the make up of the urban condition I was drawing comparison with you would never had made such a misguided comment.
Yes, monotonous drivel - your opinion is perfectly valid, but you are inserting it all over the place where it doesn't actually have any relation to the points raised, as I said, if you look further than a particular style you like or dislike and actually try to understand the points it might mean we don't all have to listed over and over again to how we are all "concrete loving' modernists" when in reality a lot of the comments are nothing at all to do with modernism or indeed concrete, it is possible to discuss urban planning issues without involving the style of the buildings proposed - you clearly have copy and paste down to a fine art and refuse to think outside of your particular dislike of a certain style even when comments don't have anything at all to do with style.
Big Chantelle
#13 Posted by Big Chantelle on 26 Mar 2015 at 15:13 PM
@ boaby wan

I don't recall in any of my comments arguing for the ideas you ascribe to me, namely, that I advocate this particular scheme and support the transient nature of it being able to be placed in any other location at the expense of context. Although, if you could provide the quotes where I intimated such a thing, I'd be very grateful.

My comment was based upon something you said regarding not aspiring towards Fort William main street. Nothing more, nothing less. I said you'd prefer a concrete lovin' modernist approach -- my point being that people like you are so obsessed with your lefty archy-ideology and not appearing 'pastiche', that you have an ideologically driven approach to how buildings must look -- namely, not traditional. Fort William has a lot of nice traditional buildings -- and a lot of dross (of the modernist persuasion). I was merely advancing my view based on what you said and intimated.
You opined above that:
"Yes, monotonous drivel - your opinion is perfectly valid, but you are inserting it all over the place"

No, I'm asserting it on the comments section of a website asking for comments. A bit like how you just commented.
boaby wan
#14 Posted by boaby wan on 26 Mar 2015 at 16:10 PM
"My comment was based upon something you said regarding not aspiring towards Fort William main street. Nothing more, nothing less. I said you'd prefer a concrete lovin' modernist approach "
so please tell me how you have concluded my preferred approach.
And please comment on the lack of context of the above proposal.

I have not mentioned pastiche, modernism, or any other ideology, you are making stuff up so you can call me a concrete loving' modernist.

I have said this scheme reminds me of fort william main st - which is a failed pedestrian precinct, not because of the architectural style (I have never mentioned that anywhere) - and has numerous failed businesses in it's history - not raising any points about any ideology, so you can't keep up the straw man approach you apply to every comment on this site.
You are passing comment on others but not understanding (i suspect deliberately) what points they are raising - in order to paint them as something you have imagined.

Again, if you can point out where I have alluded to any ideology, any preferred architectural style, avoiding pastiche etc etc - complete an utter drivel on your part I'm afraid and not for the first time on this site.
Please don't bother to quote or pass comment on my points in future as I am neither a Modernist or advocate of concrete construction which seems to just be anyone who you don't have the capacity to understand.

Big Chantelle
#15 Posted by Big Chantelle on 26 Mar 2015 at 16:48 PM
@boaby

I asked you to provide the quotes where I supposedly said the things/ideas you ascribed to me.

You didn't.

I've been fair. I answered your questions. It's only fair you do the same to mine. They are in my last post.

Holler.

P.S Boaby, it's best not to say "how about engaging in discussion" as you did in post #9 then follow that up, when I engage in debate by saying, as you just did in post #14 "Please don't bother to quote or pass comment on my points in future".

Erm, could you make your mind up please?
boaby wan
#16 Posted by boaby wan on 26 Mar 2015 at 18:02 PM
your post #7 suggests that my criticism comparing this to fort william main street is because I am a concrete loving modernist - however, you fail to understand my critique which is not based on an architectural style, therefore your claims are not only baseless (given the styles present in fort bill) they are completely incorrect assumptions that my critique is based on this style in any form - it may also suggest that you think fort william is something to be aspired to since you are so quick to tell me I prefer cumbernauld.
You merely quoted my post to call me a name, hardly the start of a great discussion. you didn't offer any further comment on why I should not criticise fort william main street, or how this had anything to do with painting me as something I am not, and was never inferred by my post.
Further to that you completely ignored the point of context which was really the major part of my critique here, again, basing you comments on the straw man of concrete loving, lefty etc etc, which of course has never been implied by any of my comments.
You have chosen to go down the route of attempting the straw man argument you are so keen on, when no one is really discussing it - you truly are a one trick pony.
If you had interest in engaging in the discussion rather than trying to change posters actual comments into some bizarre argument about architectural styles then it may be worth pursuing, however, time and again you have shown that you can't actually reason with anyone for fear they are a modernist (a term you really don't understand)
I have said not to bother commenting/quoting on my posts because it is very clear you have no intention on a discussion of the issues raised if you can't get out the copy and paste 'insult' that appears in almost every single comment you make on here.
My mind is made up, you have nothing to add to a discussion, you offer no counter to the points raised, you clearly don't know fort william or why I chose that reference here (I'll let you into a wee secret, it's nothing to do with architectural styles)
and it's clearly well outside your capacity to see past straw man arguments that are never there.
Big Chantelle
#17 Posted by Big Chantelle on 27 Mar 2015 at 07:15 AM
I'll pretend I read your diatribe Boaby. Still waiting for those quotes of mine to appear which I supposedly said..............

But alas, I stand by my initial point: noted concrete modernists like yourself always knock traditionally-inspired architecture from a lefty/ideologically driven platform .And when someone like myself opines, I'm met with the 'pastiche' argument or the 'you're backward' argument. Yawn.

As one of your lots idols Zaha Hadid once supposedly said in a boardroom meeting: "whatevz".
james
#18 Posted by james on 27 Mar 2015 at 08:30 AM
When are you two gettin merrit? :-)
boaby wan
#19 Posted by boaby wan on 27 Mar 2015 at 08:31 AM
Pipe down Chantelle - if you do bother to read it you'll understand why your last comment shows up exactly my point that you are unable to grasp anything further than a straw man about style.

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