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Plook on the Plinth Award

Nominations for the most dismal town in Scotland

Aberdeen (Scotland)

Area: Railway Station area Reason: It is absolutely horrible at the moment, the new "Union Square" development (which was meant to be completed this year) has not even been started yet and it has left the place with a mile squared of wasteland on the edge of the city centre, not only that but you have the railway station which is falling apart then the monstrosity which is the BT building next to it (pictured) Nominated by: Ryz

Airdrie (Lanarkshire)

Area: graham street Reason: from a prosperous and proud town in the 70's to a penny or less shopping centre Nominated by: Callum Middelton

Ardrossan (Inverclyde)

Area: Route to Harbour/Near Train Station Reason: A lot of neglect. It has massive potential given it's the access point for Arran etc. Some parts are being improved but more needs to be done! Nominated by: K Cooper Area: approach to Arran Ferry and marina Reason: It's a complete shitehole! Nominated by: Gordon Area: glasgow street Reason: so gray and drab Nominated by: r cooper Area: All of it Reason: Have you been there? It's dismall, depressing, grim, oppressive and has an intimidating atmosphere. I left. Nominated by: Bob Daniel Area: Streets near harbour Reason: Dismal on the brightest day. Uninspired housing design. Pubs uniformly display Tennents' ghastly red T and are as interesting inside as they are outside. Seems to have modelled itself on its partner across the water, Larne. To visit both on the same day would make you want to slit your wrists. Nominated by: Vince McGlennan Area: The main street Reason: Its all perfectly explained in this website Area: Glasgow St / Princes St Reason: Public investment has not improved area Nominated by: T Cairns Area: everywhere Reason: Even the new harbour development looks like an open prison...The photo is of one of the better pubs in the town. It\'s a hideous place to live and the councillors are all wierdos. Go to for a true insight into this ghastly town... Nominated by: stephen Area: Harbourside housing Reason: cheap and nasty , put up just to make money, will become slums quite soon Nominated by: r cooper

Coatbridge (Lanarkshire)

Area: The Quadrant Reason: Every time I pass by the Quadrant shopping centre i feel like i'm about to be swept up by the arms of a f*** off big monster and eaten alive, slowly over centuries. Area: Town Centre Reason: We have all the cheapest stores around - I've lost count of the amount of Pound and Charity shops we have. The Council should open up their purse strings and offer some subsidies to get some decent stores to open up in the town. Nominated by: David McMullan Area: Town centre Reason: Total eyesore.All it has is charity shops and greeting card shops oh aye and to make things worse a Celtic F.C shop. Nominated by: Mr C robertson Area: town centre Reason: total eyesore Nominated by: mr k wilson Area: shawhead Reason: traffic shambles

Cowdenbeath (Fife)

Area: All of it Reason: Its a dumo, the High Street is either boarded up or charity shops, the football ground should have been condemned decades ago with toilet facilities that are probably worse than the average smuggled asylum seker gets in the back of a lorry across the Channel Nominated by: Stewart

Cumbernauld (Lanarkshire)

Area: town centre Reason: Now I was just wondering, if a town won an award before, can it win it again? Because I can tell you since Cumbernauld won in 2001, the centre of the town has been improved by just about precisely none. The Centre has fallen further into disrepair. (The accompanying picture was taken two weeks ago. Compare it to the one on the main page.) The development land next door to it has unsuprisingly not been built on. And I\'m not surprised. If you were a big moneybags developer would you want your sleek new centre to look out onto this monstrosity. Look at it. Welcome to bloody Kabul. Nominated by: fancy dan mcglinty Area: The town centre Reason: The town Centre has been a disaster for years. There are hardly any shops or even nice areas to go. It's hideous. Nominated by: Eilidh Campbell Area: town centre and carbrain Reason: ugly, grey, damp, full of neds Nominated by: big jake Area: town centre Reason: cumbernauld had a great chance to have "a town centre" but instead all weve got is a mish mash of shops etc with no focal point ie a real town centre all the people connected in the renovation of this monstrosity dont seem to get it there mantra seems to be is that in the future we will have quality shops etc,but the asthetics of the place is all wrong,so even although the town centre will be complete the place will still look ugly.i feel the only solution would be to bulldoze the place ,and build a "town centre" with perhaps a public square or space which the town needs are there is no focal point ,anyway we will see what happens.apart from that the people of cumbernauld are good people and its a shame we get branded because of this unfortunate blott on the landscape therefore i nominate cumbernauld town centre for the carbuncle of the year award 2005 Nominated by: stephen dunn Area: The whole thing Reason: It's "Pot Ugly" Nominated by: John Merrick Area: Town Centre Reason: No Character, no fun, no style but a good Tesco! Area: Town Center Reason: Ugly, unkempt dismal throwback to 1960's concrete jungleism. Unwelcoming and unpleasant. Parked on top of a hill requires town inhabitants to own a car, Cumbernauld was concieved as town for cars and the town center is the pinnacle of that concept. Half of the town center has been demolished which only serves to highlight the the dismal downtrodden feel of the place. Nominated by: Struan Johnston Area: Town Centre Reason: It looks like its been blown up and never rebuilt. Nominated by: Gordon Masterton Area: Town Centre Reason: Uninspiring, dreary, overwhelming, overcomplicated, underesourced, unkempt, overly brutal concrete jungle with no sense of human scale or creation of a place that humans can inhabit without being overwhelmed by the superstructure that is around them. Access is abysmal unless by car, confusing when accessed by car and not integrated with the surrounding residential areas at all. Come on people we can do better than this! Nominated by: Philip Campbell Area: town centre Reason: Rest of town is OK with plenty of greenery, but the centre has many empty shops and the edge has been chopped off and not even bricked up and smoothed off to make it look better on the outside. Its £5 mill facelift did not address this. Also we are still waiting for the Antonine Centre to be built Nominated by: douglas shaw Area: The town centre and surrounding housing. Reason: I was brought up there in the 60's and 70's. Since then everyone has moved out except the 'forgotten' few who have no means to move. This has left areas which feel like ghetto's rather than the communities I grew up in. Nominated by: Alan Robertson Area: Cumbernauld Town Centre Reason: Makes me depressed. I despair, I shop elsewhere despite tart up to Phase 4. Grade A listed!!!???!!! Nominated by: Pete Reid Area: town centre Reason: With the new superstore open, it looks if anything even worse. The whole thing should be demolished - its a national disgrace. Nominated by: Rob Malcolm Area: town centre Reason: the non appearance of the new town centre.we are told all the time that everthing is in is all lies.the North lanarkshire council are using the money elsewhere. Nominated by: john mitchell Area: town centre Reason: Good stores do not want to come. Cheap shops do not survive (thankfully, although they keep appearing). North Lanarkshire Council couldn't care less as they have their 'own' New Town in Motherwell to spend all the money on. Nominated by: calum macaulay Area: The Town Centre - Again Reason: Promises Promises Promises - unfulfilled nowhere to shop, nowhere to eat, having to drink in pubs surrounded by houses. Ancient busses, a distant mis-positioned Train Station. Surrounded by greenery that is not exploited, a beatiful House set amongst beautiful grounds that was sold off that should have been a centrepiece. Nominated by: Adrian Waddell Area: ENTIRE AREAS OF '60'S&'70's (so called) "new town". topped off by the achitectural monstosity referred to as the "town centre". Reason: this place is an utter and total offence to all that is beautiful and uplifting in the human spirit.Decay and neglect are visible at nearly all points.redevelopers seem to give up on any attempts to tackle its' inherent gruseomeness (they appear to take fright, perhap runnning off to monasteries or checking in for rehab) .Doubtless trying to dissabuse themselves that they could have ever contemplated the Biblical proportions of the project they had signed up for .A place more miserable could never be contempated. Nominated by: N.Robertson Area: all of it Reason: shite hole. this town has nothing good about apart from the A80 out and croy station to take you to better towns (stirling falkirk edinburgh) Nominated by: Jim Kerr Area: centre Reason: the worst of concrete love that has ever been aloud to see the light of dy Nominated by: mike peterson Area: Town centre Reason: Dreadful 'design'. No pulling power to get people in through the doors. Needs to be rebuilt in my opinion. Area: Antonine Centre Reason: If ever gets of ground as being promised by all - another growth to rabbit warren on stilts - bears no relation or helpd existing problem Nominated by: Pete Reid Area: Town Centre Reason: A feeble attempt at patching it up. Everybody knows it needs bulldozed and redesigned properly. Nominated by: Tom Bell

Cumnock (Ayrshire)

Area: Horrible 1970's shopping centre Reason: A town seemingly stuck on the edge of the world, no jobs, hope or future symbolised by a horrific example of 1970's town planning scarring the already barren town centre. Nominated by: John Wilson Area: Everything Reason: Poor transport links out of town, shocking town centre and a fair percentage of the towns population are on methadone, perhaps to blur out the ugliness of the town. Nominated by: Craig Laidlaw

Dalkeith (Midlothian)

Area: Town Centre Reason: The local planners and the town council seem content to allow this town to slowly atrophy. Given its relationship to Edinburgh and the ring road, this should be a desirable place to live, but instead its just a kink in the A68. The whole town centre reeks of "can't be bothered". Area: Jarnac and Eskdale Court areas Reason: The Jarnac and Eskdale Court areas in particular combine the worst in 1960's town "planning" and architecture. A dismal, dismal place which encourages nothing more than a speedy exit. The dowdy and depressing down-at-heel feel is compounded by the tawdry market stalls which populate the civic square. A few hanging flower baskets are not enough. Nominated by: Elize Rowan

Dufftown (Scotland)

Area: High Street Reason: Last July I was driving through the Higlands from Aberdeen to Inverness when I decided to stop off for some lunch and to visit a Distillery in Dufftown. It was quite possibly the most depressing town visit that I have ever had. The town's main street was so depressing that I didn't even get out of the car. To start with it was a Sunday and most things were shut. Several shops were empty and boarded up adding to the feeling of decay and desolation. There were a few open pubs but they were unwelcoming - you know the no windows type of affair. This was the height of the tourist season and a fantastic location but absolutely no effort was being made to do anything for any visitors. I pity any poor foreign visitors looking for hospitality in Dufftown Nominated by: Digbeth D'Mariotti

Dumbarton (Argyll)

Area: Station link to town and outskirts Reason: The powers that be seem to have consistently missed opportunities to exploit the potentially beautiful town centre and park with some appalling traffic management and decisions and to blight the arrival at the town with poor developments. (unfortunately the picture makes it look better with the summer growth on planting) Nominated by: meagain

Dundee (Scotland)

Area: Around the station Reason: Confusing mess of bridges, roads, underpasses -- completely uninspiring welcome/introduction to the city. Nominated by: Ruth Hedges Area: Riverside drive / Water Front Reason: Fantastic location spolit by supermarkets & offices.. Nominated by: Richard

Dunfermline (Fife)

Area: The HIgh Street Reason: The high street has been blighted for years by the gapsite of a burnt out department store.Despite the development of many hundreds of high price houses in the Eastern Expansion Area, the "planners" of Fife Council fail to do anything to attract those residents into a high street that is the preserve of Charity Shops . Nominated by: Graeme Wilson

East Kilbride (Lanarkshire)

Area: Housing estates Reason: Is there anything attractive in this town? Nominated by: J Newton

Edinburgh (Edinburgh)

Area: Anything and everywhere after 1900 (with a few exceptions) Reason: Despite spectacular natural and man-made attributes, Edinburgh Council seem determined to ruin the city with shambolic street repairs, hideous street furniture, and a total lack of innovation when it comes it championing any form of quality design. Charlotte and St. Andrew Squares have been transformed into traffic islands, not that they were ever open to the public to begin with, while the standard of landscaping throughout the New Town, when compared with the centre of Glasgow, is just embarrassing. A walk through the city centre reveals green plastic plant pots and natty 1970’s style rendered waste bins, make-shift banner posts that resemble a piece of scaffolding sitting in an in-situ concrete base (attractively painted bright yellow), and incessant pink flyers that at first glance seem like an advert of McDonalds. Only on closer inspection is it clear that the pink arches are actually Edinburgh’s new corporate symbol, along with the bizarre catch-line ‘Inspiring Capital.’ One area that is being refurbished, a single block of Castle Street, has taken over a year and is still far from complete. The council have recently released a new City Centre Action Plan, which looks as uninspiring as their new HQ. Where is Terry Farrell when you need him? Speaking of Terry, it is hard to see any hard evidence that he actually does anything – his most reported activity to date being his objection to BDP’s alterations to the Conference Centre, which he designed in the first place. Has self-interest taken precedent over championing quality design? It takes a lot of hard work and determination to make somewhere so naturally attractive, and with such potential, look so bad. Nice work. Nominated by: John Lewis

Fort William (Highlands)

Area: Town Centre Reason: Bleak place with nothing appealing about it, despite the magnificent views from it!

Glasgow (Glasgow)

Area: Your office Reason: Imagine being a poor person and having to live in one of these horrid places! What a bunch of middle class twats. Nominated by: Le Corbusier Area: River Clyde Reason: Looks like someone emptied a dustbin of architectural peelings. Nominated by: Archie Cat Area: New 1960s & 70s University buildings Reason: It seems the only colour available to the designers was black. The facades are almost entirely black, and the buildings are not aligned to the existing street plan. There is some design extravaganza in the Adam Smith Building, but overall it is a most uninviting structure. It is badly placed, making it completely incompatible with Lilybank House, which it overpowers. The Maths Building is an exercise in black, and the Boyd Orr Building an exercise in black with the touch of green from the copper dribbling down the outside walls. The Main Library Building was a sort of olive green when it was first constructed but because of the use of inappropiate materials for the windows, the whole ediface is now a kind of amalgam of colours and styles. The vertical emphasis has been totally lost with the large replacement windows. But lessons do not seem to have been learnt. Look at what appears to be taking shape in Lilybank Gardens, next to the Q.M. Building. This construction is being built right next to the Q.M., and I mean right next to it. The outside walls will completely obscure the Q.M. windows, i.e. they are being built next to the outside of the windows !!!! Nominated by: D. Clar

Granton (Edinburgh)

Area: the western part of the estate behind the coast road Reason: I know it would appear as if Granton is being exploited fully but I don't feel it is. All the development, will take place down by the waters-edge. Putting aside the quality of this planned develpoment and the wisdom of putting it on the edge of the Forth, the new development merely takes models from Leith and plonks them further up the coast. Have the people who have done this taken into account the street plan that connects the area to the city? Sticking in a tram-line merely highlights the fact that this area is as cut off from the city\\\'s street fabric as it ever was. The old village area on the shore front lacks a community feel like Leith. And the post-war housing estate behind hasn\\\'t had a single planning improvement made to it since its disasterous beginnings. When the current planned developments go ahead its going to look like the worst areas of London - deprived ghettos looking out on a wealthy one. Area: Granton Square & Harbour Reason: The total desecration of the city's best shoreside asset with the building of tommorrows 'tenemants' in a thoughtless, disjointed and absolutely haphazard manner, with buildings that by their height give no thought or consideration to their surroundings. Nominated by: Brian Pennycook

Greenock (Inverclyde)

Area: by old tescos Reason: It's just one bad building too many. The town centre of Greenock was managing to keep its head above some truly baws-ugly buildings. You can't really go too far wrong with a town that has views across the Clyde to one side and hills to the other. But the planning by the waterfront is just f***ing disasterous, an aglomoreration of nasty architecture shrouding the Victorian town hall and this tesco which puts a car park between the old town and the water. B*****ds! Nominated by: Fanta Boy Area: Central area. Reason: Building design of last 30 years is completely out of charachter with tradition and history of the area. Truly a 'Carbuncle' of a development if ever there was one! And certainly an embarrasment to bring visitors to the area through. Nominated by: Ray Cave Area: All of it. Reason: Council houses that are abandonded and burnt out. Mass unemployment which means the biggest queues which were once at the shipyards are now at the jobcentre. To think they actually bring cruiseships into this place. No wonder the coaches taking the cruise passengers go straight up the M8. Also have a 2nd division football team who pay in a ramshackle ground with no decent facilities. Area: Cappielow Park Reason: The whole town makes downtown Beirut look palacial Nominated by: Tom Williamson Area: Town Centre Reason: Why does one awful looking shopping centre need EIGHT card shops? Nominated by: Daniel Murray Area: waterfront Reason: unrealised potential Nominated by: P Sullivan Area: greenock east , between Port Glasgow and Greenock town centre Reason: Greenock as well as Inverclyde between them have the potential to be a 'gold coast' Anyone with a half a brain could be convinced of this-just look at where it is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of EUROPE, a short distance west of metropolitan Glasgow. If this town were located in America then its potential would have been fully exploited.I blame the council for this sorry state of affairs; they are a bunch of hicks who are utterly devoid of any kind of vision.Coming in on the bus to Inverclyde from Glasgow, I always have to close my eyes whenever I approach Port Glasgow until I step off the bus at Greenock Town Centre.That stretch of road is notable for being in my opinion, the most depressing urban environment in the whole of Europe. It is embarassing.You couldn't have made a more uglier carbuncle of a place if you had been given a free hand to do so. Nominated by: Frank Harley Area: Shopping mall Reason: Completly out of character with the surrounding buildings. Refurbish rather than replace in future, please planners! Nominated by: Ray Cave Area: Adjacent to town centre Greenock, and unfortunately seen from river and landside. Reason: The design may be 'modern' but that doesn't make it sympathetic to it's surroundings, but lets face it, this monstrosity is only one of many very outrageous designs within the town centre vicinity. Nominated by: Ray Cave Area: National Insurance Office, Dalrymple St Reason: Miserable piece of architeture, made more miserable by the dejected look of it's visitors. Nominated by: A. Gallacher

Inverness (Highlands)

Area: Bridge Street Reason: Two large concrete buildings on river front, at bottom of castle. Completely out of place in the old town of Inverness and a massive lack of vision from by the architects and planners. What is worse is that these buildings are not being used to full occupancy and are slowly falling apart due to lack of maintenance. They have an incredible negative effect on locals and visitors. Nominated by: Stephen J Clarke

Irvine (Ayrshire)

Area: All new schemes. Reason: Irvine Development Corporation who were responsible for the new town destroyed all the character of the town and harbour with its boring housing designs which resemble old army compounds, shopping malls which are characterless and general appearance which the town has of being a town of poor people. It has amongst the lowest house prices in Scotland for a very good reason.housing and Nominated by: Robert Young Area: All of it Reason: It makes Kilmarnock look cosmopolitian Nominated by: Gareth Thomson Area: The sprawl of roundabouts and roadways Reason: The unnecessary sprawl of major roads throughout and around this mid-sized town hits at american planning ideas and a town with no heart. Nominated by: T Craig Area: Seaside Reason: Seaside is too far from town. Disgusting train station. And town centre is nice inside but on the outside its just plain. Obviously South Ayrshire council do not care about visitors. Infact I actually believe Ayr to be worse for neglect which is also South Ayrshire. Therefore Irvine receives my vote in the hope that South Ayrshire can think about its Visitors. Nominated by: Jason Kelly Area: Shopping Mall Reason: Knocked down Historic Bridge to destroy character of Irvine Centre Nominated by: Cliff Francis

Lochgelly (Fife)

Area: Main Street Reason: The last time I passed through Lochgelly, much of the town centre seemed to have been allowed to fall into rack and ruin - boarded up shops, etc on a grand scale! It's a real shame that a once-prosperous mining burgh should end up looking like this! It badly needs a townscape enhancement scheme of some kind. Maybe Fife Council should take the lead. Nominated by: Ron Smith

Methil (Fife)

Area: All of it Reason: That hideous coal plant opposite the football ground Nominated by: Deborah Carsey

Paisley (Glasgow)

Area: New supermarket next to Abbey Mill Reason: This town looks like someone has dropped it. Area: Ferguslie Reason: Looks worse than the gaza strip on a bad day. Nominated by: David McLaughlin Area: Ferguslie Park Reason: Full of junkies Nominated by: Dave Area: Love Street Reason: Bloody vertigo stand is a death trap. Nominated by: David Worton

Port Glasgow (Inverclyde)

Port Glasgow
Area: All of it Reason: In Glasgow they are at least making efforts to deal with the passing of the industrial period. In Port Glasgow they are just standing on the shore and shrugging their shoulders. "There is nothing in art or culture that is worth the life and elementary happiness of one of those thousand who rot in the Glasgow slums," wrote Lewis Grassic Gibbons. Whilst the current state of a town like Port Glasgow or Greenock nearby doesn't produce the same depth of feeling, it makes me feel sick in the stomach everytime I see the latest piece of nonsense about Scotland being a creative, forward thinking country. Area: It's all bad Reason: I drive through it constantly, there being no reason to stop, and I can't think of a single positive thing to say about it. Nominated by: James Mitchell

Renfrew (Glasgow)

Area: Riverside redevelopment Reason: More yuppie flats that no Local people can afford Nominated by: Maryellen Campbell

Springburn (Glasgow)

Area: The shopping centre Reason: destroyedf by urban planners road builders and thatcher, the suffered the fate of voting Tinky Winky in as their MP (Michael Martin). Nominated by: Bryan Donnelly

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