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Dunlop hits out at Carbuncles

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January 27 2009

Dunlop hits out at Carbuncles
Alan Dunlop of Murray & Dunlop has resigned from the Prospect editorial board in protest at Glasgow Harbour’s nomination in the worst planning category of this year’s Carbuncle Awards.

Dunlop, who worked on a major development in phase two of the scheme, also issued an ultimatum to the jury: Withdraw Glasgow Harbour from the awards or he would go public with his complaints. “The whole thing is unfair, biased and unbalanced,” he wrote in an email, “That’s what I intend to say to the BBC if the harbour is not deleted from this whole sordid process.”

But Prospect editor, Gordon Young, who founded the awards, has confirmed that the Glasgow Harbour nomination will remain. “We strongly defend our right to report criticisms of major schemes,” he said, “and will not bow to this sort of pressure.”

Dunlop was particularly annoyed by a comment on the Carbuncles website which he claimed was defamatory. Prospect removed the comment, around 30 minutes after publication, when it was discovered a sub-editing error had seen it attributed to the wrong person.

However, Dunlop has since copied the comment to a wide range of individuals including media outlets in a missive that also asserted, “The other architect practices involved are direct competitors of ours in practice, so hardly a fair process and calls into question the whole impartiality of the Carbuncle Awards.”

The email then went on to present the paragraph he claimed was defamatory – where a Carbuncles judge was quoted on Glasgow Harbour:  “I would like to see Glasgow Harbour in there as the worst planning decision because it is one of the best examples of atrocious late 20th century developer led nonsense that you will find – the point being that the council could and should have insisted on an entirely different structure and content for the development.

“As it turned out, Clydeport got exactly what they wanted, ably assisted by numerous architects who were happy to take the dosh while the council did next to nothing except approve the planning applications. I think having Glasgow Harbour in there sends out a strong message about concern for the urban environment.”

Said Gordon Young, “It is absolutely ridiculous to assert our jury was anything but impartial. I do not think the name Murray & Dunlop even came up in conversation. The panel were simply expressing views which are widely held by the community as a whole.”

The results of The Carbuncle Awards 2009 will be announced on Thursday. Click here for more information.

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