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North Lanarkshire Council turn down Fraser's 'waterside village'

December 21 2011

North Lanarkshire Council turn down Fraser's 'waterside village'
Plans to erect a new waterside town near Shotts have been thrown into disarray after North Lanarkshire Council voted to reject the scheme.

Hazeldene Homes had planned to invest some £20m for the first phase of the scheme, incorporating some 120 homes on brownfield land designed by Malcolm Fraser architects.

A further £65m would have subsequently been ploughed into the creation of a man made lake, pier, cafes, shops and some 1,000 homes.

This was rejected by Councillors however on the grounds that the development was contrary to the area’s local plan and would see new homes built adjacent to an industrial area used by heavy goods vehicles.

Branding the decision as “farcical” Hazeldene’s chairman, Mark Shaw, said: “We've just seen four years of hard work, consultations with council officials, the local people and their council representatives go down the drain.

"Clearly, North Lanarkshire has no need for investment, jobs or community regeneration.

“The process is farcical, and no attention was paid to the work we have done, the guidance we were given or the solutions proposed.”

Fraser had previously described the scheme as “a real place with a heart and soul” and not the typical “suburban creep that has blighted so much of Scotland”.


Hugh Macpherson
#1 Posted by Hugh Macpherson on 21 Dec 2011 at 12:49 PM
Good decision - this is just another green belt out of centre development that would only benefit the developer. There is enough sprawl in Scotland without this and there will be plenty of opportunities for new development in the current Local Plan - they just happen not to be owned by this developer. Planning actually has a purpose and it's good to see examples of Councils breaking out of the neoliberal spell and seeing off developments that don't comply instead of doing everything they can to to accommodate them regardless of their qualities (or lack of them) - like around Edinburgh and Aberdeen. If talented practices like Fraser's actually teamed up with developers who want to build on approved sites instead of spending years trying to break out of Local Plan designations it would be a step forward.
nae luck
#2 Posted by nae luck on 21 Dec 2011 at 13:33 PM
he was probably too busy mouthing off nonsense about other on-going projects and slagging off others' work to even notice.. isn't preaching so easy?
#3 Posted by KM on 21 Dec 2011 at 21:04 PM
As an Architect and former resident of Shotts I think the idea of cafes a pier and man made lake etc in Shotts is farcical. It snows in Shotts in April(regularly). More consideration of context required here.

I mean balconies in Shotts!!!! Come on Mr Fraser it's just not architecturally appropriate.
Malcolm Fraser
#4 Posted by Malcolm Fraser on 22 Dec 2011 at 09:21 AM
Shotts used to be a town with a residentail area to one side of its station and an industrial one on the other. The station served both but the ironworks and the coal washing plant is gone. We are trying to build on this big brownfield, near the station and round the sump, dug to wash the coal, now a lovely Lochan. And I don't believe that Shotts is a miserable place where the sun never shines.
Alan Dunlop
#5 Posted by Alan Dunlop on 22 Dec 2011 at 10:15 AM
Absolutely, put a bloody coat on KM.
This is a rediculous decision, hopefully sorted out on appeal. You too Hugh, get a grip!
#6 Posted by dirige on 22 Dec 2011 at 10:44 AM
KM, how come balconies have been used traditionally for years in colder, driecher climes than Scotland then?

This scheme would never be approved as it flies in the face of the hugely popular 'Keep Scotland Shite' campaign.
ross foulds
#7 Posted by ross foulds on 22 Dec 2011 at 12:30 PM
this scheme would have been great what scotland needs is modern developments to many greens and people that object to any developments for no reason but because they dont want it i hope it still goes ahead
Auntie Nairn
#8 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 22 Dec 2011 at 13:30 PM
'Keep Scotland Shite' - love it!! It would be funny if it wasn't true. Well done Malcolm, great scheme, hopefully an appeal will be successful.
Rab Long
#9 Posted by Rab Long on 22 Dec 2011 at 14:34 PM
So it was against the local plan. Was it a case of hiring a 'name' architect in the hope that planning could be circumvented?

"Shirley Linton, head of North Lanarkshire Council's planning and development, said councillors had backed a recommendation to reject the Hazeldene proposal.

She said: "The recommendation was based on a number of issues: the site is zoned as a rural investment area, and not for housing, within the existing adopted local plan and the finalised draft North Lanarkshire local plan."
The were also concerns that access to new homes would be through an industrial area currently used by heavy lorries.

Ms Linton said this did not comply with roads guidelines.

She also cited concerns about noise from neighbouring businesses causing problems for residents in the new homes.

"The council has worked with Hazeldene Homes to provide advice on the planning process but their proposals did not effectively address the various issues raised by the planning policies to allow us to recommend approval of the application," she added."

BBC news report.
#10 Posted by Boab on 22 Dec 2011 at 14:57 PM
You only have to look at the Highland Housing Fair project to see the dissaster of letting a big name Architect design housing that they think people should live. ie virtually none sold and falling into dissrepair. I suspect the Malcolm Fraser Scheme would have gone the same way. NLC probably did the developer a favour
#11 Posted by Enjoy on 22 Dec 2011 at 15:24 PM
NLC invented the 'Keep Scotland Shite' campaign. They have a whole Regeneration Dept with no notable successes and Planning Department that should be called the 'Slow to React Dept' . Long week, cant think of anything catchier at the mo!
#12 Posted by dirige on 22 Dec 2011 at 15:31 PM
Boab/Jimmy, ok, we get it, you don't like HHF. However,I do like your idea about architects and letting them design buildings, maybe we shouldnt let doctors perform surgery, especially considering the amount of people who die in hospitals.
#13 Posted by Boab on 22 Dec 2011 at 21:23 PM
My point was that Architects view of how we should live our lives differs from the general public. Archictects are not social engineers and on another note thier buildings dont cure people either.
Frank Lloyd Wright
#14 Posted by Frank Lloyd Wright on 23 Dec 2011 at 08:27 AM
Architects view of how we should live our lives differs from the general public

Isn't that the point? Otherwise they become simple facilitators of the 'general public' will. And god knows they are the last people we should give any credence to.

#15 Posted by Boab on 23 Dec 2011 at 11:14 AM
And when nobody buys "your vision" who is going to pay your fees then ?
#16 Posted by dirige on 23 Dec 2011 at 11:31 AM
What's being talked about is 'Architectural Determinism' as pejorative term for social engineering through architecture. It's discussed in architecture schools today and generally recognised that mistakes have been made in the past. But Highland Housing is a prototype and each development experiments by testing the boundaries of living behaviour. I think it often happens when housing developments can work very well overseas, ie Holland, and the main difference in why they work is the cultural difference between the behaviours (or aspirations) of the homeowners, which is why architects might wish that uk clients would adopt a similar mindset. It is strange to note that uk clients currently value 're-sellability' over good design, ie numbers of en-suites, bedrooms, but this was pushed by the money-makers of the building world, but they escape the scorn that is reserved for architects who only ask that the owners carry out a small routine to ensure that the passive energy system of the house works to its best.
Tommy Cochrane
#17 Posted by Tommy Cochrane on 27 Dec 2011 at 20:29 PM
Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear.. people in the industry seem to think they know Shotts. Even the council don't know Shotts.
As a Community we needed this project. Our town is on its knees. Take time and have a look at our so called Main Street... Known as Shottskirk Road in Dykehead.Tell me what you think.. We have take away shops, and not much else.. North Lanarkshire council have closed our Registar office, Social work department and cleansing Department... Our royal mail sorting office ( i know nothing to do with NLC) is closing in the spring.. Now with all these services leaving and declining population whats next ... our Schools.. oh Ive heard the rumours.
NLC don't have a clue about Shotts. At present they are scratching their heads about how to Deal with land contamination in our public park after its have been closed for a year... Anywhere else this would have been adresses a long time ago.. But investment in Shotts.. Oh how dare anyone suggest such a thing... At this rate would the last person to leave turn out the light!!!!
I am not in the building industry, just a resident of Shotts.
#18 Posted by KM on 27 Dec 2011 at 23:21 PM
Yeah you'd need to put a jacket on to 'use' the balcony not that you could use a balcony that size! The obligatory 2sq'm balcony used to break up an elevation with some absurd notion that residents will sit there in a dry summer evening supping on wine! Come on! They will end up as no more that bike stores and if Mr Fraser had done his homework he would have realised that NLC have no interest in balconies generally.

Mr Fraser's history lesson has little relevance really. He relates to an era long long forgotten and how this memory of an industrial past relates to a shiny new housing development with a cafe and a pier and balconies is beyond realism.

If the developer has sufficient funds to contribute to the social context of the scheme and the wider context of Shotts then a more comprehensive package should have been investigated.

#19 Posted by KM on 27 Dec 2011 at 23:33 PM
#17. Calderhead High School is being rebuilt so where are you coming from. So many of the local community facilities disappeared shortly prior to and following the closure of Cummins.

You've mentioned that the community is shrinking but that you desperately need more housing.

What Shotts like so many other neighbouring villages require is more small scale industry. I know that's challenging as the UK generally needs more industry but you cannot invite more people to live in Shotts when there is no business or jobs to support them.

Shotts had cafes, pubs, clubs, major shops, factories, car markets, farming, the prison and more and these businesses sustained a quality of lifestyle in Shotts.

One of the local housebuilders that I remember stopped trading in Shotts because the demand did not exist following the loss of industry.

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