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Glasgow City Council unveils Sighthill Village plans

September 8 2012

Glasgow City Council unveils Sighthill Village plans
Glasgow City Council has outlined plans to regenerate the Sighthill area of the city through the construction of 830 homes, school, shops, green spaces and a pedestrian footbridge over the M8.

This would entail demolition of five multi storey slab blocks at Pinkston to make way for the new housing some of which could form an athlete’ village for the 2018 Youth Olympics - if Glasgow’s bid is successful.

Taking the form of a new village square and promenade the masterplan would also entail a land decontamination programme.
GCC leader councillor Gordon Matheson said: “

The Sighthill regeneration plans will be put before GCC’s executive committee this Thursday.
A new village square forms the heart of the proposals
A new village square forms the heart of the proposals
GCC insist the scheme will proceed even if Glasgow loses out on its bid for the Games
GCC insist the scheme will proceed even if Glasgow loses out on its bid for the Games


John Maclean
#1 Posted by John Maclean on 8 Sep 2012 at 18:07 PM
Oh for goodness sake, is this really what the labour city council have come to. Imposing continental cafe culture on the blighted sighthill area with no economic plan to create enterprise.

Is that really the best they can do after 50+ years of neglect?

It will take more than dutch gables and 'edgy' timber cladding panels, coffee shops and random blokes walking dangerous dogs across neatly trimmed grass boulevards.

Where is the imagination?
D to the R
#2 Posted by D to the R on 9 Sep 2012 at 12:13 PM
The really sad thing here is how naive this all looks - Scottish culture will not support ideas of villages square and Coffee Shop lined boulevards in areas of social and economic deprevation.

Sort the underlying problems out and provide solutions that deal with those ... otherwise all you are providing is a veneer of progress that hasn't occured.
#3 Posted by AnnemarieSinclair on 10 Sep 2012 at 04:56 AM
I think its great that sighthill is being regenerated after being let to rot for many years. But the way the council has went about it is absolutely disgusting, business's & tenants were not informed of these plans, a community is being broken up and many jobs are being lost. Also rumour has it these homes that are goin to be built only 200 are goin to be for rent where is council goin to be all these people, more consultation should have occured with the people that matters.
Bill Simpson
#4 Posted by Bill Simpson on 10 Sep 2012 at 08:47 AM
A village square with 4-storey narrow town-houses bisected by a couple of roads? That is some strange village. Maybe more like a town?
#5 Posted by stacey on 10 Sep 2012 at 16:10 PM
I'd like to read the Financial Viability Study. Is the demolition of 5 multi-storey flats getting big subsidies from the Scottish Government? How many council tenants will be housed? Sarah McGlynn (2008) did a case-study of council house demolition in Dundee which found "...all this is happening at the expense of the poorer working class
families who have been displaced. The areas are being  controlled not for the benefit of their 
existing populations, many members of which are forced to leave, but to make them a safe place
for the development of a thriving capitalist economy.
#6 Posted by Sven on 10 Sep 2012 at 16:25 PM
The facades look OK, but Glasgow gets rain in rainforest amounts. They need covered arcades to help shoppers and locals from getting wet. Staging mock ups on rare sunny days in summer is painting a false image. As above has said, this is another poor area of Glasgow, not the place that supports coffee shops, more chip shop and curry takeway, bookies and Greggs.
#7 Posted by Egbert on 11 Sep 2012 at 10:16 AM
Whatever the merits (or otherwise) of the scheme the CGIs are really not helping - as the comments about show people have become pretty jaded to this kind of hopelessly optimistic sunshine-birds-and-café-culture imagery. It just looks utterly out-of-touch, and we've seen enough of it since the 90s to judge just how starkly different the reality usually is. Understandable if it leaves current residents cold - there's nothing recognisable of the existing Sighthill, people or place, to identify with. Which raises the question, as Stacey notes - who is this really for?
Rem Koolbag
#8 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 11 Sep 2012 at 11:06 AM
I think before we get ahead of ourselves and start showing sun kissed renders of houses and shops and cafes and the rest, we need to start asking questions such as 'what is wrong with Sighthill as it stands -what are its social and economic problems?', 'What is the main goal/goals of regeneration?' (regeneration as an end in itself is a nothing and is inherently unsustainable)

Then we can start to ask how these sorts of issues are addressed by the built environment. Otherwise it all seems like a bit of a waste of energy - a ready-made solution for a specific problem without taking in to account anything that makes the Sighthill area and its problems unique.

I think there was a school in the area - was it closed? Demolished? Why? And what will building a new school do that is different from the last one?

With shops, a lynchpin of regeneration is immediately put in to the hands of private business. If the new square is based round coffee shops and metro supermarkets etc the regeneration is basically relying on Starbucks and Sainsburys to provbide a focal point. Or a Spar.

The problems of Sighthill are not all to do with highrise communal living. Nowhere ever was. Plenty residents enjoy living in them. When you have a council/government that bulk-deposits asylum seekers in an area with no resources or infrastructure and expects the already depressed community to adapt immediately then no amount of promenades will solve the issues.

And the oft-repeated comment that Glasgow/Scotland gets rain etc - other countries get rain too and still have working streets and public spaces. Like the booze, going out in the rain is something that people themselves need to address on a cultural level.
#9 Posted by stacey on 11 Sep 2012 at 16:15 PM
More details are on the BBC's website.

Why can't the athletes be housed in the refurbished multi's? As I thought: "Three of the multi-storey blocks at Pinkston have already been earmarked for demolition and residents are in the process of being rehoused. GHA will now be asked to consider demolishing the remaining two blocks, which it had planned to refurbish. If the proposal is accepted, the 400 residents from these two blocks will be offered options for moving to a new home in the area or outwith Sighthill."

So what or who is being regenerated?
It's blatant privatisation of public housing or to go further social 'cleansing'.

On the BBC it says that "Elaine MacKenzie Ellis, secretary of the local community council, has accused Mr Matheson of "an appalling betrayal" following promises that existing homes would be saved and refurbished.
In a letter to other residents, she said GHA chief executive Martin Armstrong had given a previous assurance that the two Pinkston high-rise flats, which could now be demolished, had "a long-term future".
She said "They will demolish the 400 homes in the high flats to build 600 new builds. Only around a third of these will be social housing, the rest private. That means even if tenants did want alternative housing, but also to stay in Sighthill, this would not be possible. She added: "We will of course be fighting this and will be organising a large public meeting."

The regeneration plan for Sighthill is due to go before Glasgow City Council's executive committee on 14 September.
Chris Toner
#10 Posted by Chris Toner on 27 Mar 2013 at 02:06 AM
Sounds and looks like it is be built for the games makes glasgow look nicer for the world media andafterwsrds the flats etc will be SOLD with a few to rent so can they can shout look we have supplied affordable housing. Bottom line is its all about the money with little thought to the underlying social problems in our cities poorer areas.

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