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Perth City Hall redevelopment bid thrown out

December 4 2013

Perth City Hall redevelopment bid thrown out
A community group bid to save Perth’s B-listed City hall from demolition by turning it into an indoor food market has been rejected by Perth & Kinross Council after it found insufficient supporting evidence to prove the scheme was viable.

Perth City Market Trust commissioned conservation specialists Simpson & Brown to draft proposals for the venues re-use, creating a new promenade through to St John’s Kirk in the process.

The latest setback for the Edwardian building follows a decision by Historic Scotland to block moves by the Council to have it demolished, leaving the landmark structure in limbo once again.

Property consultants Jones Lang Lasalle found that it failed to meet the criteria required, leading the Council to renew their demolition bid.

Nina Stobie, associate director of Jones Lang LaSalle, conceded that there was "some merit in the proposed use and design”, but added: "The deliverability of their concept with regard to the proposed commercial terms, business case and funding arrangements are, in our opinion, lacking in detail and raise significant concerns regarding the ability of PCMT to deliver the project."


Auntie Nairn
#1 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 4 Dec 2013 at 13:42 PM
I'm sorry, but who on earth do Perth & Kinross Council represent? If enough residents want to have an enormous chocolate teapot in the centre of Perth, what right do these apparatchiks have to stand in the way?
Scotland is full of examples of poor town planning compounded by horrendous architecture, all in the name of 'progress'. I for one don't think the demolition of this decent piece of townscape to create another over-sized, underused, wind-blown civic space is justified.
#2 Posted by cadmonkey on 4 Dec 2013 at 14:39 PM
There is nothing wrong with having an "enormous chocolate tea pot" in the city centre, but surely it can have a viable use. It seems there simply doesn't seem to be one here, with various interested parties and pressure groups failing to deliver at the important point in time.

Is there such a thing as a plan showing what is planned for the site should it be razed, as now looks likely?
#3 Posted by ANGRY on 4 Dec 2013 at 15:12 PM
Temporarily forgetting GEorge Sq, this has to be the single most ridiculous situation a council has found itself in. Why can't they realise that the Public DO NOT WANT this to go? There HAS to be a viable use for this building. Why on earth would knock this down ? It is VANDALISM.
#4 Posted by Ross on 4 Dec 2013 at 17:33 PM
I am sure Perth City Centre has plenty of areas that can be earmarked for public squares. This is a beautiful, striking building that is unique to Perth and to Scotland. It seems the perfect venue to hold artist studios and workshops, just like what they did in Merchant City to the vacant warehouse in King Street. Perfect excuse for more reason to visit and live in Perth.

Glasgow should be a model to the rest of Scotland as to how narrow minded, budget frenzied councillors think! We lost some much architecture, and it is was not for the public standing up and saying "NO" we would have lost a lot more. The Perth & Kinross public need to be more vocal!
Marlyn Sutherland
#5 Posted by Marlyn Sutherland on 4 Dec 2013 at 18:04 PM
Who are the council working for .the people.lets get rid of the so called people on the council and a certain shop owner .Let the people have there say.Lets knock down McEwans as that is in a terrible state needs a coat of paint.WE HAVE TO KEEP THE CITY HALL.
stating the obvious
#6 Posted by stating the obvious on 4 Dec 2013 at 18:16 PM
Why can't it be used for... oh I don't know - a town hall?
#7 Posted by alibi on 4 Dec 2013 at 20:09 PM
This is a joke of a situation. Doesn't sound like the Planners are driving it though, more likely the Council Big Wigs.
Partick Bateman
#8 Posted by Partick Bateman on 5 Dec 2013 at 08:50 AM
If the public are so determined to keep this useless building then they should find a viable use for it. So far they haven't. Artists studios, farmers markets and artisan yoghurt weaving booths are all very well but if nobody is willing to stump up for them, they aren't a viable use.

#9 Posted by dialogue? on 5 Dec 2013 at 09:34 AM
it's a crime to throw this out for lack of detail!!! Can't the cooncil (who are employing the commercial nouse) not re-direct that to assist the community to do what they want (there being no other bidder) rather than simply turn down the bid as not yet adequate and then spend money on demolition and landfill costs?
There's some precedent in public procurement - where big projects are let through competitive dialogue there's feedback on the adequacy of draft bids to allow bidders to up their game on the details rather than have potentially good schemes (and JSL say it's got potential) to be ruled out on the basis of documentation alone.
the rhetoric about partnership and community participation is clearly just that!!!
european norm
#10 Posted by european norm on 5 Dec 2013 at 12:55 PM
There has to be a balance struck here between the level of protection offered the building - B-listed - and allowing developers enough leeway to find a viable use for it. The fact that no developers are interested suggests they are scared off, can the listing be downgraded or more specifically defined / limited, enough to allow a greater range of choices for it's future use. At the moment it seems to me that B-listing and demolition are opposite ends of a spectrum and the solution must lie somewhere in between. If even the out-of-town, hard-to-convert St Peter's Seminary in Cardross can be offered a lifeline, then surely this popular town centre building can be saved with a bit of imagination, more consultation , and some degree of flexibility from both the council and HS

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