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Chapelton visualisation highlights full scope of planned New Town

January 30 2014

Chapelton visualisation highlights full scope of planned New Town
Elsick Development Company (EDC) has released a new visualisation of their planned 8,000 home settlement on 2,000 acres of Aberdeenshire farmland.

Infrastructure work for the £2bn Chapelton scheme began in October with the first homes expected to move on site this spring for completion by the end of the year

Commenting on the scheme EDC director Lord Southesk said: “This animation shows that Chapelton is fundamentally different to other developments. The complete town is planned from the outset.

“There will be places to work, places to eat and socialise, shops and schools. Every day needs will be within a five minute walk and because there is 40 per cent green space the entire built area will feel open.

“The architecture blends the old with the new. It draws influence from older styles built with the latest mod cons and the latest design features to accommodate modern living.”

Town architect Gavin Murray from Brooks Murray Architects added: “It is important Chapelton sits comfortably in the Aberdeenshire landscape, so we have drawn heavily from the best precedents set by a number of neighbouring historic towns and villages, including Stonehaven and Banchory.”

Housebuilders ZeroC Holdings, AJC Homes and A & J Stephenwill deliver the first phase of housing, delivered in accordance with a master plan prepared by Duany Plater-Zyberk.
A range of •	Leisure and community amenities; retail and business facilities will be provided
A range of • Leisure and community amenities; retail and business facilities will be provided
Chapelton will incorporate its own neighbourhood centre and High Street
Chapelton will incorporate its own neighbourhood centre and High Street


King Brood
#1 Posted by King Brood on 30 Jan 2014 at 12:08 PM
Welcome to 21st century Scotland.
#2 Posted by Stephen on 30 Jan 2014 at 12:53 PM
That's not a town, it's a suburban housing development with some seductive renderings (which don't show all the cars and roads that are obvious from the plan). Just more sprawl.
Helpma Boab
#3 Posted by Helpma Boab on 30 Jan 2014 at 12:56 PM
I feel sick. The video should come with a warning to avoid watch over lunch.
Looks like a crap baronial Trueman Show sketch....
#4 Posted by Wonky on 30 Jan 2014 at 13:01 PM
I can't say I buy into Lord Southesk's "vision"- its a very high sounding name for this tawdry proposal- with its emphasis on: 'car friendly' theme; low density sprawl- with the supermarket at centre of this arcadian community of mock Merse dinkytechture.
This is kitsch on anabolic steroids. Personally I just don't get this- on any level. Has the oil money in Aberdeen done eroded peoples tastes? This sort of bourgeois vulgar pap is a naked grab for the lolly of those nouveau riche with sentimental notions of rural life. The grossness of such 'design' is a shameless appeal to the popular imagination- the "good schools sell houses" brigade.
The really creepy and sinister element of this plan is how social exclusion hides behind the bland design label of 2new urbanism2- it's nothing more than classism. Who after all will be able to afford a house in Lord Southesk's vision?
Who wants to live in a place where every conversations revolves around schools and great British bake off?
The good Lord's sanitized vision of a plastic 'community' is my idea of hell.
#5 Posted by Stephen on 30 Jan 2014 at 13:13 PM
It beggars belief that planners and developers still accept these kinds of car-centric suburbs. How much evidence do they need that these places are aren't sustainable, sociable, inclusive, pedestrian friendly or that public transport doesn't work in them and they're an inefficient use of land. What are we paying them for!
Walt Disney
#6 Posted by Walt Disney on 30 Jan 2014 at 14:20 PM
Even I don't like this.
#7 Posted by cadmonkey on 30 Jan 2014 at 18:32 PM
What's Up? It looks very pleasant. I don't think posters have studied the images properly. Plenty of cars are clearly shown, yet it is a pedestrian friendly concept. It pairs the best of the old with the best of the new. There are many lessons to take from this.
#8 Posted by Wonky on 30 Jan 2014 at 21:34 PM
Yer havin a laff intja! Pedestrian friendly AND cars- oxymoronic. The only lessopns to take from this are the ones we haven't learned yet.
Art Vandelay
#9 Posted by Art Vandelay on 30 Jan 2014 at 23:59 PM
Jeezo, it looks horrific, very 'Stepford'. It's pretty grim that for a development of this size we are reduced to trying to replicate a past that didn't exist, and as #4 pointed out, we're catering for a particularly niche clientele that quite frankly don't seem to know any better. The entire Duany schtick is an utter crock, serving only to develop what's effectively a gated community where there's a real opportunity for innovation and diversity.

A very sad indictment of where we are in terms of settlement-building when dross like this is heralded as some kind of model development.

#10 Posted by CGR on 31 Jan 2014 at 01:16 AM
MacPoundbury meets TarMacheaven
Big Chantelle
#11 Posted by Big Chantelle on 31 Jan 2014 at 09:07 AM
Looks amazing. Stunning.

Doesn't surprise me that the concrete lovin' modernist brigade are foamin' at the mouth over this. They hate anything beautiful. They revel in white render-stained, plastic-panelled cheap tat. These same people slagging this off are the same urban vandals that thought rippin' apart, say for example, Glasgow's glorious tenements only to replace them with concrete tower blocks was a good idea.
#12 Posted by Bill on 31 Jan 2014 at 12:04 PM
Yes! Welcome to the 21st Century y'all. This is exactly what we need outside of Aberdeen, another well executed and beautiful, urban housing sprawl to take the newly moneyed oil workers away from the poor commoners in the centre of town.

“This animation shows that Chapelton is fundamentally different to other developments. The complete town is planned from the outset."

Oh. That's good. A new planned town is planned from the outset, that is new and different! Great news indeed.

One thing I do love about the mock period features and pastiche traditional forms is that despite it being 2014, we can still not progress our collective Architectural thought beyond the mid-19th Century train of thought. Would it not be great if we could return other parts of society to back then, when it was good? Like slavery? Or women not having the vote?....I cannot wait till the local timber frame companies get an order for 8,000 new bespoke and utterly unique homes. Big Chantelle, you will see for yourself the quality of materials they use.

If you build them, they will come. This is true in Aberdeen, where it seems the parabolic curving chart of increase wealth versus lack of taste is ever present. People have a high disposable income, the developers provide these houses and they are snapped up. No one offers anything different, so why would it change?
Partick Bateman
#13 Posted by Partick Bateman on 31 Jan 2014 at 14:29 PM
Much as I loathe this sort of mockitechture, a huge number of people will absolutely love it. That's why it's built - it sells.
boaby wan
#14 Posted by boaby wan on 31 Jan 2014 at 15:01 PM
It sells because people have no alternative, it's built because developers have no need to try and design anything, and planners seemingly have no vision.
Partick Bateman
#15 Posted by Partick Bateman on 31 Jan 2014 at 16:40 PM
It sells because people have no alternative
You think? I think many people don't want high density, car free living. Many people actually like this pastiche architecture. They like their house, and double garage and wee garden. I know people who could afford to buy a nice flat in the centre of Glasgow but choose a tiny wee shoebox on a soul-less suburban housing estate instead. I think it's the dream for many people.
#16 Posted by Chris on 1 Feb 2014 at 01:32 AM
We should be focusing on making existing towns and cities more attractive, instead of luring more people away and destroying our countryside in the process.
#17 Posted by tempie on 1 Feb 2014 at 13:07 PM
If the houses and public spaces really will look like this, this will be the best urban expansion of Scotland during the last decades. I hope the architects won't finally devastate the potential coherence of the architecture. Most of the modern (2000+) architecture is in opposite to UK's neighbour countries pure crap in Scotland. As a modernist I finally believe more in these safe more traditional designs for the future in Scotland than in modernism. Scotland just can't do things like this in a modern way except of some small companies like NORD Architects and Graeme Massie.
#18 Posted by Stephen on 1 Feb 2014 at 15:34 PM
@ Chantelle. What unnecessarily insulting rubbish. No need to start mud-slinging like that. I don't actually hate the pseudo-vernacular aesthetic or the tweeness of the scheme, but I'm apoplectic that planners allow this type of development. Imagine a comparison of the Nolli plan of this scheme versus that of the maligned old Barrett Home stereotype suburb - there's very little difference. We're locking in social in-cohesion and car-centric sprawl for a century. Corb himself could be designing these houses for all I care and I'd still be livid. In fact many of the mistakes of the Ville Radieuse are very evident here. That some people want to buy these houses in neither surprising, nor relevant.
#19 Posted by Cateran on 1 Feb 2014 at 15:45 PM
Wonky, you don't half have a chip on your shoulder. Do you want a Benefit Street and social deprivation designed in with some traditional Scottish council housing flanking its austerity? The alternative would be row upon row of 60/70/80/90/00s bungaloids which feature in subtopias throughout the country.
#20 Posted by Wonky on 2 Feb 2014 at 19:59 PM
I'm not entirely sure what you mean- it's more than a little opaque- but from where I'm sitting you're the chippy one. I've a successful life & I want others to succeed as well. A real community is messy, chaotic, socially mixed, challenging, & stimulating place to live- this is just bourgeois lowfi hell. A sanitized hell revolving around the only idols the bourgeoisie worship: the car, privately payed exclusion & supermarket shopping. Cateracts if that's your gig then good luck to you- you'll need it.
boaby wan
#21 Posted by boaby wan on 3 Feb 2014 at 14:00 PM
@ Patrick - Yes I do think, I'm not saying that everyone wants to stay in a flat either; the typical developer led noddy estate doesn't have to be the norm for suburban housing.
Every penny is a prisoner and why would a developer want to "waste" money on urban design and architecture when they know they can get away with garbage like above?
#22 Posted by egbert on 3 Feb 2014 at 15:34 PM
As one of the concrete-loving modernist brigade so derided by Big Chantelle, I'm actually less bothered by the 1830s-timewarp external stylings of the houses than by the thoroughly late-20th century town planning on display. The densities are just far, far too low, resulting in naught but a vast and incoherent sprawl. It really gives the lie to the notion that this is a sustainable, walkable community - what we will have is a huge dormitory suburb for Aberdeen. Duany's supposed New Urbanism really is a tired concept - what might have seemed radical in 1980s Florida just looks ridiculous in Scotland and a hugely inefficient and unsustainable use of land. That the driving force behind it is a wealthy feudal landowner as opposed to any sort of democratic expression of actual housing need is also deeply worrying - not a good portent for Scotland's future.
#23 Posted by Cadmonkey on 4 Feb 2014 at 00:18 AM
I remember the Highland Housing Expo at Inverness a few years ago. Lots of starchitect houses fashioned out of cedar, brick, zinc and plastic. Nobody bought one. I think they ended up being leased to a housing association (correct?). I think this looks absolutely fine and will be sought after. Lots of posters getting het up about it. If you don't like it ...don't go there. Simples.
#24 Posted by wonky on 5 Feb 2014 at 14:01 PM
Yeah whiny types like me who care about silly wee things like our housing crisis, car dependent sprawl, increased environmental pollution or the rampant inequality of our already highly stratified society are just a bunch of crybaby whingers. Put your head in the earth. Simples!
#25 Posted by Cadmonkey on 6 Feb 2014 at 00:34 AM
Most people care about that. But not everyone should live in a one bedroom flat in the centre of the city, cycle a second hand bike and eat vegetables. There is room in this world for lots of different types of places for people to live and if rich people with Chelsea tractors fancy this let them have it. Relax.
#26 Posted by wonky on 6 Feb 2014 at 16:50 PM
Most people don't care about any of that. Unfortunately. Indifference gets worse the higher up you get on the class scale. Your argument is a version of Godwins Law- an unreasonable use of extremes. And so I'll use it against you: what if we all drove Chelsea tractors? What kind of environment would we be living in? If everyone wants to drive a chelsea tractor shouldn't they be able to- but they can't because only wealthy people can drive them. We have a basic dilemma at the heart of our liberal democracy: the freedom of choice is limited by capital- is this true democracy? If democracy can be manipulated by capital then is it true democracy? There's a fundamental conflict at the heart of our present system between the liberation of capital & the captivity of democracy.
So essentially what we're saying here is: flying planes, for example, is bad for the environment, so the poor should be excluded from it; but the rich can afford and therefore should be allowed to fly if they want to. That sounds good- if your rich. Who sets these parameters? Market forces- the ability to pay? These seem like inadequate solutions to real social problems that contain genuine human suffering. But unfortunately all we get is the same callous indifference, craven rationalizations & iimpotence from people in prominent positions of power- the higher we get in the class structure the worse the empathy fatigue becomes & the greater the promotion of self interest.
This project is a manifestation of all that is wretched about our present cultural milieu- Cadmonkey's pure tolerance is just another form of pathological apathy.
#27 Posted by Egbert on 11 Feb 2014 at 10:22 AM
Wonky - amen. "If you don't like it don't go there" just isn't good enough. The brand of apathy and blissful ignorance extolled by Cadmonkey is what's allowing power to be abused, capital to run rampant over the social compact and inequality to balloon. This affects all of us, privileged or not. Nothing should be beyond criticism. If you don't like it, make your voice heard. It's the only way we can change things for the better.

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