Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

The Wrecking Ball

One of the big issues I’m dealing with is to do with Tesco – so that’s not just a local issue but is very much a national issue just now. There’s a planning application been lodged by Tesco to build a superstore in Beith Street in Partick and this has easily been the biggest planning issue I’ve ever dealt with, and that’s saying something as planning issues have featured large in my council life to date.

Over 1100 objections have been lodged to the plans and I’ve also objected on the grounds of scale of the development, design and traffic impact.

On the proposed site, there’s a small but significant building, the former Partick Central Station ticket office. There’s a planning application to demolish it, but that hasn’t been heard yet. Yesterday all hell broke loose when I was informed by local residents that a demolition squad had fenced off the building and were preparing to demolish. The fact that the building isn’t listed makes this very easy, as I was about to discover.

What happened next was one of the most frustrating afternoons of the week as I gradually discovered (after numerous phone calls) that decisions had been made without informing or consulting me. Namely, that a building warrant for demolition and police permission for a road closure to enable the wrecking crew to do their work had been granted behind my back.

All the council officials I contacted were very helpful, I must emphasise that, but what it exposed was the silos that people operate in and the layers of bureaucracy that enable stupid things to happen. If I sound angry about this, that’s because I am. There’s a book called “Glasgow, the city that disappeared” by Frank Worsall and is an indictment of the architectural vandalism that destroyed some of the city’s heritage and finest buildings.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying every brick or stone should be untouched or changed, but where you have a unique building then surely it can be converted to a new use ?

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January 27, 2007 - Posted by | Local Issues: Supermarkets

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