Saturday, 24 October 2009

Glasgow Harbour leaves London reeling

an old sailing boat is used to bring shoppers from the Costa Clyde resorts
No doubt you are all agog this week with the news that planning permission has been granted for a colossal £1.2bn retail and leisure development at Glasgow Harbour. To say I'm excited is of course an understatement - I am literally trembling with anticipation as I write this. Glasgow City Council has dealt London a critical blow by clearing the way for this fabulous proposal designed to make Peel Holdings and Clydeport even more incredibly rich - no bad thing considering that the quality of their existing development at Glasgow Harbour has been recognised as having changed the course of regeneration across the globe. Peel and Clydeport deserve every accolade for this outstanding project. So Glasgow will have more shopping malls than London once the doors of this beauty are open, knocking the UK capital for six in the retail Top of the Pops.

Glasgow City Council is a partner in the Glasgow Harbour project and of course has given itself permission for this development as we would expect - Wee Alex Salmond's folk just have to rubber stamp it though this will be a formality. Local retailers have predictably greeted this proposal with howls of protest but of course they will be the first to start filling up the shop units.
the brown bits are the shops
Just a few comments from my expert town planning perspective. This will be one of a new breed of retail centres where there is little or no public transport - like Braehead just across the river, it will be unique. So it's possible that the traditional city centre will become a twilight zone for an underclass of shoppers using buses, trains or the subway while normal people drive to Glasgow Harbour or Braehead - this is positive and reflects concerns about today's inclusiveness agenda and providing for minority groups. There's something for everyone in today's exciting retail offer!
the deserted Partick Station
Of course there is the subway station at Partick Cross (run by the amazing set up called SPT who I have praised before). No one is going to use that to get to Glasgow Harbour - well you can see how busy it is in the nice wee photie above. Likewise the so called Fastlink LRT system will never happen - that is just a clever invention by Clydeport to keep the planning application looking good to quiche-eating objectors, beggars and layabouts who want to derail the project. Another transport option is boats on the river and it's possible that in the future, some will sail to shop at Glasgow Harbour as the perspective below shows.
shopping by boat at Glasgow harbour
Personally I can't wait for this project to happen. It's a truly great proposal and reflects well on Glasgow City Council town planners for their vision and the breathtaking intellectual powers they have brought to bear on the Clyde's Regeneration. No wonder cities around the world are looking at Glasgow and saying, "Why didn't we do that?"


Nemesis said...

More retail therapy! Wow!

That first picture though - I hope that strange collection of old sheds with the wonky roofs is to be cleared soon; no doubt there are plans to replace with buildings by a world class starchitect, who can design something uniquely Scottish and iconic for the place. It would be worth the expense. That old boat no doubt can be scrapped too.

I seem to recall Murray and Dunlop received a lot of attention for their work at Glasgow Harbour earlier this year; possibly once that waterside space has been cleared, more of their exciting towers can be built?

Dave Thompson said...

Thank you Nemesis - as I said in my earlier post , the strange collection of wonky roofs you refer to is a very poor building and shouldn't have been commissioned. I feel it is letting the rest of the magnificent waterfront down. As far as Murray and Dunlop are concerned, I have never heard of them but if they have been commissioned by Clydeport they must be something special. Perhaps I should review their work - thanks for this information. What a lot we have to be thankful for. My best wishes to you as always. Dave T