Saturday, 9 October 2010

It's Ravenscraig Town Centre - again!

the exciting masterplan for Ravenscraig
You know, when it comes to implementing a development of national importance, you have to pick the right team - guys who can create dazzling designs, folk who can bend the rules, traffic engineers who can invent a good TIA (that's a traffic impact analysis for the uninformed) and most important of all, people who can humiliate the local government planners with speed, creativity and élan.

Well! My personal copy of Planning this week described exactly how this can be done. It's a new plan for Ravenscraig in Motherwell - a derelict area of old steel works that were flattened years ago. Now try to hold yourselves together while I reveal the dynamic team who will do this work:
  • Project managers - Turner and Townsend: a firm who have some of the sharpest pencils in Scotland
  • Architects - Cooper Cromar: one of the most blatantly commercial firms around having produced numerous retail and residential schemes over the years - a big tick
  • Planners - Muir Smith Evans: bible-bashing Christians but brilliant at getting planning permission and winning appeals - their approach is Evangelical!
  • Engineers - URS Corporation: fresh from eating Scott Wilson but may have indigestion
  • Traffic - Colin Buchanan: fresh from doing Traffic in Towns - a few years back though
  • Big Architecture - Keppie Design: the most important element in the package of course with armpits full of talent!
There are other folk involved who are expert box tickers like Grontmij, DSSR, Gleeds and Heritage Environmental who will be excellent at enabling and form filling - don't laugh but this is a critical part of the job these days. Personally I can't wait to see what they come up with! All in all, this is one of the most impressive teams ever assembled in Scotland - if not the world.
an example of the design aspiration for the job - outstanding!
Now a word of caution - proposals for Ravenscraig have been around for years and in fact there are new proposals for the site almost every year. This is something that Scottish Enterprise insist on - it's a sort of testing to destruction of all the options. You know the sort of thing - well this hasn't worked so we will try some other people - okay so that didn't work either - so let's try someone else. Been there - done that when I worked with people like Bill Morton and Stuart Gulliver in Bothwell Street all those years ago.
one of the site's badgers who will be 'moved on' - after being monitored and photographed
Everyone knows that the biodiversity angle is important these days so the orchids, badgers, wildflowers and insect species have had their boxes ticked already - great isn't it? Also public art gets a big tick too of course with the obligatory involvement of young creative people in the process. This is all too good to be true. Well it isn't actually true - it's just a fictional composition of the sort of bits and pieces that make up a good planning application these days.

So 10/10 from me with a gold star and a big tick in my notebook. It is truly the power and the glory of town planning. This must be one of the finest projects around at the moment and I'll try to keep you up to date on its progress. What an exciting world we live in!


Tim R said...

You're a grand source of up to date news, Dave. Your photography is excellent too. Nice picture of your pet badger. How does he get on with the ferrets?

Tim R

Dave Thompson said...

Hello Tim - sorry I missed you at the Sir Ian and Dr Donald show - did you get in? I hear that it was heavily stage managed and I wouldn't have got in anyway.

The badger photo came from the Ravenscraig website so he isn't mine!

With every best wish

Dave T

Anonymous said...

And Dave Thompson should sit down then - or is he in league with Derek Tucker - the fat arsed liverpudlian editor of the local rag in aberdeenshire? Interesting comparison - the fat bastard tucker and dave t both are fascist in their editorials!

Dave Thompson said...

Hello Anonymous - good to hear from you again! I've never heard of Derek Tucker but I will look him up and see what the comparison is. I am humbled to be compared to anyone who is a prime mover in the trump enterprises in Aberdeenshire.

With every best wish

Dave T