Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Two South Lanarkshire town centres doomed!

the breathtaking design and graphics for Two74
As Christmas approaches and the office runs down for the year, I'm usually left to mind the shop while others take a sickie to do some last minute shopping. At lunchtime today, I received my personal email from Bell and Scott giving me the run down on some of the best property development proposals around. I clicked on the top link entitled 'Creation of a community' and almost choked on my sandwich - here we have an absolutely stunning new proposal which is important in all sorts of ways and is truly a thing of great beauty.

You know, many people write to me and ask, "Dave, how did you become such an expert on town planning? How can you tell when something is important? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?" Of course it takes years of experience working at the coalface of cutting-edge development but you also need to have a nose for a good project. It's like good wine in a way - I discovered Blue Nun many years ago and because it was such a sound choice, I haven't felt the need to change my taste. So when I saw this proposal for a place called Newton, close to Rutherglen and Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire I saw straight away that it was a winner.
a more realistic view of the proposal - less aspirational maybe but more informative
Okay, let's have a detailed look at this from my expert planner's perspective. First of all Taylor Wimpey and Ashfield Land say they are delighted that South Lanarkshire Council have unanimously granted planning permission for this mixed-use regeneration scheme at Two74 Cambuslang Road in Glasgow. I'll bet they're delighted - it's the ultimate Christmas present! The development will be anchored by a major food store and will also offer restaurants, a nine storey 170 room hotel, 9 screen cinema, 50,000 sq ft sport retail, 55,000 sq ft of employment with over 800 car spaces. The value of the scheme is £50 million for a site covering 20 acres. Incredible! Note the use of certain important words here - 'mixed-use regeneration' and 'anchored' for example. These guys are serious.
a totally brilliant impression of people shopping - eat your heart out Rutherglen Main Street - you are doomed!
Now of course, this is basically a new town centre that will see off the existing centres of Cambuslang and Rutherglen in one fell swoop. That is exactly why South Lanarkshire Council approved it - so that they don't need to bother propping up the existing knackered centres with facelift schemes, public art or other cynical urbanistic placebos. It's actually quite common for planners to do this these days though they won't admit it openly.
one of the incredible and extremely unique architectural icons that will attract people from far and wide
So once again, the market has triumphed - the old is erased from the earth and the brand new, profit-creating development is welcomed in - in fact planning permission was just a formality as usual these days. No one was going to stop this magnificent beast from proceeding!

But there's more - the scheme will be known as Two74 and lies at Junction 2 of the M74, which is currently being extended to link Glasgow to Europe, and of course is in close proximity to the site of the Commonwealth Games taking place in 2014 when our cousins from many foreign parts will come to entertain us with their dancing and strange customs.

I have given this development a gold star and a big tick with 9 out of 10 in my little notebook. My hearty congratulations to everyone involved.


Samantha M. said...

Who needs old, wrecked so-called "town centres" when you can build brand new ones? This will certainly be a good example of something exciting and new - shopping and businesses - and it will get people from all over Scotland coming here. That's what the nation needs - a glimpse of hope in times of recession - development and investment in our future! Thanks for this post Dave!

Dave Thompson said...

Thanks Samantha - a first class response if I might say so and thanks for dropping by. If you're ever in the Auchterness area do drop in for a cup of tea!

Yours in planning

Dave T