Sunday, 1 January 2012
Well it's all over again for another year. You know, I received so much abuse for my Christmas Tree last year that I didn't bother putting one up this time. But there were some highlights: the office party was great this year. I got a yellow hat in my cracker plus a sewing kit for on the job repairs to my spaver if necessary (check the meaning here if you are not from these airts).
Turning to more serious matters though, I can assure you that 2012 will be a stunning year for planning in Scotland. Firstly, local authority planners will be stunned to find themselves mostly out of work (key words here are 'early retirement', 'package', 'job shop', 're-purposing' and 'deal to go') as the reality of their hopelessness dawns on their employers and others. Secondly, planners working for developers or consultancies will be stunned to find that it suddenly becomes really easy to get planning permission. An enormous Tesco on the edge of town? GRANTED! A palatial mansion in the middle of nowhere? GRANTED! A nice wee collection of volume builder breeding hutches on a public park? APPROVED! And this will be the day-to-day of planning work. In a few years time it will disappear altogether from local government.
At the sharp end of masterplanning, design and implementation (where Auchterness is naturally positioned as a thought leader) there is much to look forward to. Throughout 2011 although I haven't written as much as in previous years, the forces of bright light and intelligence have been extremely active. The triumvirate of Dr Donald Trump, Sir Ian Wood and Sir Euan Jamieson have bossed Scotland in the development stakes with Dr Wee Stewartie Milne close behind. It's a breathtaking and utterly fantastic situation in which golf courses, public parks and riversides will become the most desirable places to live, shop and drive to. Amazing!
Most of all, in Aberdeen later this month, Sir Ian will be carried shoulder high on a sedan chair from Torry to Union Terrace Gardens where he will announce the winner of his great competition to flatten the Victorian Slum Garden that is the current focus for wine drinking drug addicts and perverts. I hope he will be wearing his academic robes and ermine for this event.
Just as an aside, Sir Ian is a man of great insight, judgement and taste as we all know but his personal grooming is also important to him. Every day, the hairs springing from his nostrils are cut back by a team of highly trained Aberdonian fishermen and farmers. Of course I'm not suggesting that he's a Big Jessie - but a man in his position has to look good and for Sir Ian, this comes naturally. I also believe that his women dress strikingly - their skirts showing off their hairy knees - in a manner much appreciated by farmers in the area. This is why they are panting on their tractors at the very thought of selling their eggs to the catering caravans situated around the Wood Group HQ in Torry!
But I digress. Finally on the subject of architecture, I was going to write up a nice wee blog post about the Stirling Prize again but the moment past and I've let everyone down - I know. In case you need reminding, it was won by Zaza Hadid again for some school in England. I watched the programme and was impressed by Zaza himself who accepted the prize (pictured above). Truly he is the Hercule Poirot of architecture with his smooth European mannerisms and accent. I don't understand why the building won but he is the sort of person I would like to go on a hiking trip with and enjoy some naked fighting in the snow!
Anyway enough for now. I will be back to report on the Union Terrace Gardens result and on many other exciting developments in planning in Scotland. Cheery Bye now and all the best for 2012!