Monday, 5 August 2013

Union Terrace Gardens will go!

You know, last August I wrote at length about the demise of the wonderful proposals for Union Terrace Gardens in the hub of Scotland's economy which as you all know, is Aberdeen. The whole business left me emotionally scarred. I was completely unable to make my porridge in the morning.  Halfway through that article I predicted that Sir Ian Wood and Wee Dr Stewartie Milne would be back.  I thought privately that they would be supported by Dr Donald Trump of Menie. 

Well this week I received news that there have been stirrings in the undergrowth of that wasteland in the centre of Aberdeen.  No it wasn't unemployed hooligans fighting over a dirty wee lassie from Mastrick (because there are no unemployed folk in Aberdeen - though there are plenty of dirty wee lassies in Mastrick).  Nor was it local farmers fighting over a poor sheep that they hoped would be their new partner in life. It was the fantastic news that proposals for the site have been revived!

Now it isn't the Great Sir Ian Wood proposal from last year but wait for's a revival of the boring and defeated project by Britvic Gonsales for an arts complex dating back many years.  Well that's the way it is presented at the moment.  To quote the Architect's Journal writer Marino Donati, "According to BBC Scotland. Aberdeen City Council deputy leader Marie Boulton said the proposals, backed by Peacock Visual Arts, could be back on the table 'in some shape or form'."  To the seasoned expert planner this is code for 'large retail development with associated multi-storey car parking'.  Excellent!

I feel really good about this!  I feel handsome, potent and exciting! I feel the fecund promise of building tumescence on a brownfield site!  I sense the presence of greater beings!  Of rich people with superior intellects and ideas!  I am stimulated beyond measure!  I know that Sir Ian Wood is behind this one!  Wee Dr Stewartie Milne is across the railway at the Triple Kirks!  Sir Allan Henderson is reviving Union Street with his spit-and-sawdust bars and pound shops - augmented I am sure by some hanging baskets.  Union Terrace Gardens is completely surrounded!  I tell you - this scheme is going to win either a SURF Regeneration or an RTPI Planning Award and Wee Craig McLaren will be speeding up to Aberdeen from Edinburgh (First Class ScotRail of course) to perform origami on the feet of Sir Ian and Sir Allan. But Andy Milne from SURF might get there first.  Naturally the project will win on merit.

Don't worry about the look of this scheme - yes it is old hat and simply a cover for a much more exciting proposal, probably designed by Halliday Fraser Munro, which will have the planners revolving in their posh electric chairs in their new offices in Marischal College when it is unveiled.  It will feature all the exciting aspects of the original pre-competition proposal but with more parking and more retail. In other words - it will be much better.

It's a tremendous step forward for Aberdeen, Seagull Visual Arts and the RTPI.  I feel completely overcome.  It's the beginning of another outstanding success for the city and its ability to attract and nourish the genius mentality of rich folk.  There is no other city like this in the UK. All we need now is for Dr Donald Trump to get involved!  Fantastic! My hearty congratulations to everyone involved!

By the way, if anyone out there would like my completely unbiased assessment as an expert planner of a project dear to their hearts or perhaps something that is a source of deep concern please get in touch and I will try to oblige -  It would be published here of course. Let's help each other to make a better environment.


Andrew Ferries said...

Dave T: arsehole. I'll be in Aberdeen next week and if I see you hanging around I'm going to kick your fucking head in. My wife was brought up in Mastrick and I resent the implication that she might be a 'dirty wee lassie'. You sexist world of powerful men and sex mad women is a terribly sad place to be. I echo the sentiments of 'Anonymous' in the previous post - please die soon.

Andrew Ferries (Elgin)

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave T aka Village Idiot,

Please stop blogging - the last few months have been great without your pitiful outpourings. You are so wrong about...well...everything! I know I don't have to read it but just to know that you are out there somewhere publishing this junk makes me feel ill.

Dave Thompson said...

Dear Andrew

I hope you don't see me hanging around. Sorry you are so angry - I get angry too sometimes.

Yours in planning

Dave T

Dave Thompson said...

Hello again Anonymous and thanks for your message. I have to get the message out there! Sorry to disappoint.

Yours in planning

Dave T