Today's Herald has this letter from me about the impending Red Road flats demolition:Funnily enough I had thought about blogging on this matter when I read about it in today's Scotsman
Before knocking down the 1300 Red Road flats, which in the normal world would presumably be valued at about 100 million pounds, we should be sure this is the best option.
It would be cheaper to give these flats gratis to their owners (or to the neighbours of those who would rather be rehoused) with a strongly enforceable factoring agreement - there are many factoring businesses in Glasgow which would be keen to solicit such a contract from each building's new owners. Another alternative would be to sell the vacant blocks at auction allowing private enterprise to refurbish & resell at the market rate - we are told the location is not ideal but it should be remembered that Red Road is within 2 miles of the city centre & 1/2 a mile of 2 motorways.
Both options would obviously be cheaper than what is proposed. In worst case it saves the not inconsiderable cost of demolition. The primary advantage is that, in a world where house prices are skyrocketing because of shortage, Glasgow would retain 1300 homes. For the council the long term effect of 1300 extra community charge payments each year would be substantial.
< I would not like to think that these options have not been examined because councillors have a dog-in-the-manger attitude that because they have failed to make a success of these spectacular homes private individuals should not be allowed to either. > Yours Faithfully Neil Craig
They cut the last paragraph marked <> which removes exactly what I do suspect about Labour councillors ideological position to free markets. I noticed that, at the start of the 2nd para I said "owners" could be given the flats when I should have said "occupiers" - nitpick. There may be a reason why this would't work - for example that the buildings are structurally unsafe because of vandalism or initial council jerry building but I would like to see that proven before blowing 100 million.
The Herald also carried pictures of the Red Road site & "the city's trendy Glasgow Harbour site" & they do indeed look remarkably similar.
ARCHITECTS have redrawn Glasgow’s future skyline because the first version was too reminiscent of the Sixties and the city’s obsession with high living.I actually like seeing all those tower blocks when approaching Glasgow on the M8 or M77. I like Glasgow to be different from Edinburgh. Yes, I realise that the towers are monuments to a failed socialism but I'll miss them when they're gone. If they can't be privatised as Neil suggests then let's see some newly built high rises in the city.