Tuesday, March 22, 2005
RED ROAD FLATS - Herald letter.
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. >
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.
However the punch line has to be that if the occupants & potential purchasers are happy with this then who am I to complain? While I know this article gets fairly regular referrals (1 of them from New Zealand so a different Red Road) I must take the lack of comments as indicative.
The place is in the state it's in because of WILFUL neglect on the part of the City Fathers; no other reason. They let the buildings rot, effectively condoned the violence and drugs and deliberately used the place as a dumping ground.
The original posters proposals won't see the light of day for one reason and one reason only; Those holding the controls want their skin; their wedge off the top. Nose-in-the trough time for the City's fatcats and to hell with the ordinary weegie!
I am glad that, speaking from experience, you agree. I have thought that if they just leased out a shop & perhaps pub at the bottom of the larger flats they would turn them into a real community. Victorian developers built corner shops & pubs but they were motivated by money. Our councillors & planners, with purer motivations never thought of this.
I am also interested that you said your flat was warm. The 2 politicians assured me that part of the reason the flats would be more expensive to keep up than knock down was that the insulation was so poor they couldn't be kept warm.