Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RTPI President on Aberdeen planners

From Aberdeen City Council website

The president of the UK Royal Town Planners Institute has praised Aberdeen City Council's planning department for the positive impact it has had on the city's developments.

Martin Willey was impressed by the quality and level of development, not least that reflected by the number of cranes in operation, which he witnessed when he visited Aberdeen this week.

Mr. Willey said: "Planning can and does make a real difference not only to the fabric of a city, but to the lives of those who live and work in it as well. I was impressed by the amount of high quality, well designed development I saw during my visit to Aberdeen, where it is clear that business is booming, even in these difficult times.

"From what I have seen and heard, Aberdeen's planners have a great track record of talking with people to engage them in the planning process and really listening to the public's views on how the city should be shaped for the future.

"Recent projects such as the newly-opened Aberdeen Sports Village demonstrate that kind of detailed engagement in action – and I'm glad that visit to the city has provided me with many examples to add to my collection of best practice from around the world. Well done Aberdeen!"

Among the Aberdeen developments Mr. Willey learned of during his time in the city are:

* Marischal College, which is bringing an iconic but long-neglected city building back into use, dealing with conservation issues associated with the redevelopment work;
* the award-winning Malmaison Hotel, which received recognition for its architectural design - finalised with input from Aberdeen planners;
* the Union Square shopping and leisure development, which has made a contribution towards the conservation-led improvement of the Green, as part of its planning conditions.

I would just like to say (in a hollow and sarcastic fashion) Ha.

With regard to the comment re Marischal College, Ha, double Ha and bollocks. I still don't understand how the City Council can be both Applicant and determining Authority for the planning applications. And I don't see how a facade job can be considered to be "dealing with the conservation issues". It is not 1995. Facadism should be long passé.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

As someone who studied Geology and also graduated from Marischal College - I agree the facadist approach is outmoded and likely to produce a soulless modern building. It is a shame it could not be adapted. However, if my memory serves me right, much of the building was not very great either - having been knocked around a bit, although some parts were very memorable (like the palaeontology lab (straight out of Darwin's world).

As regards RTPI President - having been one myself - there is alot of pressure to 'boost the troops' moralewise which is also important in the current context - and he will have been given a steer on this. To be fair to Martin, who lives in Somerset, he is unlikely to know that so much of postwar Aberdeen has been botched by a combination of planning, overdevelopment, and insensitive architecture - not to mention roundabout-fixated highway engineers.