Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Finally? GOOD news about Tollcross Winter Garden

It’s (almost) hard to believe I’ve been writing miserable for almost six years now, after discovering that Tollcross Winter Garden (glasshouse) had been closed after suffering storm damage back in 2011.

I used to make the occasional diversion through Tollcross Park so I could wander around the glasshouse, after finding it had been restored back in the period 1999/2000, having lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to rot at best. However, funding to the value of £1.7 million rescued the glasshouse then, when it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

One of my changes of route/circumstance meant I didn’t find out about the 2011 damage and closure until January of 2013, when I came across the shocking sight of the derelict, and posted…

Tollcross Winter Gardens refurbishment 2013

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict (January 2019)

Followed by…

Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games shame – Tollcross Winter Gardens wrecked in 2013

And then fairly regular updates, about nothing happening.

Little did I know then, six years ago, that articles which were then reporting that the Winter Garden was merely ‘Closed for Refurbishment’ were complete fantasy, and the place had been abandoned – despite the millions being squandered on attractions for the dopey 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and being poured into the swimming pool in the adjacent Tollcross Sports Centre.

Things are, at last, looking up as official at Glasgow City Council are proposing funding of £1million to restore the derelict structure. The money, if approved would come from a £3million pot which Glasgow is to receive from a Scottish Government scheme aimed at helping town centres.

The adjacent visitor centre (referred to as a Millennium Building) is scheduled for demolition to make way for a new early years centre, as a report by officials states: “This creates an opportunity to bring the [winter gardens] structure back into active re-use as part of the wider project.”

Tollcross Winter Gardens Visitor Centre Broken Glass

Tollcross Winter Gardens Visitor Centre

I’m not sure what life that building was intended to have, but I never expected it to last, given the peculiar tent-like roof it was burdened with, which I’m pretty sure would have a high maintenance cost had it remained.

Granted it has obviously not been maintained (at a guess, I’d think it would have to be completely renewed at set intervals, IF it had been remained in service), but visits have shown that it let in lots of water, and the interior was clearly flooded and water damaged. One of my past posts showed pics of the interior, taken through the windows.

Latterly:

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

A statement about the proposal concluded with:

“The restoration of this building will also link into several other approved council strategies including the Property and Land Strategy in terms of the co-location options that a refurbished glasshouse structure could offer; the community engagement and management options that may be explored including engagement with Friends of Tollcross Park; and the city-wide analysis of the glasshouse structures that form part of the current feasibility report on the People’s Palace Winter Gardens.”

“Additionally, the principles and commitments in the recently approved Council Heritage Assets Plan could also be delivered in relation to this particular structure.

“The ongoing review of Neighbourhoods and Sustainability Depot provision may also be influenced by the restoration of this heritage structure and the services provided from it.”

TOLLCROSS Winter Gardens Set To Be Saved Under £1Million Council Plan

This touches on another story we have been following, that of the Winter Garden attached to the People’s Palace, which was inspection revealed to be showing the true extent of its century plus of life, and prompted a much wider review  of remaining glasshouses across the city.

I’m sure each case will be different, but the effect of a century of Scottish weather on cast iron structures (I’m assuming most, if not all, have such frames, of varying quality depending on the composition of the metal, which were cast in Glasgow’s foundries), and have aged differently depending on their location.

I’m not sure of how far the Tollcross glasshouse has decayed in recent years. I’ve taken pics that record recent collapses of upper parts of the glazed roof, but without looking closer can’t say if this is due to serious failure of the cast sections, or just rot in the glazing that sits over those parts.

I’m sure there are many out there who will embrace a good session of ‘council bashing’, but we really need to ignore such politically motivated wasters who merely wish to further their own selfish hate campaigns, and support whatever positive schemes can be created to look after our historic structures.

Back in Tollcross, the lovely, sodden, wet, rainy weather of the past few weeks means I haven’t been through the park for a few weeks.

Looking at reGlasgow’s drone pic shows that after languishing behind wimpy temporary perimeter fencing for eight years, the site has gained proper perimeter fencing during those weeks of my absence, set into the ground, and not able to be kicked or knocked over.

Tollcross Winter Garden Fixed Perimeter Fence Pic Credit reGlasgow

Tollcross Winter Garden Fixed Perimeter Fence Pic Credit reGlasgow

Update

Local media spotted the planning story too, and summarised the past years.

The adjacent ‘Millennium Building’ is scheduled for demolition to make way for the construction of a new Early Years facility as part of the council’s response to the provision of 1,140 hours of statutory childcare.

And council chiefs say this creates an opportunity to bring the glasshouse back into active re-use, as part of this wider project.

As reported by Glasgow Live, The Tollcross Park greenhouse was shut after being damaged during the storms of December 2010 and January 2011 and has been closed ever since. It is presently on the register of buildings at risk in Scotland.

A decade earlier it underwent a £1.9million refurbishment, funded by the city council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland.

Glaswegians were up in arms at the idea the historic spot would never be opened again, with more than 100 turning out for a protest at City Chambers in June to demand the Gardens be saved.

Campaigners were opposed to the private nature of council meetings on its future, fearing that plans would put “profit before people.”

They also wanted to ensure the building would be reopened to operate the way it always did, rather than in a “repurposed or reimagined” way.

A council spokesman said: “The proposal to invest £1m in Tollcross Winter Gardens has the aim of the bringing the structure back into use as part of a wider project.

“Plans are already in plan to demolish the neighbouring Millenium Building with the intention of creating a new children’s nursery in its place.

“If approved, the proposed refurbishment of the glass house will assist the broader work to boost and promote the wider the Tollcross area.”

It’s hoped the project will build the profile of Tollcross town centre as a visitor destination, linking the historic built form of the area and the international class swimming pool, to the new nursery establishment, and enable the re-activation of the park.

Tollcross Winter Gardens set to be saved if council gives green light to funding boost

I’m not sure if the apparent hostility (by the vociferous ones at least) is altogether wise.

One of the problems with things such as glasshouses is their obvious fragility, and attractiveness to vandals.

Building and structures change over the years, as does their occupation and use.

I would have thought that a future, even with change, would be better than no future (remember, council money does not appear from a ‘Magic Pot’ but is raised via taxes), and utilising the building in a way which brings people and the community to it has to be better than keeping a decaying relic which few will visit.

26/08/2019 Posted by | council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Looks like plans for the old meat market are set to go ahead

It’s not that long (only six months) since I noted that Glasgow Council has to spend £6 million BEFORE the old meat market site is developed

However, it seems that if that was true, it’s finally paved the way for the derelict area to be returned to some sort of useful service.

A historic 19th century landmark in the east end of Glasgow is to be transformed into residential accommodation.

The original Glasgow Meat Market will be transformed into hundreds of affordable accommodation, as well a commercial space.

Home Group in Scotland will be working in partnership with the City Council to deliver the 240 affordable homes as well as a hotel and commercial space by 2024.

Historic Glasgow Meat Market to be transformed into 240 homes and hotel

Five years to wait until completion – assuming all goes to plan, there are no strikes, no disputes, no planning disputes, and no “WE WANT MORE MONEY!” fun.

Although I pass the area regularly, I don’t expect there will me much to see. I’ve come to learn that one big building site looks much like another while work is underway.

If there’s anything worth seeing, it doesn’t generally appear until the job’s done.

I think we’ll just go with an old pic (which will disappear once this place is built).

Nice Sky

Nice Sky

20/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Did I find some of George Square’s original Christmas Bells? (Yes I did)

Wandering along one of the routes I’ve not seen for some months, I was surprised to something I thought I was unlikely to see again (and wasn’t lying here until recently).

If I’m right, and these things are pretty rare and recognisable, it’s a pair of animated bells from the string which once hung around George Square as part of its past Christmas Lights.

Unlike the lights seen today, which can probably be assembled from various lighting modules found online, George Squares original Christmas lights were actually made locally, by Glaswegians, and formed the basis for many later display elements seen elsewhere. Prior to that, many of the features were obtained from Blackpool’s illuminations once they had been retired when those were updated. (That wasn’t just true of Glasgow, as I used to visit other illuminations, and slowly began to realise I was recognising items I’d seen before, in larger displays elsewhere).

Many of the elements were based on steel frames with rope lights attached. The rope lights were made of lights strung inside a clear plastic tube. Great fun for those who worked on them since they carry mains voltage and are joined by waterproof connectors. Well, you know what THAT means in Scotland – NOTHING’S waterproof in Scotland 😉

They were substantial, and stored from year to year for reuse, until the budget was steadily reduced, the street displays disappeared, and George Square became the centre of the council’s Christmas display.

Unfortunately, this find was sitting just behind a metal grid fence, so the pics aren’t the best thanks to its presence in front of the bells.

Click for bigger (sharper than the resized version below, and shows more detail).

George Square Bells

George Square Bells

I’ve passed the link to this post and pics on to someone involved in building these things many years ago, and will hopefully find out if they actually are what I think they are.

Update

Remarkably,I was right, and those are a couple of sections from George Square’s original home-brewed Christmas lights.

The story behind them, and their history is both fascinating and surprising.

I had no idea about their background.

If you have an hour or so to spare, and are in the least interested, I thoroughly recommend sitting down with your favourite treat, and enjoying this video from someone who knows better than me.

Incidentally, if you’re not familiar with these videos, I might add that there are more which show some more recent gems and reveals about the squares slightly more recent festive lighting.

 

18/08/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, Lost, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Dear Glasgow West End whiny people

I’m not going to pick on any specific social media post, but I was really fed up last week when post after post was made on the social media channel of a local news outlet I watch.

They’ve ruined a perfectly good feed with their endless whining over the past week – every time I think I’m going to see an interesting story from events in west end – all I get is another sore ear from their endless whining.

Rather than actually do something useful, one or two noisy individuals chose to keep taking pictures of stuff dumped in the west end and used them to launch a stream of whining post about how the council was failing to keep the place tidy.

That’s nice and easy for such people, as they never do anything useful, like naming and shaming, or reporting, the people who dump the rubbish and are the real problem.

Far easier just to keep kicking the council, a nice soft target, for not having people out clearing up 24/7.

Maybe they should take a lead from Spain, where a couple of guys who dumped a fridge ended up with a £40,000 fine 🙂

The Guardia Civil confirmed that both incidents are currently under investigation and the men had been fined €45,000 (£40,000).

Authorities also said they had launched an investigation into the fly-tippers’ employer, a domestic appliance distribution firm, after bosses failed to prove they were disposing of appliances using a licensed agent.

“We have managed to identify this man who was recorded by throwing a refrigerator in a hill,” the Guardia Civil wrote alongside the video on Twitter.

“We are also investigating this other video where you can see how they throw a washing machine on a hillside,” they added.

“The investigation remains ongoing to clarify all these facts.”

Fly-tippers forced to haul fridge back up a cliff after throwing it off the edge

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05/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

St Enoch joins High Street in the ‘Revamp Game’

I’ve been following the plans and changes intended to ‘waken-up’ the High Street area of the city, and see that the St Enoch area is joining in with similar aims of revamping the area.

Described as an area which starts at the junction between Saltmarket and Clyde Street, near Glasgow Green, and includes the cross-roads between Argyle Street and Buchanan street in the city centre, that means it extends the area being covered by the High Street (Saltmarket) plans already underway.

This was a busier area in years gone by, but as the various shops which once looked onto the River Clyde disappeared, and were replaced by hotels and offices (not forgetting the bars and similar that once lived there too, but disappeared completely over the years), the street along the river became deserted and very quiet.

Even St Enoch Square, which I can recall was fairly busy as the St Enoch Centre spilled its visitors into the space, has become something of a desert in more recent times, as the shop there became less interesting to most people. There are still some there, but without naming any in particular, I’d describe them more as special interest than general interest, so not attracting a lot of people there. I don’t think there’s one there I would ever enter.

Overall, it’s very bland and featureless, and only become busy when there’s something happening, such as the Christmas Market, or the occasional fairgrounds that set up occasionally.

We’re now halfway through a £900,000 public consultation on the future of the St Enoch district.

And that means there is still plenty of time to have your say on the ambitious plans to transform the banks of Glasgow’s River Clyde , in a bid to connect key parts of the city.

The area spans that which starts at the junction between Saltmarket and Clyde Street, near Glasgow Green, and includes the cross-roads between Argyle Street and Buchanan street in the city centre.

Glasgow City Council presented proposals for the massive revamp in June, before launching the 12-week discussion.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: “The St Enoch District is one of the most historic in our city centre, but its true potential just hasn’t been realised.

“However, these new proposals – which reconnect the community with the River Clyde – have the potential to absolutely transform how people see St Enoch as a place to live, work and socialise.

Those wishing to take part in the consultation have until October 27 and can do so by visiting Glasgow City Council’s Consultation Hub here .

After this period, the plan will be brought back to the council’s City Administration Committee for formal approval.

The draft St Enoch District Regeneration Framework can be found here .

Massive revamp planned for St Enoch area – and there’s still time to have your say on ambitious plans

This view from Saltmarket on the right, almost reaching St Enoch Square on the left, is part of the area mentioned.

As a ‘tiny’, I liked the occasional trip which included this as part of the wander. It was also where the RNVR Carrick was moored (when it wasn’t on the bottom of the Clyde 😉 ).

Now a hotel (the building in the centre), it used to be tenements with ground floor shops, and my favourite shop there was a car accessory shop.

By the time I’d changed from pressing my nose against the window, to a potential customer with a car and money in his pocket – it had gone.

As had all the other shops, along with all the people that used to go there.

While it’s true that many people can be found there today, it’s also true that they are only passing through, and have no real reason to be there, unless it’s a half decent day, and they’re relaxing on the grassy river bank.

However, for the moment at least, that’s really the only reason for being there.

Clyde Street From Sheriff Court

Clyde Street From Sheriff Court

04/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch out! Sunday parking charging comes to Glasgow on 30 June – with Update

Since I’ve already been priced off the road, this has no relevance for me.

But, I can add it to an ever growing list of things from my past which have been taken away, and can no longer be enjoyed.

It was inevitable, along with the increasing radius of the ‘parking charge’ catchment area which has slowly grown over the years.

It never really bothered me.

If I had to work in Glasgow, then my expenses (ie the customer) paid for any parking charges I incurred, and I either went into Glasgow during the evenings and weekends when such charges were once not applicable outwith the working day.

In fact, one of the two parking tickets I was ever given appeared on my car on a Saturday evening, around 17:00, which was particularly irritating as it was issued in a street I used to park in every week – because parking restrictions didn’t apply after 13:00 on Saturdays. The overzealous traffic warden guilty of this heinous wrongdoing had actually ticketed every car sitting in West Nile Street, either ignoring the applicable times, or had failed to check the sign, and assumed ‘Working Day’ times applied to this street.

I did indeed return the ticket with a complaint.

They not only cancelled the ticket…

Some time later I noticed they cut down the pole that carried the sign which gave the parking restriction times!

I’ve got a pic of the stub, as I was so amazed at what was done. Unfortunately, it was so long ago, that pic’s on film, not digital.

This is roughly the same spot today – where they have now restored the pole, so they can display restrictions 🙂

Blue Lagoon West Nile Street

West Nile Street

MOTORISTS face Sunday parking charges in Glasgow City Centre from Sunday 30 June.

Glasgow City Council say the new regulations will make on-street parking more frequently available to shoppers, visitors, tourists, blue badge holders and residents on Sundays.

The council add that improved parking regulations are known to reduce congestion and this in turn should improve air quality in the city centre.

Under the new measures, a number of taxi ranks will be extended or introduced across the city centre to provide further alternative options for people travelling to and from town.

Signage that highlights the new measures is being installed across the city centre but enforcement will not start until Sunday 30 June.

GLASGOW City Council Announce Sunday Parking Charge Start Date

Even the BBC noticed.

Free Sunday parking in Glasgow city centre to be scrapped

Free parking in Glasgow city centre on Sundays to end

Of course, this needs to be given time to see if it has any effect on anything.

But it is interesting to reflect on other stories which can be found in the media relating to the claims of ‘Death of the High Street’.

And the approach by other cities where they have chosen to ADD free parking periods in order to attract shoppers at certain times.

UPDATE

Something of a revelation.

This move was implemented WITHOUT an environmental report being prepared into its effects.

I’m genuinely surprised by this admission, as this sort of presumptive and “We KNOW we are right” implantation is something I was used to seeing come from the previous council, not the present, which has surprised me by the way it has been taking such things as relevant reports, studies, analyses, and local views into account BEFORE doing what amounts to little more than issuing a decree.

Glasgow City Council received more than 600 objections to new parking charges which come into effect next week, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Data obtained from the council shows strong objections from people in Glasgow, while also suggesting that no study into the environmental advantages of the new rules was carried out.

The council received 649 letters of objection over plans in the city centre, with just six notes of support from the public.

The council announced the commencement of Sunday charges for June 30 last night, saying it was as a result of “recent consultation on measures to reduce city centre congestion on a Sunday.”

They added: “The new measures aim to encourage people to use more sustainable forms of transport, including buses, trains, cycling and walking. In turn this should improve air quality in the city centre.”

However, it was also revealed that the council did not produce a report into the potential environmental advantages of new parking charges, instead consulting their Environmental Sustainable Glasgow Team.

Responding to questions posed in the Freedom of Information request, the council said: “No environmental reports were carried out.

“However, the Council’s Environmental Sustainable Glasgow Team were consulted on the proposals.

Glasgow City Council pushes forward with Sunday parking charge without environmental report

It will be interesting to see if there is now any fallout from this reveal, or if it is just ignored and the charges are introduced regardless, with no further comment.

21/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

George Square goes pedestrian on 20 July for Clean Air Day

After the previous news of suggestions and support to ban traffic from George Square, it seems Glaswegians are to get a taste of what the square would be like if traffic restriction were put in place, and the area was pedestrianised.

Glaswegians will be given a preview of tentative plans to pedestrianise George Square this week as traffic is banned from entering the area.

In celebration of Clean Air Day, Glasgow City Council will be forbidding traffic from entering the city centre location this Thursday (June 20) from 9am to 4pm.

George Square east will be closed in its entirety for the day, while George Square south will allow no waiting, loading or unloading from 3pm on Wednesday (June 19) to 4pm on Thursday.

Several companies will be in attendance at the event to promote public transport and leaving the car at home. They will range from bus operators such as First or Stagecoach through to smaller companies such as bike-only delivery start-up, Eco Runners.

There will be musical performances, displays of electric vehicle, car clubs and an electric taxi. People will be able to try out eBikes and conventional pedal cycles and there will be details of the ‘City Ways’ cycle paths initiative.

Picnic tables will be set out on George Square east with it closed to traffic, allowing people to eat out in front of the City Chambers.

City centre road closure offers a preview of a pedestrianised George Square

George Square (not) Grass

George Square (not) Grass

19/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to plan that pre-tour viewing of Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross

Although the tour is yet to be approved, now may be the time to plan that trip to have look at Dali’s iconic Christ of St John of the Cross in Kelvingrove.

It seems another tour has been submitted for approval, and set before Glasgow City Council for approval.

Salvador Dali’s famous painting – Christ of Saint John of the Cross – could be leaving Kelvingrove Art Gallery to go on show at exhibitions in England and Spain.

Glasgow councillors will decide whether to approve two short-term loans when they meet on Thursday.

The iconic work would play a key role in the opening of a Spanish gallery in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, before going on display in Dali’s birthplace, Figueres, Spain.

A report to councillors values the shipment at £30 million.

The Auckland Project, ran by Auckland Castle Trust, will see a Spanish gallery open in Market Place, Bishop Auckland, in summer next year.

Dali’s painting would be available to view from July 1 to October 2, 2020.

Auckland Partnership Trust is collaborating with organisations in the UK, such as the National Gallery, as well as in Spain and America. Glasgow City Council is currently seeking verification of the Trust’s Accredited status, as “it does not currently appear on the Art Council England’s online Accredited Museums List”.

The second loan would see the painting visit the Dali Theatre Museum in Spain between November 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.

It could lead to partner opportunities which would support Glasgow Museums’ preliminary exploration of a possible Dali exhibition in Glasgow, the report reveals. In most scenarios, Glasgow Life’s head of museums and collections has delegated authority to agree loans.

However, permission must be granted by Glasgow City Council to lend Christ of St John of the Cross.

Dali’s famous painting could be leaving Kelvingrove Gallery for tour of England and Spain

Such tours and loans represent major undertakings, and it’s worth looking for videos which show how the staff prepare and pack works such as this to ensure they travel safely.

It’s interesting to see that the story has added references to the sort of criteria which apply to loans such as this.

“All risk measures are incorporated into a formal contract, a lending agreement, with the borrower which must be agreed by both Glasgow Museums and the borrower, and be signed in advance of release of any artworks,” Mr Letford said.

“The painting is conservation assessed as fit to travel and will have a full written condition report which is used as a benchmark against which all checks are made during the loan period.

“The painting has been fitted with laminated low reflective glass to provide additional protection while on display.

“Each venue will be assessed by Glasgow Museums to ensure that all requirements for the protection of the artworks can be delivered.

This includes environmental, security and operational provisions.

The painting does not have the laminated glass fitted while on display in Glasgow (although there are other security features around it), and had been attacked there more than once, but this was many years ago.

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

12/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

EXCELLENT! Miller Homes development refused at Mount Vernon Avenue

After (damned) activists succeeded in bringing down Glasgow Zoo (Calderpark Zoo), the land was sold to a housing developer, and the development has been spreading over not only the former zoo land, but also much of the adjoining land too – and still appears to spreading over it.

There was even a small tree plantation, on the path to Calderbank House, an annexe of Bellshill Maternity Hospital until 1964, then a Talbot Association Residential Home. The house was closed, then demolished (date unknown), then the trees were razed to make way for new roads and houses. That was a bit of a surprise, as I thought the trees would have protected the land from development.

Recently, this area has seen developers try to get their hands on land in a number of attractive locations.

There was one on the banks of the River Clyde, near Carmyle – that seemed to raise a number of local objections, but I never saw any follow-up news. I suspect it may have been refused though, as there was no obvious road access to serve a large housing development (or services, or schools), and extending existing roads would have seen a major increase in traffic through the existing community.

A smaller development near a main road seemed to me to have been crammed into a small site, and I saw a number of local objections raised, with no further news reported.

This development on Mount Vernon Avenue seemed to bring a lot of local objections too, and also struck me as something of a ‘land grab’ by developer Miller Homes.

I happened (by chance, unrelated to the planning application) to wander onto the land, and took some pics just before I saw the story.

Tree lined avenue surprise

When I saw news of the planning application, I was a little surprised, given the layout of the land, and the established trees this time (the trees mentioned above were recent plantings).

Seems Glasgow City Council has, again, rejected yet another poor planning application.

GLASGOW City planners have rejected a proposal for 38 ‘high quality’ homes in Mount Vernon.

Miller Homes wanted permission for the development of four and five-bedroom detached properties on grassland on Mount Vernon Avenue.

But council officials have refused consent, citing a number of reasons for their decision.

They felt that the development would have resulted in “unacceptable and irreversible loss” of a designated Site of Special Landscape Importance (SSLI) and amenity greenspace and also posed a “significant risk” to the existing Tree Preservation Order woodland bordering the site because of how close houses would be to tree roots and overhanging branches.

Planners stated: “No evidence has been received to demonstrate the development will enhance the character or qualities of the site.”

They added that the two access roads on to Mount Vernon Avenue were at points where there was limited visibility on a hill peak, to the detriment of pedestrian and road safety.

Officials also considered that the scale and location of a 2.4 metre high fence on the east boundary would have reduced access and would have been to the detriment of visual amenity through loss of views from within and out with the development.

Other issues included the quality of communal garden space, lack of privacy in rear gardens, too much space taken up by vehicle parking at the front of properties and too much hard landscaping.

PLANNERS Refuse Permission For Mount Vernon Housing Development

All sounds good to me.

I really should try to find the applications for the other two developments I’m aware of (as mentioned above), but I didn’t take note of the details, and have to say that as a programmer, I find the planning application web site a bit of a pain when trying to find things.

So, here’s the pics I took of the trees, which I’m pleased to say will be there for a few more years.

Big House Tree Lined Avenue

Big House Tree Lined Avenue

22/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting approval decision for flats with no car parking, only cycle storage

I think that unlike many who just moan for the sake of it (or are just automatic naysayers about everything), I like to review subjects before a personal ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ thought forms amongst my last few functioning brain cells (so there’s plenty of space for those thoughts 🙂 ).

I happened to take a pic of the corner of Watson Street with the Gallowgate, and found that a planning application had just been approved for the spot.

No bad thing given its current appearance, and that it was just a piece of waste ground used as a car park for years. There used to be a warehouse there.

Gallowgate and Watson Street new flats site

Gallowgate and Watson Street new flats site

Now, a surprisingly tall block of flats will occupy the site.

What’s interesting about this one is the absence of ANY car parking as part of the 46 flat development (not counting the street of course), while cycle storage will be provided, along with a ground floor office unit.

I’m more used to seeing plans being rejected because the developer has failed to address parking adequately, or the impact of cars accessing a new development.

It can be interesting to visit more recent developments, and redevelopments too.

I’ve found many have secure facilities for the residents to store their cycles, avoiding the need to drag them up to their flats to keep them safe. If you look up at older developments, it’s not unusual to see one or two cycles stored outside the flat, if it has a convenient porch or similar area where they can be left, rather than bringing them indoors where they can take up space.

The second surprise, for some, might be seeing just how many cycles are in those racks (or on those porches).

CAR-Free Plan For 46 City Centre Flats Is Approved

Watson Street development Pic Credit GHA and Collective Architecture

Watson Street development Pic Credit GHA and Collective Architecture

22/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Decay at Tollcross Winter Garden just goes on and on and…

I decided not to bother with a January 2019 ‘Annual pic of Shame’ of the derelict Winter Garden in Tollcross Park this year, for no other reason than that I could use ANY recent pic from the past few years to show how sad this once beautifully restored structure had become, despite the wondrous and magical promise of a ‘Lasting Legacy’ from the farcical and disruptive 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Who knows how much money was poured into the useless swimming pool lying only a few metres from some REAL Glasgow heritage (see below for the answer), or into yet more upgrades made there later.

However, when I stopped by the glasshouse a few days ago, I noticed that the rot was now REALLY beginning to set in.

It can only be a matter of time before it reached a state of decay which forces the city’s planner to order its demolition – it is now starting to FALL apart.

This is the pic I originally stopped to take, and you can see that the east ridge of the glasshouse has now started to collapse into the interior.

Click for a little bigger. Compare to pics from 2015.

Tollcross Winter Garden Glasshouse East Ridge Collapse

Tollcross Winter Garden Glasshouse East Ridge Collapse

At the same time, I noticed that an assault by vandals, which I suggested was imminent in a recent post, on the glass doors and walls of the adjacent Visitor Centre, had probably taken place too, as the whole of the Visitor Centre was now clad in wood shuttering. Since there had only been a few sheets raised over the years, I can only assume these were added after the glass panels that make up the doors and walls were attacked.

Click for slightly bigger.

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

There’s not really much to say.

I’ve seen poster asking people to attend meetings, but I only see these after the event, so have no idea if anything productive comes from this, or they are just ignored.

It’s such a shame that this building was both restored AND had the Visitor Centre added for less than £2 million.

That alone shows how little of the £340 million (probably more) that was squandered on the ‘Lasting Legacy’ would have been needed to save this feature, which could have been promoted as a 2014 tourist attraction, being so near to the swimming pool event.

I wonder how much WAS spent on that already supposedly world class swimming venue?

According to reports, “The Tollcross Swimming Center underwent a nearly-$20 million (£13.8 million) upgrade ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Would you also believe that back in 2014, the (clearly corrupt or moronic) Commonwealth Games promoters were actually using the ALREADY CLOSED AND DERELICT Winter Gardens ‘hothouse’ as part of the attraction they were ;selling to visitors in their advertising and promotional rubbish

Fast facts

Tollcross International Swimming Centre is located in Tollcross Park. The park covers 83 acres and the land was purchased for £29,000 in 1897. The park’s opening ceremony coincided with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Tollcross Park has many outstanding features, including a Children’s Farm, International Rose Garden and refurbished hothouses known as the Winter Gardens.

You could not make this sort of stuff up and expect to be believed, but thanks to the Internet and their web pages this can be quoted and referred to (until they are embarrassed, and delete the evidence one day).

Let’s not forget another £25 million just frittered away to attract YET ANOTHER sporting event.

Maybe somebody should suggest hosting 5-aside games, or ping-pong, or maybe just World Tiddlywinks in the glasshouse, and ask for funding!

28/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

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