Monday, 15 December 2014

Protect Buchanan Street Steps

Along with thousands of others, I have written to the Planning Department of Glasgow City Council to strongly object to the applications to demolish the steps on Buchanan Street at the entrance to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The reasons to object to the removal of the Buchanan Street Steps include;

1)    The proposal will destroy nationally important civic space The Concert Hall Steps are located within a conservation area and the proposal for their demolition will have a negative impact on the quality of the public realm and historic fabric of the city centre. The steps must be preserved as they are significant landmark and are recognised as having national architectural importance as civic space. The steps alongside the statue of Donald Dewar provide an iconic feature to Glasgow's most prestigious street. The steps provide a unique view of the city centre with a wonderful vantage point looking down Buchanan Street.    The commanding views you get from the steps make them attractive to photographers and artists, as well as residents and visitors who just want to enjoy the view. 

 2)    Demolition will lead to the loss of a culturally significant feature. The plan to replace the steps with an atrium would not make Glasgow more attractive to residents. It will be unpopular with the public. A petition online against these plans has gained over 12,000 signatures. It would make the City Centre less inviting to come into.
There is a dearth of public spaces in Glasgow, and the steps are one of the best. The steps are a hub of cultural activity in a way that this atrium will not be. They are a magnet for buskers, charity events, and rallies. In this way, they have transcended their purpose as a simple flight of steps for people to go up and down. The steps are a public asset which inspires and promotes participation of the general public in the city's democratic and cultural activities. 

3)    The demolition will result in the loss of a visually attractive amenity within Buchanan Street. It would make the top of Buchanan Street look worse. The atrium looks bland and generic, and makes the top of Buchanan Street look like any town centre. The building of this atrium will not improve the quality of life for people living and working in the city. The City Centre is very polluted, and people coming into it need public spaces to sit away from the traffic. It's also a good meeting point and a place where people come to socialise and eat their lunch.

In conclusion, the Concert Hall steps have become something of a Glasgow institution. The plans to demolish the steps must be refused.

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