Monday, 11 March 2013

A room with a view?

The red, yellow and blue tower blocks always did look rather out of place towering over Kincardine, and so Calton finds it hard to mourn their passing, but the fact remains that they provided 181 homes whereas now there will only be 81. 100 homes lost to a council which suspended the right to buy in 2006 because of a shortage of council houses. It may be that there were good reasons to demolish the blocks but Calton does wonder if we are missing a trick here. The towers should possibly never have been built in the first place but they seemed to be the solution at a time when there was a shortage of housing and we are still in that situation today. If Park Hill flats in Sheffield can be renovated, is there something we can learn from them? The architects of these buildings did not design them as cheap and nasty boxes for the masses - they genuinely tried to provide quality housing for the large numbers of families who needed it and it was welcomed at the time. Part of the reason why such housing fell into disfavour is not so much the design but the lack of maintenance and lack of will to deal with problem tenants. If we sorted those problems then perhaps we would not need to be quite so gung-ho with the demolition button. (Of course Calton may be biased - he does like a room high up with a view.)

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