Demolition: What Happened Next

Regular readers and the occasional random visitor sent here by Google might recall me talking about the Channel 4 programme Demolition last year. This evening there was a follow-up, looking at the progress, or lack thereof, in doing something about the most hated buildings in Britain. The show focussed on two singularly naff structures.

One is a disused supermarket in the Yorkshire town of Holmfirth[1], a building that would look moderately nasty anywhere, but in its picturesque surroundings where most buildings are made from traditional local stone, its brick structure looks hideously out of place. The owner has plans to improve it, and work is going on inside, but the outside is as bad as ever.

The other is the almost definitively ugly Cumbernauld Town Centre, a classic example of bad 1960s architecture. Suggestions have been made which would greatly improve the area, and local people seem quite keen, but the council seem keener on having more superstores built.

So, the programme makers have taken the original plan for an “X-List” further. A formal process has been worked out, under which anyone could recommend a building for fast-track demolition or remodelling. Strict criteria would apply, and decisions would be made by suitably qualified people.

The proposal was shown to spokesdroids for the Liberal Democrats and the Tories, both of whom made encouraging noises. The government department concerned made no comment…

And that horrible car park in Gateshead is still there!

[1] Location for the long running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine