Sunday, July 01, 2007

That car park again

Just before I went away I got a call from the BBC asking me to write a piece for their website about why I thought the Gateshead car park should be demolished after someone had alerted them to my previous blog entry about it. So I rushed it off and they put it on their website the day I flew off. I only got to see it yesterday. It can be read here. It is interesting to see that of the more than 16,000 people who voted in the poll about the future of the car park, 79% thought it should go. It is a strange feeling to be on the popular side of an issue!

I must say however that I share the fears of those who have said Gateshead deserves more than a large Tesco store for its new town centre. I remember seeing the plans for the proposed redevelopment a couple of years ago and apart from the absence of the car park the proposed new buildings were not very exciting. The plans will be appearing here soon. I don`t think the replacement has to be considered a `chocolate box` type of architecture just because it won`t be `Brutalist`. In California I saw plenty of attractive modern buildings, not the least of which was the Getty centre in Los Angeles. I hope the plans for the renewal of Gateshead town centre will match the imagination which brought the Sage and the Baltic to the banks of the Tyne.

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