Clear winner in CHORD vote
Published 26 Jun 2012 09:30 3 Comments
WINNER: Option 3
MORE than 1,000 people visited the Victoria Hall in Helensburgh yesterday (Monday) to take part in the CHORD referendum.
Design Option 3 with the straight road through Colquhoun Square and an increased proportion of green space was the clear winner.
The full result was:
Option 1 19%
Option 2 21%
Option 3 60%
The matter will be considered at the Council meeting on Thursday for a final decision on which Option to take forward.
Helensburgh & Lomond Area Leader, Councillor James Robb commented: "All voters in the Helensburgh & Lomond area had the opportunity to participate in this innovative process and I am delighted that so many have responded so positively.
"This Council has a different approach and as has been shown with this referendum; it can deliver for its residents. The referendum has been a huge success due to the tremendous effort by the Council Directors, Officers and Staff involved and on behalf of all members I would publicly thank them.
"The Council, informed by the referendum and consultation will decide on Thursday how to progress the PRI Project. I am sure all councillors will then wish to see the chosen option taken to completion as quickly as possible."
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This article appeared in Helensburgh Advertiser 26 Jun 12
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Jun 28, 23:13
This is the kind of lazy journalism that has turned a once much read and relied upon local paper into an after thought for many residents. Instead of analysis of the results it is boiled down the lowest common denominator. No mention that options 1 and 2 are almost exactly the same but were split to divide the vote for the current proposals in order to provide what would appear to be a clear consensus. A school child can see that if you take those that agreed on the original plan for the bend in the road you have 40% to 60% who favour the straight road plan. Thus, it is easy to calculate if just over 1000 people voted in the informal count (I will take 1000 for ease), then if only 100 people voted for option 1 or 2 it would be 50/50. A clear winner?
This does not even take into account factors such as consultation fatigue on those who have already been through a long process in support of the current proposals alligned against those who are energised by the sole issue of maintaining a straight road.
I can only hope for a return to a more balanced reporting of current events in the area with an emphasis on the content of your articles.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 0
Jun 29, 12:26
How I agree.
Based on a rough estimate that the total electorate eligible to vote was approx. 19,000 there was a turnout for the referendum of 5.2% amounting to 1005 people.
Of these voters 70 (6.9%) spoilt their ballots, 178(17.7%) voted for Option 1, 197 (19.6%) for Option 2 and 560 (55.7%) for Option 3. If you add those who voted for Option 1 and 2 together(the plans were very similar) you get a total of 375(37.3%) people.
But the actual difference in the number of people between Option 1 and 2 combined(1.97% of the total electorate) and Option 3(2.9%of the total electorate) is only 185(0.97% of the total electorate).
Can you justify changing consulted and agreed on plans for Option 1 (and 2 as very similar) on the basis of the views of less than 1% of the total electorate which is what the Council has decided to do?
The question must also be asked as to why 95% of the total electorate chose not to vote.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 0
Jun 30, 13:24
From the Architect's Journal:
Architects could ruin UK’s finest gridiron townscape will lazy urban design
Don’t wreck one of Britain’s finest gridiron townscapes with gimmicky urban design, pleads Rory Olcayto
One of Britain’s finest towns is under threat by well-intentioned architects who have completely misread the nature of the place they are lucky enough to be dealing with. The culprit is Austin Smith: Lord. The town is Helensburgh, at the mouth of Gare Loch on the Clyde.
Earlier this week residents voted on public realm works planned for the town’s Colquhoun Square. Not on whether or not they should go ahead – that’s a given – but which of three AS:L schemes should be built. The tragedy here, is that none of them are any use.
At the moment, the square is divided into four greens by a crossroads. The basic AS:L move is to pedestrianise the north side (with sub-Gross Max twaddle) and bend the east-west road southwards, Home Zone-style, away from the square’s exact centre to “enable pedestrians to safely enjoy the four way vista of the Helensburgh grid; the only location this can be achieved in the town”. Two of the three proposals centre on providing this money shot moment. The third, which offers the same duff landscape but with no bendy road, warns: “No safe place for pedestrians to enjoy the four way vista of the Helensburgh grid.”
Yet, as residents will attest, and I was one for many years, the roads within the grid are calm. You walk in the middle of them most times because the paths can get muddy. Every day, every night, people wander the grid: teenagers looking for parties, parents strolling with kids, joggers, dog walkers, mountain bikers, postmen. There are plenty of “four way vistas” to safely enjoy.
The grid itself is one of the largest in Britain. Google map it, then open another page for central Glasgow and you’ll see they are a proportional match. Helensburgh would, in fact, have made for a more practical Glasgow than Glasgow itself, if the original 1750s plan for the town, as a centre of manufacturing, had taken off. You could imagine a city here, given the grid’s scale and the easier topography to build on. It’s better positioned on the Clyde in terms of transport links, too.
But, instead, it developed as a residential town for wealthy city merchants. So the grid has wide grass verges on either side and cherry blossoms lining long vistas that stretch westwards towards the Highlands and south down a gentle slope to a shingle shore with views across the Firth of Clyde. Massive villas occupy each of the plots, “embosomed soft in trees”. Yet it feels urban: the town centre has tenements, the churches are big and there is an impressive Victorian rail terminal with a barrel-vaulted roof.
It’s hard to overplay Helensburgh’s significance within British architectural and urban design culture. At least that’s what Hermann Muthesius thought, during his reconnaissance for the German government at the turn of the 20th Century. He wrote widely about the town in Das Englishe Haus, recognising the residential designs of William Leiper for their blend of French and Scottish vernacular sources. And he chose two of the town’s best villas, Mackintosh’s Hill House and Baillie Scott’s White House, as exemplars for his seminal book.
There’s another Mackintosh in the town, a red sandstone elevation among the parade of shops on Sinclair Street, a ‘Greek’ Thomson Villa down on the shore, and three miles away in Cardross lies the crumbling Modernist ruin of St Peter’s Seminary. The grid, however, trumps them all in terms of architectural vision. It deserves more than childish ideas.
Rory Olcayto is deputy editor of the Architect's Journal
Since time of writing Helensburgh’s residents have thankfully chosen the least bad option.
Recommend? Yes 4 No 2