Friday, 21 August 2009

‘Development; a misused word’, by Urban Critic of Sale

Recent posts raise some interesting questions about developers and development. Generally, the word ‘develop’ carries the meaning of ‘improvement.’ ‘To develop’ means something like ‘to improve’. And yet the activity of those who have ‘developed’ urban sites, particularly in Sale, in recent times, have been anything but improvements. The Campaigners who trudged around the area collecting signatures for the Paper Petition, found that a frequent complaint against Trafford Council was precisely this; that the Council had permitted the demolition of an old building, and the Planning Department had subsequently approved its replacement by worse. It’s almost as if Trafford Planning Department and the Committee of Councillors who are supposed to direct the officials, are incapable of recognising what is attractive. The ‘development’ opposite Sale Station was frequently cited by signatories of the petition as an ‘eyesore.’ The best thing one could say about it is that it’s a bit ‘Soviet’. To make matters worse, it does not appear to have been constructed with a view to maintaining an attractive exterior.
The wooden panels seem to be showing deterioration. Whereas some panels
 have retained some semblance of colour, others, which are presumably exposed to more severe weather have gone that funny grey colour which garden furniture acquires, if you don’t give it a lick of teak oil once in a while. Very disappointing. Is it any wonder that the people of Sale have opposed the demolition of the good old Sale Hotel and given a ‘thumbs down’ to the mediocre modern?

1 comment:

  1. I've seen a lot of apartment developments and quite honestly for the money the site by the tram station isn't that bad considering the site restrictions of changes in levels, canal boundary and height restrictions of neighbouring properties to be more in keeping.
    With regard to cedar cladding I've worked with a lot of Architects that have used this material in recent years and personally am not a great fan when it "ages" to it's correct grey colour. It's use is promoted because it aids the building in achieving better energy ratings under the necessary energy assesments due to it's "low embodied energy" and softens more solid and man made materials such as concrete and render. Clearly they have failed to impress on this one.
    Development can be and in this case should be, complimentary and sypathetic to the hotel building or whatever bits are the subject to any future listing. All comments are valid and come the consultation on submission of a planning application the case officer will have their work cut out.