Glasgow houses below the jackhammer – a photograph essay | UK information



Glasgow is not any stranger to demolitions – the town’s constructed atmosphere has been torn down, constructed up, after which torn down once more each technology. It has witnessed the wholesale demolition of a lot of its tenements within the Nineteen Fifties and 60s after which extra lately the demolition of its high-rise flats that have been constructed to exchange its torn down tenements.

Since 2005 the town has misplaced 35% of those high-rise housing blocks and schemes, and subsequent for the wrecking ball are 4 high-rise blocks in Maryhill’s Wyndford property within the West Finish of the town.

View from Norman’s balcony overlooking the city

Norman Cunningham, who has lived on the property for 3 years says perceptions of a high-rise residing metropolis are partly in charge for driving the demolitions. Deemed as both sink estates at worse or now not modern at greatest, Glasgow’s excessive rise social blocks have lengthy been stigmatised as hotbeds of felony exercise, and the reason for every part undesirable and delinquent.

Resident Norman Cunningham on his 21st floor balcony

Letters and a brochure have been despatched to all residents within the blocks on the finish of November 2021 from landlords Glasgow Housing Affiliation (GHA), inviting residents to participate in a comfort in regards to the “£54m transformation challenge” which included the demolition of all 4 high-rise blocks. Residents say the letter was the primary anybody had heard in regards to the demolition plans.

The accompanying shiny brochure talked of “a vibrant new daybreak for Wyndford” and the way a “new Wyndford is taking form” however many residents consider that there isn’t a actual session, and minds on the GHA and metropolis council have already been made up.

Daishin Stevenson, a Zen Buddhist monk, poet and photographer has lived within the flats for 5 years along with her associate, Greum. She doesn’t need the blocks to be demolished; as an alternative she needs to see the flats get higher upkeep and repairs.

Daishin Stevenson and her partner Greum

Her associate, Greum, defined the pending demolition in easier phrases: “Gentrification, to place it generously. Social cleaning, to place it realistically.”

The Wyndford high-rise blocks are a stone’s throw from the prosperous Kelvinside district in Glasgow’s West Finish, the place properties have a median value of greater than £300,000 and the residents worry that actual property hypothesis is the driving drive behind the demolition plans.

Kelvinside district in Glasgow’s West End viewed from the Wyndford flats.

Suki Sangha and her canine, Harry, have lived within the flats for over three years and want to see funding within the space and for the flats to be upgraded, not demolished, however fears the driving drive is revenue.

Resident Suki Sangha and her dog Harry

Affirmation of the demolition and the proposed demolition dates have but to be introduced and GHA stated tenants within the affected blocks could be given a selection of one other dwelling within the space or in “one other Wheatley group” – Wheatley being Scotland’s largest social landlord – however as all of the flats are single bed room many residents fear about the place they could find yourself being rehoused.

Three of the Wyndford blocks awaiting demolition.

Jazzminn had been residing as a nomad and subsequently ended up homeless till she was provided a flat at Wynford in flats in late November 2019.

Regardless of having some points with upkeep and repairs she doesn’t need her dwelling to be demolished however she is aware of that new houses full of households and mid-market lease will generate extra lease for the housing affiliation.

Resident Jazzminn.

Deliveroo cycle courier Sam Sharp, who has lived within the flats for 4 years, has joined with different residents to problem the demolition and demand a correct session. He speaks extremely of excessive rise residing – having his personal house, nice views and entry to loads of wild inexperienced areas – issues he says most cities ought to attempt for.

Resident and Deliveroo cycle courier Sam Sharp

Sean Baillie, a GMB Scotland employee, fears the demolition will go forward and the residents opposing it are preventing a shedding battle. He has knocked on the doorways of all his neighbours to do his personal session to search out out what individuals truly consider the proposed demolitions.

Nevertheless, most up-to-date residents up to now few years have been in supported lodging of 1 type or one other and that has made them reluctant to query the plans or converse out.

Resident Sean Baillie

Information of the demolition got here simply weeks after Glasgow hosted the local weather summit Cop26 and at a time when 50,000 buildings, together with many residential high-rise flats, are demolished yearly within the UK.

Critics say this normalised, systemic and wasteful destruction of buildings – areas the place individuals dwell, work and play, is pointless as most of the buildings may very well be retrofitted for the long run.

Sitting on his balcony having fun with the winter sunshine and views over the town, Norman Cunningham questioned this larger image behind the demolitions: “It’s simply fallacious in so some ways. Not least the environmental carbon launch harm finished in demolition after which new builds.

“Did Cop26 truly occur? In Glasgow? That is all simply social engineering and greed disguised as being for the higher good.”

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