Re: Re: The Irish Town â€“ Dying At The Crossroads?
It’s impossible to illustrate here, but I’m simply not convinced by the argument about ‘out of town’ centres (almost an oxymoron); in this area, there was a major oot development at Renfrew (the Braehead centre – it may have a website) – paradoxically near an historic but declining town, Renfrew, but not in the area’s main shopping centre, Paisley (I know). The local council opposed it but the government (Tory) granted permission. In the 10 years or so since it opened, there has been a second phase focused on ‘leisure’ (with the council now wetting itself to get the additional revenue), and the centre of Paisley has gone into near-terminal decline in spite of much civic improvement.
OK, it’s a complex phenomenon and the seeds of Paisley’s decline preceded Braehead, but the strong impression now given is (a) that developers dictate planning policy, (b) that civic improvement will not ‘attract’ shopping or other uses in isolation and (c) that without a large shopping input town centres largely have no ‘function’. Is this progress?