The letters week ends with discussion of Perth’s architecture, the Gamesa plan for Dundee, religion and the census, nuclear power, and a controversial Fife wind farm plan.
Architectural ‘death wish’ of Perth
Sir,-Your superb article (March 16) on the forthcoming BBC2 programme featuring Perth in Nick Crane’s series on towns highlights the future of Perth City Hall.
It will no doubt illustrate the essentially medieval character of the city, which was for centuries enclosed within walls and a moat and is still based on a close network of lanes and vennels huddled around St John’s Kirk.
This is in stark contrast to a mediterranean city or a Victorian city like Glasgow with a civic square at its centre. Therefore, the proposal to blast a hole in the centre of Perth by demolishing the city hall in order to create an artificial square is an abomination, perverting Perth’s personality.
A recent opportunity for a fresh inspection of the interior (my first since that farce of a competition in 2004) was a welcome reminder of the building’s splendour. If the council had any appreciation of Perth’s special nature of its very soul it should retain the city hall.
Has anyone examined the perished stonework of St Paul’s Church lately an architecturally and historically important building on the axis of the High Street?
Why was it not acquired by the council and restored 10 years ago? Now it wants to spend millions of pounds on destroying the glorious city hall to create an empty space at the centre.
Does this town have a death wish?
Vivian Linacre.21 Marshall Place,Perth.
Industrial land at premium?
Sir,-I read with great interest of the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa, who have indicated their intention to create a manufacturing base here in Dundee, bringing with it much-needed jobs.
Indeed, a memorandum of understanding, or in other words a gentleman’s agreement, has been signed between the Scottish Government and Gamesa. Sadly, this means very little and is not legally binding.
We are also told that these wind turbines are ultimately destined for use in the proposed wind farms of the North Sea and that Gamesa is “still searching” for suitable sites to build this manufacturing plant here in Dundee.
I did not realise that the Port of Dundee, surely the obvious site for the manufacture of offshore wind turbines, was so extensive that development land was this hard to identify, or indeed, that development land in general within our city was at such a premium.
Ian Milne.Craigiebarn Road,Dundee.
Making voices heard in census
Sir,-Ian Stewart’s letter telling us that it is pointless to tick the ‘no religion’ box on our census forms reveals a cynicism which I hope will not be shared by most of the thousands of non-believers in Scotland.
Those of us who are not of any religious faith have a chance to prove that we are not a minority group in this country.
It seems only sensible to allow ourselves to be counted. Even if it does not have a direct and immediate effect on government policy, surely it is worth proving to the world that we exist in large numbers.
Moira Symons.17 Woodlands Gardens,Dundee.
Comparisons with Japan invidious
Sir,-I have been waiting for it, ever since the earthquake and the tsunami damaged one of Japan’s nuclear plants and Ian Chisholm (March 16) did not disappoint me.
He says he would rather have a wind tower fall on him than be exposed to radiation from a nuclear accident. That is not the choice the alternative to nuclear, oil, gas and coal-fired power stations is more and more frequent and massive power cuts and the downgrading of Scotland to a Third World country.
Renewables cannot now, nor can they in the foreseeable future, supply the power required by a modern, industrialised nation.
There is a vital difference between Scotland and Japan. Our country is not in any danger of experiencing the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan. The mistake the Japanese made was to build such a plant in such a volatile area. Perhaps even the whole of Japan is unsuitable for nuclear power stations.
The same does not apply to the stable environment we enjoy in Scotland.
George K. McMillan.5 Mount Tabor Avenue,Perth.
Energy firm’s scrutiny fear
Sir,-West Coast Energy (March 16) refused to allow a voluntary group to fly a blimp from Clatto Hill, Pitlessie, which would confirm for all to see if the turbines proposed are sheltered by trees and their visual impact.
They do not wish to have their opinion tested. Why not?
This will be cited in all future applications for wind farms as an example of how these firms ride rough shod over any objection.
(Dr) David King.Kinaldy House,St Andrews.
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