Multiplex objections put out-of-town scheme

Warner Bros‘ plans to open a nine- screen multiplex offthe M8 near Renfrew could face major opposition as part ofa backlash against out-of—town leisure and shOpping developments.

Some members of Renfrew District Council are concerned that the cinema development could suck people away from Paisley town centre at night. while others are objecting because the multiplex would be built on a greenfield site. Hundreds of local residents have registered their objection to the scheme. according to the council.

‘We don't want to live surrounded by concrete.‘ said councillor Bill McGuinness. who will oppose the planning application due to be considered by the council within the next few weeks.

Strathclyde regional planners tried and failed to block a giant retail park on the nearby site of the former Braehead power station on the Clyde. The then Scottish secretary lan Lang overturned the regional council‘s decision to turn down the planning

:‘i‘V‘ZS‘. .


in a nearby site.

However, since the Scottish Office gave approval to the original Braehead scheme. the Government has admitted

; that its policies on edge-of—town development promoted schemes which

application in l9()0 because the scheme ‘structure plan‘, which determines long term planning objectives, is intended to

included attractive leisure elements including an ice rink and maritime heritage centre. The development site was subsequently bought by ajoint venture between Marks and Spencer and J. Sainsbury. whose revised scheme was blocked by Strathclyde region, though the original scheme can still go ahead. Upmarket home furnishings chain lkea is rumoured to be interested

increased car use. The region‘s

promote development to breathe life

hack into town centres. The new single- tier councils. to take over when

Strathclyde region is abolished in March, will be obliged to adhere to this policy.

‘The structure plan that the new local

3 authorities start off with has a reference

Car culture: an existing Warner Bros multiplex g

to the need to support town centres, andi

not just for retail but also for leisure,‘ said a spokesman from the region‘s planning department.

David Begg, a transport expert and elected member of Lothian Regional Council. believes the local govemment restructuring will make it harder for smaller authorities to resist out-of—town developers promising schemes which create substantial employment. ‘The new councils will be gung-ho on jobs that will create a ring ofdevelopment around Edinburgh with an increase in the number ofout-of-town developments,’ he said. ‘There's a lack ofclear planning guidance from the

s in spotlight

Scottish Office, and local authorities will act in a parochial fashion because they want developments in their area.‘ The same thing will happen in Glasgow. Begg added.

Lothian region had major reservations about the increase in car use caused by the Gyle shopping centre on the western outskirts of Edinburgh but Begg admitted the council was ‘chasing the tail' ofthe developer. The new Edinburgh city council which springs to life in April will have a combined economic development and planning department which it hopes will be able to pressure developers to rely less on car users. ‘We‘rc trying to buck the market to make them look at the city centre again.‘ said Begg.

THl. the developer behind the Warner Bros multiplex scheme near Braehead, admits the site is attractive because it is just offthe M8, giving easy car access from Paisley and west Glasgow. But he says the scheme will at least cut down the distance people travel to the cinema by car. ‘If people want to find a multiplex, they will find one,‘ says THl director John Henley. ‘What we‘re doing will reduce theirjoumey times. We want to develop centres which are attractive to all sectors of the population. notjust car owners.‘ lfthe scheme gets the go-ahead, THl says it would consider running a subsidised bus service to the complex. (Eddie


Glasgow hires 5

design chief for 1999

Glasgow has appointed a director to head the architecture and design festival in 1999, which is intended to generate public awareness and enthusiasm for design in the city. Deyan Sudjic, who takes up the post at the start of February is currently The Guardian's architecture correspondent. He launched design magazine Blueprint in the early 80s. has written several books on architecture and is a visiting professor at Vienna‘s University of Applied Arts. Sudjic trained as an architect at Edinburgh University, but never practised professionally.

‘ln the last couple of years l‘ve been concentrating on how cities function and this is an opportunity to put into practice in one city a lot of ideas that l've been working on before.’ he said. Sudjic said that his main objective was to communicate his enthusiasm for architecture and design to Glasgow people. ‘lt's far too interesting a subject just to leave to the insider.‘ he added.

Glasgow beat off competition from Edinburgh and Liverpool to become 1999 UK City of Architecture and Design. The emphasis on community involvement in the bid was cited as a deciding factor in thejudges‘ decision. The festival office will be located in the former Hera/d building, known as the Lighthouse. on Mitchell Street. (Eddie


4 The List 12-25 Jan 1996

Dyke gang recruits superheros in Glasgow

: The streets are no longer sate lrom

gangs oi women wearing Clockwork Orange-style bowler hats and loads of

attitude. The lesbian Avengers, whose

past exploits have included abseiling

into the House at Lords, are on the ' loose again - and this time they’re out

to recruit in Glasgow. The group promises a high prolile in 1996, but is cagey about the attention-grabbing stunts it’s planning for this year.

‘We don’t exactly iollow the model of other groups,’ says Kim, a member of the Glasgow group tormed last year to campaign on ‘wider leminist issues’. Last year it protested against Shell’s planned disposal oi the Brent Spar platform and a club llyer depicting

- two scantily-clad women tying each

other up. When Glasgow libraries decided to remove The Pink Paper (the only national weekly gay newspaper) lrom all but one oi the city’s libraries, the Avengers were out making some noise again.

The Lesbian Avengers was lirst established in the US to give lesbians a voice separate trom gay men and

there’s some overlap in the territory,

but sometimes the boys don’t seem

a keen to play. ‘During The Pink Paper

campaign we encouraged other gay

groups to get involved but no gay men

turned up,’ says Kim.

Their salt-made documentary We Recruit, shown last year as part at Channel 4’s Dyke TVseason, had New York Avenger Sarah Schulman slny remarking that most oi their recruits

joined ‘to get a girllriend’. Other London-based Avengers have suggested that they attract newly-out

lesbians keen to attirm their identity. Kim disagrees. ‘Although we’re anxious to have anyone who is interested, someone who is not comlortable with their sexual identity is more likely to get involved with administration than the lront line stutt,’ she says. “let everyone wants to be out on the streets having abuse shouted in their lace.’

Lesbian Avengers: recruiting in Glasgow now

So what’s the appeal? ‘I do like

5 “direct action” though l’d probably


put the term “non-violent” in lront oi it,’ says Kim. ‘I like the idea oi activist as superhero - you know, go Into a phone box in ordinary clothes and emerge as - ta rah - a Lesbian Avenger!’ (Catriona Smith)

Glasgow Lesbian Avengers are holding an information and recruitment day at the Gay and lesbian Centre, 11 Dixon Street, on Sat 20 Jen at noon.