Letters: Caltongate design is at odds with its setting

Work is set to start on Caltongate development in city
Work is set to start on Caltongate development in city
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It was with interest I read the article headlined “Gate expectations” (News, January 25). It was the artist’s impression of the proposed design which caught my eye first as I thought: “Oh, where’s this new shopping mall proposed for?”

You can imagine my feelings as I read the article only to find the somewhat flatpack-looking design was in fact destined for the prime site of 
Caltongate!

There is a tendency nowadays for extensive use of glass and concrete with the concrete clad to look like stone but very little in the way of actual stone being used.

There is also a general lack of architectural or design features added to new buildings.

I applaud the fact there is movement at last on this gap site and I know that the cost of building is always the major factor for any development.

I fear, however, that there are some architects who forget where they are building and how their design could complement and enhance an area.

To my eye this design seems to be at odds with its setting in a World Heritage site and looks pretty much like the sort of building complex you would find in any major city in the UK.

Jeremy Lewis, Durar Drive, Edinburgh

Poll’s about Scotland, not Alex Salmond

THE people of Scotland this year will decide on independence.

Either way it is not about Alex Salmond, pictured, or the SNP.

It is about Scotland and how it is governed for all the unborn generations to come.

Had the Labour Party done its job properly of delivering to the neediest (not the greediest) in society, maybe the question of independence would not have arisen.

But Labour forgot its roots and took a wrong turn to the right, forgetting the millions of working class people in the UK and thereby sowed the seeds of change.

Everyone now sees all the injustices and unfairness in the UK.

That’s why the system must become more human.

Put people before profit and an end to fatcat bosses exploiting utilities and reaping mega-profits to the detriment of the poorest.

Anyone who really cares about Scotland’s folk will vote Yes. The rest don’t care.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh

So, which candidate would get your vote?

A SIMPLE question for the Scots – who would they rather have as leader – David Cameron or Alex Salmond/Nicola Sturgeon?

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh

Bloated BBC should be held to account

It was revealed that the BBC will to told to pick up the spiralling costs to taxpayers of providing free TV licences for the over-75s.

I admit that I had no idea that the taxpayer funded this and not the BBC. The cost of this is 
£600 million a year.

I hope that this goes ahead since the unaccountable, bloated and biased BBC would then have to curb its excessive and unsustainable salaries, uncontrolled expenses, lucrative redundancy packages and gold-plated pensions.

This should be implemented now to force long overdue savings, especially salaries, and not wait until the BBC charter expires in 2016.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Fuming about lack of care for environment

DOES the council care more about boosting the local economy than protecting us from dangerous petrol and diesel fumes? News columnist Fiona Duff thinks so (News, January 24), and I think she is dead right.

The planning committee consented to the Edinburgh Accies development for an estimated gain of less than 70 new jobs – a drop in an ocean of about 340,000 city folk of working age.

The committee ignored Transport Scotland guidelines indicating that a transport assessment should have been undertaken.

The committee turned a blind eye to Scottish Environment Protection Agency warnings that building along tree-lined Comely Bank Road could create a sort of leafy-roofed tunnel where pollutants would be trapped at ground level.

And they didn’t object to a 50-vehicle car park next to Inverleith Pond.

Anyone got a spare gas mask left over from the Second World War?

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

Secularists and their threat to traditions

Scotland should wake up to a threat to its history and heritage by a dedicated few, though shrill, secular activists.

Secular campaigners currently have petitions before the Holyrood Parliament to remove religious observance from state schools and to remove church representatives from local authority education committees.

No doubt what many see as militant secularism will shortly seek yet more ways in which to try to reduce the remaining influence of Christianity.

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick

The Queen and the kingdom of heaven

Would I be correct in thinking that all secularists are republicans, given the monarch’s spiritual associations with God ?

Tom Reilly, Esslemont Road, Edinburgh