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BHS rebuild - the end of Union Street as we know it

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

OK, BHS isn't the most beautiful building ever to grace Union Street, but the proposed replacement by developer Patrizia ( formerly Rockspring) will forever ruin Union Street if it gets the go ahead.

Patrizia wish to build a NINE-storey building where BHS currently stands. That is 5 storeys higher than what currently exists and will simply dwarf all surrounding buildings. The plan is to have the first three floors as shops and leisure facilities, with the upper six floors as office space.

Does Union Street need more office space? The monstrous Caledonian building further up Union Street (where the Majestic cinema once stood, now Pret a Manger) has tens of windows with "Office space to let" plastered across them. There are umpteen other buildings in Union Street desperate to let out office space.

This building will block all sunlight onto Union Street. What a shame for the residents on the opposite side of Union Street who can now look forward to their building becoming damp and cold where it was once warm and sunny. What a shame for the shoppers who used to enjoy some sunshine as they walked along the pavement on the north side of Union Street.

This will simply look awful, yet it appears to be part of a trend whereby developers want to maximise their investment by getting as much for their buck as possible by building as high as they can get away with on their purchased footprint. Think Capitol redevelopment.

Union Street is a beautiful street but it is slowly being turned into a hideous higgelty-piggelty metropolis by foreign developers who care not a bit for the history and beauty of Union Street.

See below for a photograph of how beautiful Union Street was in the 1890s. And who says modern practices are an improvement on the past? A get-rich-quick developer presumably.

Union Street looking west from Union Bridge, 1890s
Union Street looking west from Union Bridge, 1890s

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