Red Road set for a big bang

Glasgow Red Road flats.
Glasgow Red Road flats.

The demolition of the Red Road flats, which was briefly planned to front the opening of the Commonwealth Games, will be one gigantic explosion.

All six remaining blocks will be destroyed in a controlled explosive “blowdown”, following feedback from local residents.

It’s reckoned the one-off big bang will be less disruptive to local people and businesses than a series of evacuations and individual demolitions.

The whole exercise, to be carried out amid strict health and safety guideliness, will be managed by demolition specialists Safadem, who previously carried out blowdowns at Red Road in 2012 and 2013.

Last year Glasgow organisers of the Commonwealth Games briefly planned to use the demolition of remaining towers as an opening spectacle for the festivities.

But the idea was ditched in the face of outraged public opinion and safety concerns.

Glasgow 2014 performed a U-Turn in which it made clear that Glasgow Housing Association and the police were not prepared to allow the demolition to go ahead.

Critics complained the idea showed a lack of sensitivity to families born and brought up there, and that demolishing redundant high-rises in front of a world audience would send out the wrong message about Glasgow.

Glasgow Housing Association regeneration chief David Fletcher said: “We’re working very closely with our contractor and partners on plans to bring down all six remaining blocks (all now vacant) in a single demolition later this year.

“We’ll continue to work with members of the local community about arrangements for the day.”

The GHA official added: “We’d like to thank all of the residents again for their patience and understanding during this important part of the community regeneration project.”

Safedem and GHA are liaising with local residents and businesses as work continues on preparing the blocks for demolition.

The demolition is the latest part of GHA’s regeneration of communities across the city which will see thousands of new homes built.

Future development options for the cleared site are at an early stage and will include further community consultation over the summer.