Flats plan at Glasgow church gains planning permission

Glasgow City Council has approved plans to redevelop a historic West End church into 29 flats.

Flats plan at Glasgow church gains planning permission

Image: EMA Architecture and Design

The category B-listed Hillhead Baptist Church will be extended and converted into apartments with church/community facilities underneath the new homes.

Developers have said that the historic facades of the premises on the corner of Cranworth Street at Cresswell Street will be retained.

Planning permission was granted for a 21-flat project in 2011 but new designs were submitted in May 2019.

The church facilities will be at ground floor level in the same area as the former church hall, known as The Tryst.

The new apartments will be housed in a five-level contemporary extension of concrete, brick and glass above the church, accessed from Cranworth Street, away from the main public entrance on Cresswell Street.

A statement by EMA Architecture and Design submitted with the planning application explains: “In 2017 the Church agreed to work in partnership with Wemyss Properties to deliver a mixed-use development which would act as enabling development to facilitate the retention of the key facades of the listed building and to create a new community facility for the church.

“The current proposal is broadly in line with the existing planning permission and Listed Building Consent in that it involves façade retention and extension of the existing building. The church and Wemyss Properties are now in a position to progress with a design which will be delivered and ensure the retention of the building for the future.

“The age and condition of the building as a whole is such that an enabling development is the only way that the most important parts of the building (the external walls that contribute to the character of the Conservation Area) can be saved whilst maintaining a presence for the church on the site.

“The church has worked for at least 10 years to come up with a solution for the building and, objectively, this may well be the best and last opportunity to save the building. If the building lies in its current condition for several more years it is probable that it will have to be demolished in its entirety.”

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