Glasgow rejects canalside build to rent tower plans

Plans for a major build to rent development on the banks of the canal near Speirs Wharf in Glasgow have been refused by councillors.

Glasgow City Council’s planning committee yesterday voted 11:4 against an application by Hoxton Securities for 182 flats on a gap site between Sawmillfield Street and Farnell Street.

Described as the first step towards regeneration of the Garscube industrial area, the developers had said the Stallan-Brand-designed project will deliver a “national best practice example of canalside regeneration”. Two buildings were proposed — one with 20 floors, the other with 12 — either side of a landscaped central access ramp giving level access to the canal towpath.

Glasgow rejects canalside build to rent tower plans

Both buildings were to have roof gardens and would have contained a mixture of studio, one, two and three-bedroom flats.

A commercial unit, gym and a rehearsal space, as well as public realm improvements, were also to be included.

Planning officials had recommended approval for the development but councillors’ refusal related to over-massing, having a residential development in an industrial-use area, and lack of green/play space. 

Glasgow rejects canalside build to rent tower plans

The report by planners stated: “We consider that this proposal is an opportunity for a development that complements the evolving pattern of land use in the area between Speirs Wharf and Applecross Basin while transforming access to the canal. It is considered that a residential development introducing greater activity in this location would contribute to creating a safer environment while reinforcing the well-established residential character of Speirs Wharf.

“A rigorous analysis has reinforced our view that the siting of a tall building in this location can be justified on the basis that it has been sensitively positioned so that the landmark views of the former [Speirs Wharf] warehouse buildings are not interrupted.”

Glasgow rejects canalside build to rent tower plans

The report continued: “The proposal will provide ground level activity and create legible connections with the canal that transform Farnell Street from a neglected cul-de-sac into a key route and node onto the canal.

“It is considered that the degree to which the proposal would transform connectivity to the canal is such that it would have a lasting impact on existing and emerging communities to the north of the city centre.”

Glasgow rejects canalside build to rent tower plans

Residents would not have had access to any off-street parking spaces or be entitled to a parking permit for an on-street parking space. Four spaces for car club use were to be provided and three for blue badge holders.

Planners stated: “Given the high accessibility to public transport and proximity of active travel routes to the city centre, a car-free proposal in this location is considered to be sustainable.”

A proposal for a student residential development was previously approved on the site but was never implemented.

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