Glasgow

New homes and commercial units planned for former Glasgow church site

Plans have been submitted to develop 49 homes on a former church site in North Glasgow on behalf of ng homes.

Under the plans, 49 residential flats and two commercial units could be built on the corner of Keppochill Road and Millarbank Street in Springburn which was previously home to Springburn Public Halls and Cowlairs Church.

The B-listed Springburn Public Halls were demolished over Christmas 2012 after the property was deemed a health and safety risk by Glasgow City Council.

A planning statement explains that the Springburn Public Halls, which were designed by William B White, opened in 1902. The halls were gifted to the community by the Reid Family who owned the Hyde Park Works.

The halls were a focal point for local gatherings during the first of the 20th century and the building was later converted into a sports hall in the 1960s until its closure in 1985 due to dry rot.

The halls lay derelict for years with regeneration proposals proving unsuccessful, according to the planning statement.

The new development would provide 49 new homes in the area including one and two bedroom properties.

A decision on the plans is expected next month.

Unfinished Glasgow Queen Street Station building ‘could be knocked down’

How the Glasgow Queen Street Station will look once completed

A partially constructed building that forms part of the Glasgow Queen Street Station project could be demolished as officials consider a larger development, according to reports.

Transport Scotland has ordered a review of the building in the car park, for rail staff and shops, as part of expanding the station to accommodate new electric trains on the main line to Edinburgh this year. The trains are finally due to start running in March, but other delays to the £800 million Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (Egip) have already put back completion of the station until 2020.

Now The Scotsman has reported that officials are considering bringing down part of the ongoing project in favour of a larger development in the car park.

According to the newspaper, the estimated cost of the U-turn is between £3m and £15m.

Network Rail said: “We have paused work while we explore potential changes to the scope with the Scottish Government.

“If the discussions result in a new development, then we’d most likely have to remove the steelwork.”

Transport Scotland said it would not delay longer trains and faster journeys in December, platforms being extended by December 2019 and the station concourse and frontage being completed by spring 2020.

A spokeswoman said: “Following the conclusion of Scottish minister-led discussions, options for an alternative development at the North Hanover Street site are being explored. These are expected to conclude in the coming weeks.

“All other works continue as planned.”

Work starts on new affordable homes in Pollokshaws

CCG has started work on 42 energy- efficient affordable homes for social rent in Glasgow’s south side.

The off-site manufacturing specialist is working on behalf of Loretto Housing Association, a member of Wheatley Group, to build the new homes, consisting of a mix of flats, supported accommodation and houses.

The site, formerly occupied by the Shawbridge Street high-rise flats and a parade of nine shops, is situated within a short walking distance of Pollokshaws West Railway Station and Pollok Country Park.

Works commenced this January and the homes should take around a year to complete.

Pollokshaws is one of eight areas of Glasgow earmarked as a priority for regeneration by Transforming Communities: Glasgow (TC:G) a strategic partnership between the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and GHA.

David Fletcher, Wheatley Group director of regeneration, said: “These modern, spacious, high-quality homes will make a big difference to the quality of life of the people who live there. It’s an exciting time for Pollokshaws.”

CCG will deliver the new homes using its closed panel timber frame system that is manufactured in the bespoke ‘Off-Site Manufacturing’ facility in Cambuslang.

Alastair Wylie, chairman and CEO of CCG (Scotland) Ltd, said: “The Shawbridge Street project is one of many live examples of how CCG and Wheatley Group are working together to deliver on affordable housing targets across central Scotland. To provide homes that are more energy efficient is a key priority in this regard and CCG are pioneering this approach through sustainable construction methods.

“The use of our closed panel timber system will also reduce the impact of development on the densely populated area with a much faster speed of build than by traditional methods. “This, met with our expert construction experience, will ensure a swift delivery whilst ensuring quality as we begin the installation of the superstructure in early-2018.”

As part of Wheatley Group and CCG’s strategic partnership in delivering community benefit initiatives, various training and job opportunities will be available as a direct result of the Shawbridge Street project including trade apprenticeships and training, site-based job roles as well as work placements and curriculum support.

Moda submits £100m build-to-rent plans for old Glasgow police HQ

The former Strathclyde Police headquarters in central Glasgow will be transformed into high-tech rental housing under plans submitted by build-to-rent specialist Moda.

The company wants to redevelop the Pitt Street complex into a ‘build-to-rent neighbourhood’, with co-working space for start-ups and health and wellbeing facilities nestled in among apartments designed exclusively for rent, while cafes, bars and restaurants populate the ground floor.

Holland Park – named after the hotel-style lobby entrance on Holland Street and the scheme’s 31,000 sq. ft. of outdoor amenity space – will offer 433 homes for rent in total. With a range of studios to three-beds, the development will host a community of close to 900 people once completed, making it one of Scotland’s largest housing projects.

Designed by Glaswegian architects HAUS Collective, the homes at Holland Park will be spread over four blocks arranged into a square, with a courtyard in the middle that will be open to the public during the day. Moda is also in discussions with Glasgow City Council on improving the surrounding public realm outside of the Pitt Street site and installing new green infrastructure.

As with all Moda developments, Holland Park will boast a range of on-site amenities. A total of 15,000 sq. ft. of internal amenity space will be provided, such as residents’ lounges and health and wellness zones, while three landscaped rooftop terraces will also provide stunning views of the city’s evolving skyline.

A 24-hour concierge service will be provided, while the bespoke MyModa app will allow Moda customers to do everything from report a fault to organising events and letting friends in.

Moda said it will also offer tenancies of three to five years as it wants to transform renting from being a stopgap to homeownership into an aspirational lifestyle choice.

Tony Brooks, managing director at Moda, said: “By being both the developer and the landlord, we can ensure the residents of Holland Park have the best possible experience, having designed the scheme from the ground up for rent. High quality rental accommodation like this that taps into new technologies and lifestyles will help rejuvenate city centres and perhaps more importantly for university towns like Glasgow, attract and retain talent.”

Murray Henderson, director at HAUS Collective, added: “The Holland Park proposals comprise a collection of forms that respond to the strong urban ‘grid-iron’ plan synonymous with Glasgow. The scale of the site and its influential location within the city present a unique opportunity to deliver a high quality residential and mixed-use development that can contribute meaningfully to the locale by enhancing the townscape and local environment.

“As Glaswegians, we recognise the importance of an increased resident population within an evolving city centre contributing to the wider city economy. Holland Park presents a distinctive, contemporary lifestyle choice through the innovative ‘Build-to-Rent’ community being created.”

Holland Park was Moda’s first scheme in Scotland and it has a second development in Edinburgh city centre.

£200m residential proposal unveiled for Glasgow’s High Street

Plans to transform Glasgow’s High Street area by investing £200 million in a new 7.5 acre residential neighbourhood of more than 700 homes for rent have been submitted to Glasgow City Council.

In addition to 727 new build-to-rent homes on the site behind High Street rail station, the application proposes a new public square, as well as 99 student studios and circa 3,365sqm of retail, leisure, food, drink and commercial business space. For the first time, the area will be opened up through new tree-lined access routes, connecting the Merchant City through High Street and into the East End.

The area was the original location of the University of Glasgow, the Hunterian Museum and later became the goods yard of the City of Glasgow Union Railway Company. The Molendinar Burn, the original freshwater source upon which Glasgow was founded, also passes underneath the site. However, other than a small section currently used as a car park, the site has lain empty and derelict for many years.

The bold new vision to bring the site back to life has been put together by Get Living, the large scale residential investor and owner-operator of the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village, now known as East Village. The multi-million pound investment in Glasgow is the company’s first venture outside of London.

Following public consultations with the local community, the outline planning consent granted to the previous site owner has been reconfigured to create a truly residential-led and green neighbourhood, including new public amenities and access routes.

Glasgow-based architects Stallan-Brand, who have worked on major development projects in the city including the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village and Tron Theatre, drew up the plans alongside internationally-renowned urban landscape designers Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP) to create inspiring and sustainable public areas through the site.

An established operator in the UK’s Build to Rent sector, Get Living believes Build to Rent neighbourhoods can help alleviate housing shortages in city centres, with properties typically brought to the market and occupied more quickly than for-sale developments.

Rick de Blaby, executive deputy chairman at Get Living, said: “The housing shortage in the UK needs no introduction and we know from our own research that there is a demand for high quality and professionally-managed rental homes in safe, well-maintained neighbourhoods.

“Our £200m proposal is a significant investment for Get Living and commits us fully to the long-term growth and success of Glasgow. Our role will see us working alongside the Council and its own ambitious plans for the city, alongside businesses that need to recruit and retain staff and most importantly for the people of Glasgow to deliver great homes set within new public spaces.

“We have listened carefully to local people, then worked very hard to create these ambitious plans for a new green neighbourhood in the heart of the city. This is a historic site and we are keen to see it become a thriving part of Glasgow’s future.”

Get Living CEO, Neil Young, added: “We believe this new neighbourhood at High Street will be an ideal fit for this part of the city and bring what is currently an invisible site back to life.

“People who want to live and work in central Glasgow, from NHS employees, IT and financial services specialists to university staff, will be able to rent a home with award-winning customer service, from a landlord they can call on seven days a week. Residents and the neighbouring community will also have a diverse range of retail, commercial and leisure outlets right on their doorstep that will complement the existing High Street area.

“We commit to our neighbourhoods for the long term, building vibrant, safe and well-managed places to live. More than 3,000 people now rent from us in East Village and, since we launched in 2013, we’ve helped foster a strong sense of community by supporting independent retailers, funding grassroots clubs and hosting free events. We are committed to bringing this neighbourhood-focused approach to Glasgow.”

Subject to planning consent being granted, work on site would start in late 2018.

Cladding to be removed from second Glasgow hospital

The Royal Hospital for Children with the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in the background

The Royal Hospital for Children has become the second hospital in Glasgow to announce the removal of external cladding as a precautionary measure.

Documents reported in The Herald state a “further issue” had been identified in external cladding used at the children’s hospital, but added the risk level was “extremely low”.

The move comes months after it emerged similar insulation panels to those used on the Grenfell Tower were involved in the building of the flagship Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) on the same site.

Work is due to get under way in the New Year to replace panels at the QEUH.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said discussions were continuing about how to replace the panels at the children’s hospital.

The documents said: “Health Facilities Scotland and the main hospital contractor Multiplex had confirmed a further cladding issue on the Royal Hospital for Children had emerged [and] it was intended to replace the affected panels as a precautionary measure.”

A spokesman for NHSGGC said: “Discussions continue with the hospital developer Multiplex about the replacement options available for Royal Hospital for Children.

“Senior Board Directors and Health Facility Scotland are finalising the preferred options and programme of works for the QEUH and it is intended to issue an instruction to proceed in early January.

“Discussions with Glasgow City Council have been positive and it is agreed that a building warrant application will be made for both the adult’s and children’s hospitals when a start date for works will be able to be agreed.”

Talks are also on-going between the Scottish Government and Multiplex over who will pay for the work.

Partnership results in jobs for young people in Possilpark

The Wise Group and McTaggart Group have agreed an official employability partnership which has resulted in full time jobs for four young people from one of Glasgow’s most disadvantaged areas.

The partnership was launched in October this year, the first site being McTaggart’s Ashfield Street, where they are building 48 new homes for Hawthorn Housing Co-operative. Jobs and training opportunities were advertised around the site and Hawthorn tenants were issued communication about the opportunities by the Co-operative, which resulted in nearly fifty people noting interest.

Through the CashBack for Communities programme, The Wise Group were able to offer eight 16-24 year old’s construction-specific training during a two week programme at their Charlotte Street facility, culminating in a two week work placement on McTaggart’s sites. The four young people who impressed McTaggart’s site management team have been offered full time, permanent jobs within the Group businesses.

Connor McCue, aged 18 from Possilpark, is one of the local young people to secure a job and said: “I’ve been on other employability programmes, but none have been able to offer me a job at the end of my placement. The opportunity with the Wise Group and McTaggart’s has been different, they’ve offered me a lot of support and knowing there’s a real job at the end has pushed me to work hard.”

The Wise Group’s chief executive, Laurie Russell (far-right of picture), added: “It is fantastic to see that the new partnership between the McTaggart Group and the Wise Group had already opened up opportunities for four young people to get access to jobs in the construction sector. There is clearly a huge sense of pride that comes from working on a major regeneration project in your own community.  It is even better for the young people that they now have a chance to develop a long-term future with one of the country’s best construction companies.”

McTaggart Group’s managing director, Gary Climson (far-left of picture), said: “We are really delighted with the results from our first project working in partnership with the Wise Group, so far it has exceeded our expectations. Developing a pipeline of young talent to fill roles across our Group of companies is a key business objective. It’s particularly satisfying when we’re able to recruit from the areas we’re building new homes in, as one of our primary aims is to help create sustainable communities.”

Student flats plan next to Mackintosh Building rejected by Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has rejected an appeal for plans to build a student housing development adjoining Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s world-renowned Glasgow School of Art (GSA) building.

Plans by developers Urban Pulse would have seen the former Jumpin’ Jaks nightclub on Sauchiehall Street demolished to make way for a seven-storey block consisting of 181 flats complete with roof gardens, study rooms, common areas and a cinema room.

Opponents said that the block would have restricted daylight to the A-listed GSA building and obscured much of its striking south facade. Fears were also expressed that the proposed building would damage the city’s reputation as a tourist destination and could harm any future UNESCO World Heritage bid, despite Historic Environment Scotland not lodging a formal objection.

The proposals were recommended for approval by planning officials back in March after revised plans submitted by Haus Architects reduced the development by one storey and four flats.

Glasgow City Council’s planning application committee then voted to allow for a hearing to give a chance for those for and against the plans to make their case, before deciding against the development in April.

Urban Pulse then appealed to the government to reverse the decision.

However, delivering his judgement on the appeal this week, reporter Robert Seaton, said: “As a consequence of the proposed development’s adverse effect upon the setting and special character of the Mackintosh building of the Glasgow School of Art and its adverse effect upon the conservation area and setting of other neighbouring listed buildings, I find that the proposed development does not respect, preserve or enhance the historic environment.”

He concluded: “I find that the proposed development does not accord overall with the development plan.

“I have found no material considerations that would still justify granting planning permission. I have considered all the other matters raised, but there are none that would lead me to alter my conclusions.”

The developers had previously said their proposals were in line with aspirations to rejuvenate Sauchiehall Street “and re-establish this important city district”.

A spokesperson for the developers said: “We are of course very disappointed with the decision made by the reporter.

“We had very high hopes of delivering a state of the art building on this tired and dilapidated site that would have replaced the eyesore that presently exists and have helped stem the ongoing decline in this part of Sauchiehall Street.

“What is particularly disheartening is that the decision by the Reporter followed an extensive and indeed unprecedented consultation period, which included extensive discussions with the Glasgow School of Art, and concluded in an enthusiastic recommendation for approval by the professional planning team at Glasgow City Council.

“We now believe that as a direct result of the Reporter’s decision yet another key tenant is now vacating Sauchiehall Street in the New Year leading to the further degradation of this property and adding to the on-going decline of this great street in the centre of Glasgow.

“We have sought to engage with the City Planners early in the New Year to explore a possible way forward for the future of this site if indeed this is at all feasible.”

Mr Seaton’s judgement concludes: “The proposed development would undoubtedly have some economic benefits, and as student accommodation proposed on a city-centre site close to a number of campuses would make efficient use of existing infrastructure.

“However, I am not persuaded these positive aspects would outweigh its detrimental effects on the historic environment.

“As a consequence of these effects it does not show all the qualities of a successful place.”

The reporter’s decision is deemed to be final.

However, individuals unhappy with the decision made by the reporter may have the right to appeal to the Court of Session, but this can only be made on a point of law.

A spokeswoman for the GSA said: “The Glasgow School of Art welcomes the Reporter’s decision to refuse the Appeal for the proposed development at 294 Sauchiehall Street and specifically the recognition that while economic benefits of development are important these should not outweigh the detrimental effects of proposals on the historic environment.”

McAleer & Rushe unveils plans for new four-star hotel in Glasgow

McAleer & Rushe has signed an Agreement for Lease with Ireland’s largest hotel chain to deliver a new four-star hotel in Glasgow city centre.

The proposed c. 250 bed Maldron Hotel will come with bar, restaurant and business conferencing facilities and will centrally located on Renfrew Street adjacent to the Theatre Royal.

The £30 million project, which is subject to planning approval from Glasgow City Council, is projected to be delivered by mid-2020, representing Dalata Hotel Group’s first Maldron hotel in Scotland. Once construction is completed, Dalata will operate the hotel under a 35-year lease, subject to five-year rent reviews linked to the Retail Price Index.

This latest McAleer & Rushe project represents a long-standing partnership with the Dalata Hotel Group in delivering hotels across the UK and Ireland and follows the recent announcement of its sale of the planned Maldron Hotel in Newcastle to a major institutional fund, the UK Commercial Property Trust Limited (UKCPT).

Stephen Surphlis, property director at McAleer & Rushe, said the hotel’s strategic positioning on Renfrew Street will support Glasgow’s growing economy, positively contributing towards the surrounding urban environment and create construction as well as indirect employment.

He added: “The announcement of our latest lease deal with Dalata represents the growing confidence in key regional UK cities for hotel operators, particularly in Scotland. This major new four-star Maldron Hotel will be an exciting addition to this dynamic consumer and business hub.”

Glasgow’s Garment Factory undergoes £6m revamp

The Garment Factory office development in Glasgow city centre has achieved practical completion following an extensive refurbishment project undertaken by Castleforge Partners.

A category ‘B’ listed building located at the corner of Ingram Street and Montrose Street in the Merchant City Central Conservation Area, the Garment Factory is one of Glasgow’s most notable buildings. It provides 47,382 sq ft of high quality retail and design-focused office space over seven floors.

The £6 million refurbishment project, undertaken by a team which includes lead contractor ISG, project manager PMP and architect Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd, involved combining the restoration of the original features, including exposed ceilings, steel and brickwork, wooden flooring and ornate staircases, with the introduction of contemporary finishes throughout to provide a 21st century workplace.

An impressive over-sized entrance lobby/reception with two new high-speed lifts, on-site café and breakout space has been created on Montrose Street to serve the office floors above. Two new retail/restaurant units on Montrose Street and Ingram Street have been formed and offer quirky features including covered outdoor dining areas and a triple level spiral staircase, which is attracting interest from leisure operators and boutique breweries. The basement area has shower and changing facilities as well as lockers and a cycle storage area, event space, games room and communal kitchen with LED lighting throughout.

Works on the open plan office space over the upper six floors included a full overhaul of the suites with the introduction of new finishes in keeping with the building’s listed status.

The existing stairwells have been retained and refurbished and the building’s mechanical and electrical services have been replaced and upgraded. The exterior of the red sandstone building has also been conserved and the roof has been extensively overhauled.

Rachael Pittaway from Castleforge Partners said:  “It’s great news that we can announce we’ve achieved practical completion at the Garment Factory; it really is a beautiful building in a great location and we’re very proud of the finished result. We wanted to restore the building’s original industrial aesthetic and emphasise the warehouse/factory origins by making features of the cast iron columns and leaving services exposed to allow the original fabric of the building to shine.

“Our aim was to create a flagship office and leisure development in Merchant City and to provide a fantastic working environment for creatives and corporates alike.  We have invested significantly in the upgrade project and are confident the large, efficient floor-plates, which are rare to find in a building with such character and quality specification in Glasgow, will appeal to a wide variety of occupiers.”

Architectural practice Threesixty Architecture and digital services provider Incremental Group were confirmed as the first occupiers for The Garment Factory earlier this year.  Threesixty Architecture has taken the entire top floor, comprising 8,374 sq ft of space, and Incremental Group will occupy the whole of the fifth floor, extending to 8,353 sq ft.  Both firms are currently undertaking fit-out works ahead of taking occupation early next year.

Guy Morgan from Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd added:  “It has been a privilege to work on the revitalisation of this Victorian mercantile gem. We have been able to liberate the original layout and character of the building which had been hidden under years of unsympathetic alterations and subdivisions. We are very proud of the 21st century office and retail environment we have managed to create within.”

The Garment Factory is being marketed for let by Ryden.