Green light for 137 new homes in Pollokshaws

The transformation of one of Glasgow’s key regeneration areas is to continue – after approval was granted for 137 new homes.

Developer Urban Union has been given the green light by Glasgow City Council to build the new homes in Pollokshaws.

The ‘Pollokshaws Living’ urban village will include 77 homes – a mix of two, three, four and five bedroom terraced properties – and 60 one and two bedroom apartments.

In addition to the sustainable housing, the application also outlines landscaping, open space, parking and associated drainage and infrastructure at the site.

Urban Union acquired the land, located between Shawholm Crescent and Shawbridge Street, in 2017. Work is due to start on the 5.74 acre site later this summer, based on a design from architects Barton Willmore.

Neil McKay, managing director, Urban Union, said: “Our plans for Pollokshaws Living will create a number of high quality homes and apartments and we are confident the local community will be immensely proud of the new urban village.

“Our team has significant experience in delivering award-winning regeneration projects, including at Laurieston Living in the Gorbals, and we look forward to delivering another successful long-term project for the people of Pollokshaws.”

The site, which formerly occupied high and low rise blocks, is one of eight Transformational Regeneration Areas (TRA) in the city earmarked for regeneration as part of the Transforming Communities: Glasgow (TC: G) programme, a partnership between Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.

TC: G’s programme aims to provide new sustainable mixed tenure communities through the provision of new housing, community facilities, green space and, where appropriate, commercial units.

Cllr Kenny McLean, Glasgow City Council’s city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm and chair of Transforming Communities: Glasgow, said: “It’s great to see that more high-quality new homes are coming to Pollokshaws to bring the next stage of the area’s transformation.  These new houses and flats will be great homes for a wide range of people and families, and help create the sustainable community that we want to create in Pollokshaws.”

Jon Parry, associate architect, Barton Willmore, added: “The new housing development at Pollokshaws has been designed by Barton Willmore’s integrated team bringing together architects, town planners and landscape architects. We have placed a strong emphasis on quality and connectivity using the local knowledge of our new Glasgow office.

“It’s exciting to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and reinvigorate this important area of Glasgow, once home to a range of low and high rise blocks. Our plans include vibrant public realm spaces and a well-considered streetscape that connects extremely well into the surrounding context, with easy access to the open countryside of Pollok Country Park.”

Mosaic-designed Queen Elizabeth Hospital Travelodge starts on site

The 60-bedroom £3 million Queen Elizabeth Hospital Travelodge located on the doorstep of the hospital in Glasgow has started on site.

Located at the junction of Linthouse Road and Govan Road, the three-storey hotel will incorporate a ground floor bar-café. Completion is scheduled for early 2019.

Designed by Mosaic Architecture + Design, the new hotel is one of five the hotel company plans to build across Glasgow as part of a national expansion programme to create 21 new hotels across Scotland, representing a £100m investment and up to 400 new jobs. Other Travelodge hotels in Glasgow have been earmarked for sites in the West End, city centre, the SECC, Silverburn and in the East End near the M8.

Neil Haining, director of Mosaic, said: “This new hotel is located on the remaining site within the Linthouse Business Park mixed use masterplan and sits on the most prominent location within the local street scape, on the corner of Linthouse Road and Govan Road, with the southern corner of the site facing directly on to the main access route  into the new Hospital.

“The site was formally occupied by the famous Alexander Stephen and Sons shipyard, which was once an icon of Glasgow’s illustrious industrial past. As times have changed, this has become a disused brownfield site which is now seeing substantial regeneration.

“As the site enjoys a prominent position within its urban context, it provides the opportunity to form a gateway building to this mixed-use regeneration site. A mixture of planting, shared surfaces and car parking will be used to integrate the hotel with a neighbouring village green as part of Linthouse Point.”

A spokesperson for Linthouse Business Park Ltd said: “The proposed site is located in Govan, an area to the South West of Glasgow city centre, on the south bank of the River Clyde.

“This area has benefited from substantial investment and development in recent years and is currently reaping the benefits of the newly opened Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, which is located on the opposite side of Govan Road from the proposed development site. The proposed hotel development will therefore directly serve the users of the hospital and be a valuable addition to the local community.”

Work starts on fourth phase at Maryhill Locks

The proposed homes for Phase 4, Maryhill Locks

Developer Bigg Regeneration – a partnership between Scottish Canals and Places for People – has started work on the next phase of its ‘Maryhill Locks’ development in Glasgow.

Comprising a mix of 33, three- and four-bedroom terraced family townhouses, situated on Lochgilp Street, this new phase follows Bigg’s successful ‘Whitelaw Street’ phase, which sold out completely just weeks after being announced.

These craft homes will be designed and off-site manufactured in Glasgow. Designed by JM Architects, each townhouse in the new phase will look onto park space and the River Kelvin valley, with the three-bedroom homes all featuring a private roof terrace.

The previous phase won the accolade of Best Starter Home at the 2017 Scottish Property Awards and all homes will come complete with white goods, floor finishes and BT and Virgin connectivity.

The brownfield site forms part of a Glasgow City Council and Transforming Communities Glasgow-led initiative to regenerate vacant land around Maryhill Locks to create a new, thriving and diverse community assisted by the availability of the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.

Katie Hughes, director of Bigg Regeneration, said: “It was very clear from previous phases at Maryhill Locks that there is huge demand from the local area and neighbouring West End for three and four bedroom homes at realistic prices. These 33 homes will meet this demand and underline that it is entirely possible to create spacious homes with gardens in a thriving environment, that are achievable for people who don’t want to have to move miles away.

“Previous phases have sold very quickly so we anticipate high demand for these homes as newbuild houses with gardens in the West End are a rarity in the Glasgow market.”

Glasgow-based contractor CCG (Scotland) Ltd, who delivered the previous phase for Bigg Regeneration, will lead the construction.

CCG chairman and CEO Alastair Wylie said: “CCG are delighted to continue our work with Bigg Regeneration to bring more housing to Maryhill. Our construction expertise will ensure that the new homes will be constructed to the highest quality standard with enhanced levels of environmental performance. We also expect to provide local employment and training opportunities as a result of our involvement on this development.”

Kier ‘had 24 hour security and fire warden patrols’ at Mackintosh Building

Image: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Kier Construction Scotland has defended its fire safety process at the blaze-stricken Mackintosh Building.

The main contractor behind the £35 million restoration insisted heat and smoke detectors had been installed at the building prior to the devastating fire on Friday as well as 24 hour security and fire warden patrols.

Glasgow MP Paul Sweeney has led criticism of the firm in the wake of the blaze, the second to hit the historic site in four years.

He told the Scottish Sun: “I think we need to ask hard questions about the judgement of the contractors and the governors at the school about whether they had the right processes in place and the right oversight.

“What was the contractor doing? Why wasn’t there CCTV, thermal camera or automatic links to fire brigade? I would have thought all of that would have been in place.

“We need to investigate exactly what the circumstances were and how the fire was able to get so badly out of control before anyone realised what was going on.”

Having issued a short statement in response to the fire yesterday, Kier has now detailed its fire safety strategy and pledged to do whatever is necessary to help move the project forward.

A Kier spokesperson said: “An agreed fire safety strategy was implemented for the build phase of the Mackintosh restoration project, which combined measures for the protection of all those entering the site to work and to alert the authorities in the event of an outbreak of fire. These included a smoke and heat detection system and regular evacuation tests as well as 24 hour, 7 days a week security and fire warden patrols by a team of three guards, originally appointed by the client after the 2014 fire and subsequently by Kier.

“We continue to work with and support Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and our client as they determine the next steps for the Mackintosh building and site.

“We have a passionate team of local construction and crafts people, skilled conservators, supply chain and engineering specialists who have worked incredibly hard on this iconic landmark, and together we are all keen to do whatever we can to help moving forward.”

Work to assess the condition of the building is underway with a team of experts able to enter the site with support from the emergency services.

Mackintosh Building restoration contractors ‘devastated’ following fire

Image: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Kier Construction Scotland, the main contractor in charge of restoring the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art, has issued a short statement in response to the devastating fire which broke out on Friday.

The blaze, which happened at 11.20pm on Friday, is the second in four years to hit the Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a multi-million-pound restoration project to return it to its former glory following the first fire.

Fire crews have spent a third day working to extinguish the blaze, which also damaged the O2 ABC venue.

The famous Mackintosh Library was to be restored to its original 1910 design using information from items retrieved and information gathered in an archaeological survey, along with consultation of Mackintosh’s original designs, early photography, letters and other documents.

The project to restore the building was helping to preserve traditional skills in the Scottish construction industry, as well as creating training and apprenticeship opportunities.

A Kier spokesperson said: “Kier has been working with the Glasgow School of Art since 2016 on the restoration of the Mackintosh building and so we share the devastation felt by the School and the wider public at this time. We are working closely with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in their investigation and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further whilst an investigation is ongoing.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said the investigation into the cause of the blaze has already started and they believe they will be able to pinpoint how it started.

However assistant chief officer David McGown said it will take some time to establish the full facts and circumstances.

ACO McGown, who is the SFRS director of prevention and protection, said: “The investigation into this devastating incident has already commenced.

“Our fire investigation team has started gathering information and, working alongside our police partners, will look at various sources of information to establish exactly what has happened here.

“However, I would like to stress that this is a very complex process and will take time.

“It is of vital importance that we ensure the full facts and circumstances of this incident are clearly established.”

ACO McGown added: “Our Fire Investigations team are specialists in their own field.

“They will look at every aspect of this incident – including the cause of the fire, how it spread and what safety measures were in place.

“We understand the need for clarity here and why so many want to know how this happened, but I would again like to reiterate that we need to establish the full facts and circumstances of this incident – and this will take time.”

A construction expert has suggested the Mackintosh Building may have to be demolished brick-by-brick and estimated the rebuilding cost to be at least £100 million.

Professor Billy Hare, a fire risk and construction management academic at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “It remains to be seen if it will be possible to retain a facade from the current building.

“If not, damaged buildings have been taken down almost stone by stone in the past and rebuilt with a new, internal frame.

“This sort of project will cost a great deal more than the estimated £35 million after the last fire in May 2014.”

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) said while its immediate focus is on its students, they remain hopeful of a positive outcome for the building.

Muriel Gray, chair of the Board of Governors, GSA, said “First we would like to express our deep gratitude to the magnificent Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and also to extend our sympathy to our neighbours, both residents and businesses, who have also suffered, very much including the beloved O2 ABC Glasgow.

“It is an understatement to say everyone is utterly devastated but as usual the GSA Executive Team, staff and students, have been outstanding, positive and supportive.  We now have a difficult waiting game until Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Glasgow City Council and associated agencies have completed their investigations into the condition of the building.

“We remain hopeful of as positive an outcome as possible because it is clear that the love for the Mackintosh and recognition of its importance to Glasgow and the wider world is shared by absolutely everyone.”

Professor Tom Inns, director – GSA, added: “We are strengthened by the continued messages and visible acts of support from our local community, our partners in Glasgow City Council, Scottish Funding Council, Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish and UK Governments; and friends from across the world.”

Responding to the fire, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is a very sad morning in the city of Glasgow. Glasgow School of Art is an institution that is loved not just by its students, staff and the people of this city, but by many around the world.

“The Scottish Government stands ready to provide any support that may be required, now and in the period ahead. I have been receiving regular updates and will continue to do so throughout the day. The Scottish Government’s resilience room was activated overnight and will provide any support necessary.”

CBRE submits plans for three major west of Scotland developments

Custom House

Property consultant CBRE has submitted planning applications for three major developments across the west of Scotland on behalf of developer clients.

Representing Artisan St Enoch Quarter Ltd, a subsidiary of Artisan Real Estate Investors, the planning team has applied for consent for the redevelopment of Custom House, which links Buchanan Street with the River Clyde waterfront, in order to transform the site into a thriving hotel and leisure quarter.

The £90 million plan spans a development area of 2,700 sq m and, as well as the historic sandstone Grade A-Listed Custom House, also includes adjacent tenement buildings straddling the corner of Clyde Street and Dixon Street.

The application specifically relates to two new proposed hotels, a 294-bed four star with bar, restaurant and conference facilities and a 16-bed aparthotel, together with street level bars and restaurants.

The appointed architect is Glasgow-based Sheppard Robson. Subject to the outcome of the planning application, a completion date has been set for mid-2020.

Teri Porter, director in CBRE’s planning and development team, said: “It’s exciting to be involved in such a significant development for the city; this is a chance to bring the waterfront area back to its former glory having been vacant for so long. It’s been a huge achievement by the whole team to get to this milestone and we look forward to the outcome of the planning decision.”

Broadway Two

For McAleer & Rushe, the team has submitted a planning application for a mixed-use development at Broadway Two, the site between Renfrew Street and Renfield Street. The proposals include a new 300-bed 4-star Maldron Hotel and student accommodation comprising 446 one-bed flats. It will also include a central courtyard area for residents.

On behalf of Orchard Brae Ltd, consent has been requested for a residential-led, mixed-use development of up to 2,600 houses at EuroPark next to the M8 in North Lanarkshire. The scheme will complement the Eurocentral employment hub and benefits from the recent completion of the M8 motorway upgrade. The housing element comprises 1,600 private homes, collectively entitled ‘The Villages’, and 1,000 social affordable and market rent properties.

Teri Porter said: “Our client Orchard Brae is in discussions with a major affordable housing provider and believes that this element of the proposal will help to provide a diverse range of houses suitable for all amid a vibrant new community, representing a significant contribution to North Lanarkshire’s housing supply.

“In addition, housebuilder Dundas Estates has committed to developing one of the first phases of the private development following receipt of planning consent.”

New cycle and pedestrian routes have been earmarked for the site, intersected by the Monklands Canal and Calder Water, along with hotel, conference, retail and school facilities.

Teri added: “As a key element of the site, Orchard Brae also hopes to formalise and improve the green network locally, retaining at least one third of the land as open green space, which would include improved canal routes and heightened access and leisure opportunities for new and existing residents.”

Works progressing at New Gorbals mixed use development

Contractor CCG (Scotland) Ltd has made strong progress at a new mixed use residential and office scheme that is being delivered on behalf of New Gorbals Housing Association.

New Gorbals Housing Association has been a key player in the regeneration of Hutchesontown for over 25 years and a partner in the award-winning Crown Street regeneration project.

This new development is situated on Crown Street itself, and will form part of the ‘Civic’ centre of Hutchesontown. The site was once home to two high-rise residential blocks known as the Sandiefield flats. In their place, CCG has been tasked to deliver 28 one and two bedroom flats for social rent, a new public ‘event’ square and much needed new, offices for the Association.

The flats are made up of 4 and 6 storey blocks occupying a prominent corner location and built around a common garden court. The new office building, together with the adjacent Health Centre (also under construction) fronts onto a new public square which will also provide a strong pedestrian link between the main thoroughfares of Crown Street and Laurieston Road.

Linda Malone, chairperson of New Gorbals Housing Association, said: “We are extremely pleased that our construction contracts continue to be won by locally based and Scottish owned companies. CCG have worked successfully with us on several building projects and we are looking forward to their construction expertise delivering another development of outstanding quality.”

CCG Chairman and CEO, Alastair Wylie, said: “New Gorbals Housing Association has been a client of CCG’s for many years and we were delighted to find out that we had been successful in our bid to deliver their new home together with a stunning new flatted development, one that will surely add to the bustling character of the New Gorbals.

“Both the offices and flats are being constructed using traditional methods with steel frame used as the primary structural material which is a rarity for CCG these days. However, works have progressed well thus far and we will ensure that the development will be completed to the highest quality standard.”

CCG began work in January 2018 and are set to complete the project in spring 2019.

‘Mackintosh at the Willow’ celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Opening of Mackintosh at the Willow in Glasgow Sauchiehall Street following a £10m restoration of the original Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed building

On the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 7th June 2018, The Willow Tea Room Trust invited a group of guests to preview the restored Willow Tea Rooms Building at 217 Sauchiehall Street following a £10 million restoration, delivered by which Clark Contracts.

As main Contractor, Clark Contracts, has been on site since August 2017 completing the final construction and fit out phase of the famous Willow Tea Rooms Building to create Mackintosh at the Willow, which will provide restored tea rooms along with an exhibition and visitor centre, learning and education suite, retail and conference facilities.

The firm’s manufactured joinery division has recreated many of the original fitted furniture pieces which will feature in the refurbished Tea Rooms including the front salon baldacchino, bespoke banquet seating in the front salon and gallery, the detailed seating in the billiard room and the inglenook seating at its original fireplace.

The 200 seat restaurant and tea rooms, known as ‘Mackintosh at the Willow’ will have a phased opening during the summer of 2018, with the official opening of “Mackintosh at the Willow” in September 2018.

Celia Sinclair, chair of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, said: “The retail store will open to the public on the afternoon of the 7th June. ‘Mackintosh at the Willow’ will cater for pre-booked groups throughout June, opening up to the public on 2nd July with a limited menu. The Interactive Exhibition and Visitor Centre will open at the end of the July and finally the Audio Visual Theatre complementing the Education and Learning Suite and the Contemporary Conference Facility will open in August.”

Gerry Cummins, director at Clark Contracts, added: “It is fantastic to be involved in Mackintosh’s 150th celebrations and we are honoured to be involved in the restoration of such an iconic building within Glasgow. It has been great working with The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, their Mackintosh experts and the design team on the project.”

When fully open, it is estimated the Tea Rooms will welcome at least 360,000 visitors a year and will be a significant boost to tourism in the City, as an exciting new heritage and tourist visitor attraction.

The Lord Provost said: “It’s tremendous to join everyone at the iconic original Willow Tea Rooms building on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glasgow City Council is proud to support this marvellous project that will tell the story of Mackintosh and Miss Cranston for generations to come. My congratulations to everyone involved for their commitment to Mackintosh and this superb restoration that will attract visitors from across the globe.”

Have your say on the future of Argyle Street as consultations kick-off

The first stage of a public consultation on the furute of Glasgow’s famous Argyle Street retail, residential and business thoroughfare gets underway this weekend.

Today sees the first of the events take place to help determine what Argyle Street, from Anderston Cross to Trongate, and through St Enochs Square, Dixon Street down to the Clyde, will look like in the future.

Part of the transformative ‘Avenues’ public realm project, the consultation will seek the public’s thoughts on some initial design principles.

Over the course of the weekend, on street consultation teams will be at various locations along the length of Argyle St (see schedule below) For those that can’t make it to the city centre, the proposals and questionnaire will be available online at from Friday, 15th June until Friday 13th July.

Part of the Enabling Infrastructure Integrated Public Realm (EIIPR) commission, the £115m ‘Avenues’ project is funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal. The ambitious project aims to change the face of the city for the better for all those who live, work and visit. It will see key Glasgow city-centre streets redesigned to protect and prioritise space for cyclists and pedestrians, improve connectivity, introduce sustainable green infrastructure through attractive streetscapes and enhancing biodiversity and improve the way public transport is accommodated. A pilot is already underway on Sauchiehall Street between Charing Cross and Rose St. The Argyle St consultation is part of Block A which focuses on:

  • Argyle St East & West along with St Enoch Square
  • The Underline – (a pedestrian and cycle route linking Gt Western Rd with the city centre)
  • Sauchiehall Precinct
  • Cathedral St
  • North Hanover St

The questionnaire will ask the public to consider the proposals and we’ll be inviting them to imagine how the street might be in the future, with more emphasis on space for people and less for traffic. We want to know what their feelings are about the provision for pedestrians, for cyclists and public transport. It will also ask about whether elements such as trees and greenery, along with space for outdoor events and activities are important to them. The feedback from this consultation, along with feedback that has already been gathered from local businesses and community groups will help to inform the next stage of designs that will be out for formal public consultation towards the end of the year.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Avenues programme will transform the city centre in the coming years, and is a great example of what will be achieved for Glasgow through the City Deal. The Avenues will deliver a city centre that is better connected, more attractive, and capable of bringing economic growth to residents and businesses, but we want to have the views of as many people as possible to help shape the final design of the project into something that meets the needs and aspirations of the huge number of people and organisations who use the area.  Please take part in this consultation.”

Stephen O’Malley, founding director of Civic Engineers, who leads the Design Team for Block A, said: “Getting the opinions of the public on these initial ideas and principles for Argyle Street is a fundamental part of the process. Since our work on the project began, we have sought to involve local businesses and groups, after all they are the ones who use these streets on a daily basis. It is crucial that we understand how they want to experience their city and elements, such as walking and cycling provision, along with greenery and outdoor event space. The information we collect in this first stage of consultation will help us to determine how to balance the space allocated to each element; walking, cycling, nature and so on, to inform the proposed final designs that will be out for formal consultation later in the year. We hope that the ‘Avenues’ will transform the perceptions and experience of all those who live, work and visit Glasgow.”

On Street Consultation Schedule:

Friday 15th June – 10am – 2pm – Argyle St at Buchanan St

Friday 15th June – 2pm – 6pm – Hielanman’s Umbrella


Saturday 16th June – 10am – 2pm – St Enoch Sq

Saturday 16th June – 2pm – 6pm – Trongate


Sunday 17th June – 10am – 2pm – Trongate

For the latest updates check twitter @GlasgowCC as this schedule may be subject to change at short notice

New plan proposed for the gateway to Merchant City

New plans for residential accommodation at the gateway to Merchant City have been submitted by Glasgow-based developers Structured House Group (SHG) following feedback from local stakeholders.

The company is revisiting a key regeneration opportunity site with proposals for residential rather than student accommodation aimed at attracting people to live in the city centre, in line with Glasgow City Council strategy and policies.

Merchant Residential, at the corner of the High Street and George Street, will include a mix of office and retail space for start-ups and businesses as well as private-rental apartments.

As well as creating more than 500 jobs, SHG said the £40 million development will provide a valuable boost to the local economy. The new proposals will also safeguard the future of The Old College Bar.

The company has lodged a Proposal of Application Notice for the site, starting the formal pre-application process. The detailed scheme will be finalised for formal submission following a public consultation on June 14, where the views of residents, businesses and stakeholders will be fed into the proposal.

Craig Inglis, chief executive of Structured House Group, said: “Our proposals and ambitions continue to be to rejuvenate the corner into Merchant City and to convert what has been a dilapidated site into a gateway to the city.

“We have been working with the city council planners for more than three years and having listened to considerations and engaged with key stakeholders, with our new application, we are adapting the look, feel, and requirements of the site. We hope to create a focal point which brings together Merchant City with the High Street, in a style that compliments old with new.”

Structured House Group took over responsibility of the site from Colin Beattie, following a 15-year stalemate to develop the corner location.

The company hopes Merchant Residential will attract a mix of professionals and residents choosing to rent close to the city amenities, shops, bars, restaurants, and transport links. It will be managed by the company’s in-house property management-arm, BOHO.

Mr Inglis added: “By submitting a new plan, we can demonstrate the journey we have been on to rejuvenate the site and the options available.

“We are opening our public consultation and seeking community engagement at this early stage of our new residential proposal and would encourage those with an interest in the area to come along and give us their thoughts.

“We are working towards a resolution that encompasses the considerations and observations of our stakeholders as well as delivering for the city, the economy, and creating a building that meets demand.”

The public consultation will take place on Thursday June 14 at the Premier Inn Hotel on George Street from 11am to 7pm.