New community planned at former Scottish Power site

Riverside @ CathcartBarratt Homes has started work to deliver a new community on the site of the former Scottish Power headquarters in Cathcart, Glasgow.

The Riverside @ Cathcart development is set to include apartments, homes and expansive green spaces.

As part of the overall masterplan for the site the builder has retained many of the key features; the existing feature walls will be relocated and rebuilt within the site, and the original sundial will form part of a feature entrance square.

Estelle Sykes, sales director, Barratt West Developments, said: “The re-development of the former Scottish Power headquarters will see us rid the site of expanses of surface car parking, while being careful to retain a lot of the original trees. We will make some serious public space improvements and we will be bringing a selection of quality homes to the area.

“One of the key design elements of the new site will be a ‘western boulevard’ that will be lined with newly planted trees and the framed by the three storey townhouses – we expect this to be a very popular area of The Riverside @ Cathcart.

“The homes that sit alongside Cathcart House will have some spectacular views across Glasgow, as well as private gardens to enjoy. There will also be some detached homes that sit along the border of White Cart Water, these will be perfect for househunters that would like to wake up to the soothing noise of the river.”

Council agrees £500,000 funding award for Govanhill Baths

Govanhill Baths FoyerGlasgow City Council has agreed a £500,000 funding award that will support plans to bring back swimming to the former Govanhill Baths.

The funding awarded to Govanhill Baths Community Trust will go towards a £6.68 million plan that aims to reopen the former ladies and learner pools at the facility as part of a wider package of work.

It is hoped the unanimous decision by the council’s city administration committee will also lead to the other funding bodies working with Govanhill Baths Community Trust to provide financial backing for the project.

If the baths trust achieves its £6.68m target its will be able to complete Phase 1B of the restoration plan. As well as opening the two smaller pools at the baths, the plan involves work to ensure the building itself is wind and watertight and the opening of other facilities such as a Turkish spa, a gymnasium, a community kitchen and an events and arts space.  The bid to re-open the main swimming pool remains a longer term goal.

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm, said: “A huge amount of progress has been made with the business case for Govanhill Baths as a long term project. Govanhill Baths Community Trust is now able to put forward a far more robust proposal that points towards a sustainable future for the baths.

“On this basis I am very pleased that our proposal to provide the trust with significant funding for the next phase of their project has been agreed.  I am very hopeful this funding will encourage the other funders the trust has been working with to commit fully to backing Govanhill Baths.

“Achieving the overall funding target will help the trust secure the fabric of the building and open up a wide range of facilities at the baths, including two of the smaller pools. This is sure to enhance the use of the facility and provide a great boost to the health and well-being of the wider Govanhill community.”

The fundraising effort for the baths trust has recently been boosted by a community shares issues, which has already brought in £70,000. Decisions on funding bids to the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund are due in March next year and, if positive, these could net Govanhill Baths Community Trust a total of £2.4m. Smaller funding bids have also have been lodged with eight other funding organisations.

Fatima Uygun, trust manager of Govanhill Baths Community Trust, said: “We are delighted that the city administration committee has decided to fund our project. This is vital to the completion of the project and we are very grateful to the council and city government for their continued support.

“The restoration of the facilities in Govanhill is crucial to our community, the city government have promised to ‘let good things happen’ and they are certainly putting their money where their mouth is.”

If the funding target is achieved, it is hoped that work on Phase 1B of the restoration project could begin in May 2019 ahead of opening in July 2021.

Glasgow takes steps to ‘future-proof’ city’s SMEs

Circular Glasgow Press Release Nov 16A recruitment campaign designed to facilitate 50 Glasgow-based businesses to prepare for the future has been launched today by Circular Glasgow.

Hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Circular Glasgow will connect with companies across a number of sectors, including construction, helping them to open up new revenue streams, increase competitive advantage and realise financial savings using a range of practical tools.

The team aims to complete 50 Circle Assessments by the end of 2018 using an online tool created by Circle Economy, global market leaders based in the Netherland’s. The initiative will look at different ways businesses can innovate and incorporate new design and technology, thinking through the adoption of new business models, including circular economy strategies.

A circular economy is one in which every product is created with the intent of extending its life span – a direct challenge to the ‘take, make, dispose’ mentality.

Alison McRae, senior director of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be at the implementation stage of Circular Glasgow where we can start to get more businesses across the city involved to help them innovate and future-proof their business.

“Glasgow’s ambition is to position itself as a leading circular city. With Circular Glasgow’s programme of practical engagement tools, and with the ongoing support of Zero Waste Scotland, we aim to inspire organisations to embrace new business models helping them to design for the future.”

Circular Glasgow complements Zero Waste Scotland’s and the Scottish Government’s nationwide support for SMEs to develop circular economy business ideas, including its £18 million Circular Economy Investment Fund and Circular Economy Business Support Service. Both are supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73m Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland’s chief executive, said: “Circular Glasgow is an innovative approach to maximise circular opportunities on a large scale. This is about connecting businesses in Glasgow across sectors to find opportunities in materials once thought of as waste. Simply put, for businesses this can mean turning a cost into a possible revenue stream.

“Working together in innovative ways will set the foundations for a future where economic buoyancy is achieved through inclusive, sustainable growth. I’m delighted Glasgow is set to become a front-runner in these efforts and look forward to what’s to come.”

Whether an organisation has already started to implement circular strategies, or has just begun its transformation, the online Circle Assessments create a simple way to diagnose how current practices match up to circular objectives, while identifying new opportunities, at no cost to the business.

The team will also be hosting Circle Workshops across the year, focusing on specific industry sectors.

Interested businesses are invited to attend a Circular Glasgow information event on Wednesday December 6 to understand how they could benefit directly.  Register at

Homeowner wins appeal over council’s ‘pre-payment condition’ for housing repairs grant

Court of Session

Court of Session

A homeowner involved in a legal dispute with Glasgow City Council has won his appeal after arguing that the local authority acted beyond its powers in imposing a condition attached to the award of grant assistance, which required property owners to pay their share of the cost of repairs to their tenement by the time the final account for the works was issued or be liable for the full costs.

Judges in the Inner House of the Court of Session allowed an appeal by Masroor Hussain, who argued that Glasgow City Council, in imposing a “pre-payment condition” as a term of grant assistance, acted “ultra vires” of its powers in terms of Part 2 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

Work notice

Lord Brodie, Lord Malcolm and Lord Glennie heard that Mr Masroor co-owned a flat in Govanhill, Glasgow, with his wife.

Following a survey of properties in the area, in April 2011 the council served a work notice on the owners of the flats stating that their tenement building in Langside Road was in “disrepair” and that certain repair works required to be carried out to put right a number of defects.

Mr Masroor, together with the other owners of the flats, submitted a proposed voluntary scheme of repairs to the local authority in March 2012, but the council decided it was not suitable and instructed repairs through a statutory contract.

However, the council advised the flat owners that it would be prepared to offer grant assistance for the cost of the repairs.

Means-tested grant

Mr Masroo qualified for the means-tested 75% grant, which was approved in November 2012, subject to the condition that failure by to pay his 25% share of the cost of repairs by the time the final account was agreed would result in the grant being removed and he would be liable for the full share of the costs of the repairs.

A letter from the council advising him of the likely costs stated that his contribution would be £15,884.89, but following the completion of the works the final account issued by the contractors in May 2015 stated that his contribution was £21,360.89.

Mr Masroor wrote to the council saying he was unable to pay his share, but the local authority refused his request for time to pay and imposed a deadline, warning that failure to pay the contribution by that date would result in him becoming be liable for his full share of the cost amounting to £84,923.56.

As Mr Masroor had not met the condition of the grant offer, the grant was withdrawn and he was liable for his full share of the works, but he sought to appeal the demand for full payment.

Judicial review

He lodged a summary application at Glasgow Sheriff Court, which stated that he intended to pay his share of the costs by instalments of £150 per month, but the application was sisted pending the outcome of his petition for judicial review.

Mr Masroor’s legal challenge was refused by the Lord Ordinary, but he appealed against that decision.

For the petitioner solicitor advocate Mike Dailly argued that there was nothing in Part 2 of the 2006 Act relating to the provision of grants which allowed the council to impose a “pre-payment condition” as a condition of a grant, failing compliance with which the grant would be revoked.

Such a condition was “contrary to the policy objective” of part 2 and was not mentioned in the council’s policy statement on assistance.

It was argued that as the council had made a decision to award the petitioner a 75% grant for the cost of repairs, it could not be withdrawn on the basis of the imposition of a condition which was ultra vires.

On behalf of the council, Gavin MacColl QC submitted that the pre-payment condition of the grant was intra vires, being permitted in terms of sections 74(4) and 81(1)(d) of the Act, and that it was imposed for a relating to Part of the Act – to encourage people to pay their share of the cost of repairs.

‘Sword of Damocles’ 

However, the appeal judges ruled that the pre-condition did not fairly or reasonably relate to the grant and that it “goes well beyond what is legitimate”.

The judges also observed that it seemed to be “counter-intuitive” that an individual who had been found to be eligible for a mean-tested grant of 75% of the costs of the work should have the availability of that grant made subject to a condition with which he would “almost certainly find it difficult, if not impossible, to comply”.

Delivering the opinion of the court, Lord Glennie said: “It may be intended as a kind of sword of Damocles, hanging over the owner of the property to encourage him to pay the sum due from him for his share of the cost of the repairs. But, if activated, the effect goes much wider than enforcing payment of the sums already due; it takes away the whole of his grant.

“The grant itself, and the threat to withhold it if the non-grant part of the cost is not paid in full and on time, is being used as a lever, a stick, to encourage payment by the owner of the part of the repair cost which he already is under an obligation to pay. This is not a condition which is attached to the grant for the purposes of the grant – to make sure that it is properly applied, that the work is carried out satisfactorily, or whatever.

“It is attached to the grant for the purpose of ensuring payment of other sums which are and have always been the responsibility of the owner of the property. In those circumstances we consider that the pre-condition goes much further than is justified in terms of the Act. It is ultra vires the council.”

Civic Engineers awarded £1.8m contract to help deliver Glasgow ‘Avenues’ project

An illustration of what Argyle St could look like – credit Urban Movement

An illustration of what Argyle St could look like – credit Urban Movement

Civil and structural engineering firm Civic Engineers have been awarded the £1.8 million contract to help deliver the transformative ‘Avenues’ project for Glasgow City Council.

Part of the Enabling Infrastructure Integrated Public Realm (EIIPR) commission, the transformation of the ‘Avenues’ seeks to dramatically improve the quality of the city centre environment, putting people at its heart.

Focusing on seven key city-centre thoroughfares; Argyle St west, Argyle St east, St Enoch’s Square, the Underline (a pedestrian and cycle route linking Great Western Rd with the city centre), Sauchiehall Precinct, Cathedral St and North Hanover St, the aim is to improve connectivity, introduce sustainable green infrastructure through attractive streetscapes and enhancing biodiversity, protect space for cyclists and pedestrians, improve the way public transport is accommodated and transform the perceptions of the city for all those who live, work and visit.

The project is supported by the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, which has funding of £115m for Glasgow city centre projects.

Civic Engineers have been appointed to lead the multidisciplinary design team who will take the project from concept design and public consultation through to developed design stage. The company, which has studios in Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and London employs over 80 people and has extensive experience of delivering award winning public realm projects, which have been proven to help transform areas.

They will be working with design practice Urban Movement and the Social Value Consultancy who will focus on being able to measure and demonstrate the social, economic, health and environmental benefits of the introduction of the scheme.

The project gets underway in November starting with Argyle St and it is planned to complete in 2022.

Founding director of Civic Engineers, Stephen O’Malley, said: “The ‘Avenues’ project is an ambitious, forward thinking initiative which will transform the streetscapes of the city centre and how those who live, work and visit Glasgow experience them. We are proud to have been appointed to lead the team delivering the project. Our considerable experience, working alongside companies such as Urban Movement and Social Value Consultancy, means we have the experience to deliver public realm improvements that bring real economic, social and environmental benefits and ultimately help to deliver a healthier city centre for Glasgow.”

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “This project will play a key role in our plans for the further development of Glasgow city centre.  The ‘Avenues’ will become an attractive feature for everyone who uses the area, whether for work, study, shopping, eating and dining, clubbing and theatre-going, or as a resident, and we look forward to working with partner organisations to deliver this project which will change the face of the city centre for the better.”

The EIIPR commission is commonly referred to as the ‘Avenues’ project due to its aspiration for both green infrastructure and avenues of trees in Glasgow city centre.

Work starts on apartment project at Glasgow’s Park Quadrant

Park Quadrant, GlasgowExpresso Property and development partner Ambassador Developments (Park Quadrant) Ltd have announced the beginning of on-site works at a 98 apartment development in Glasgow’s West End.

Designed by architects Holmes Miller, Park Quadrant will complete the vision of the architect Charles Wilson’s concentric ringed design of a 19th century masterplan of the area. Building will complete in 2020 and will support up to 500 construction jobs.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property said: “In conjunction with our development partners, we are pleased to announce that on-site works have now commenced for the highly sought-after Park Quadrant Residences. Being on site with construction underway underlines our commitment and confidence to deliver the development that will complete ‘the missing piece’ of Charles Wilson’s original Park Area masterplan.”

How the completed development will look

How the completed development will look

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property added: “We are delighted to announce today that the Park Quadrant development will support up to 500 construction jobs during the construction phase and will have a total end investment value of £53m.

“Expresso is funded to purchase schemes from £1m to £50m and we are actively looking to acquire further commercial, office, residential and retail development propositions. These may be currently on the market or direct approaches from company principals wishing to explore their thoughts and ideas.”

As well as Park Quadrant, York-based Expresso is investing in Perth’s new Mill Quarter leisure hub and a new mixed-use site at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.

Glasgow BMX centre work starts ahead of 2018 European Championships

An artist's impression of the BMX Centre to be built at Knightswood

An artist’s impression of the BMX Centre to be built at Knightswood

Construction work is underway on a new £3.7 million Olympic standard BMX track being built in Glasgow ahead of the 2018 European Championships.

The new BMX Centre at Knightswood Recreation Ground is the only permanent venue being constructed for use at Glasgow 2018 and will be Scotland’s only World and Olympic standard BMX track.

Completion of the centre will mean Glasgow is the only city in the world with venues capable of hosting all four Olympic cycling discipline events (BMX, MTB, Road and Track) within its boundary. The others are the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena (Track), Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails (MTB) and the city’s streets (Road).

The facility, which is being funded by Glasgow 2018, sportscotland, Glasgow City Council and HSBC/British Cycling, will be open for use by the local community and will leave a lasting legacy for future generations. It will be the new home of the Western Titans BMX Club, who will relocate from their existing base in Clydebank.

The main track will accommodate riders of all ages and abilities, and will feature eight and five metre start ramps for advanced riders and competition use. There will also be a smaller pump track suitable for learners, and both tracks will be fully floodlit. In addition, the BMX Centre will feature changing facilities, a meeting room, a car park and an access road from Archerhill Road. The playpark and MUGA (multi-use games area) on the edge of the current blaes pitches will remain.

It will host its first major international sporting event in the summer of next year when Europe’s top BMX riders go for gold at the inaugural European Championships.

David McDonald, depute leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Knightswood BMX Centre will be the latest addition to Glasgow’s world-class sporting estate. As well as hosting major events the state-of-the-art facility will be open for community use, helping inspire a new generation of young cyclists to take up the sport, leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.

“The venue will be at the heart of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships – the biggest sporting event to be staged in Scotland outside of the Commonwealth Games. Bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports, these Championships will celebrate an exciting new chapter in Glasgow’s long and illustrious sporting history.”

Sport minister Aileen Campbell said: “Cycling is one of the many exciting sports that make up the 2018 European Championships, which will be screened across the globe and cement Scotland’s reputation for hosting world-class events.

“When complete, the £3.7 million Knightswood BMX Centre will build on the success of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena and Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, enabling top athletes to compete in their discipline of choice and encouraging grass-roots riders of all ages and abilities to get involved in this great sport.”

Work is expected to be complete by late spring next year, after which the venue will host a number of test events in the lead up to Glasgow 2018.

Green light for mixed use development at former Glasgow department store site

Candleriggs GlasgowPlans to build almost 1,200 private flats and student rooms on land that once housed a Glasgow department store have been approved by councillors.

Proposals to develop the site of the former Goldberg’s department store, which has been left largely derelict since the closure of the store in 1990, include 132 apartments for sale, 435 new flats for rental and 586 rooms of student accommodation, as well as a 124-room hotel and retail space.

Bounded by Trongate, Wilson Street, Brunswick Street, Hutcheson Street and Candleriggs, the site was sold by Selfridges three years ago after it abandoned plans for a major new department store.

The firm behind the scheme, Candleriggs Ltd, has already secured planning permission for a slightly smaller development on the site but in recent months has acquired several properties holding up the plans.

Candleriggs Glasgow 3A design statement which was submitted to council planners said: “This strategy makes a series of public places whilst generally responding to the grain of the surrounding urban form.

“Throughout the public edges of the scheme the intention is to place shops, bars and cafes at street level to give a real possibility of street life and activity throughout the site.

“At the corner of Candleriggs and Trongate a new convenience store is intended and it is hoped this large branded store will help draw High Street retailers from Argyll Street onto this part of Trongate.”

Candleriggs Glasgow 2Candleriggs Ltd said that although its plans involved the partial demolition of listed building, with facades retained and altered, it had had a cultural heritage statement prepared that stated the longstanding vacant site had stifled the overall regeneration of the Merchant City, “with a dilapidated building and lack of contribution to the urban realm”.

It added the development would “not only preserve the special character of the Central Conservation Area, but will enhance it by bringing back the sense of historic street grid in the Merchant City and re-accentuate the historic street pattern”.

The application concluded: “The proposals present a suitable and viable development solution that will provide a positive contribution to the final redevelopment and regeneration of the area.”

Work to clear the site and demolish unlisted buildings is expected to begin soon.

Mosaic submits hotel plan at Glasgow’s Blythswood Square

blythswood sq aparthotelThe first Adina Apartment Hotel in the UK has been earmarked for Glasgow city centre following Mosaic Architecture + Design’s resubmission of a planning application for a hotel at 249 West George Street.

While Mosaic already has planning consent for converting the existing office building at this address, this latest submission relates to consent for additional bedrooms for the proposed 4-star 110-bedroom Apartment Hotel.

The existing office building has already proven to be suitable for redevelopment for hotel use and will represent a valuable addition to the city’s leisure portfolio. The redevelopment of the existing Richard Seifert-designed office building has been carefully considered by Mosaic to provide an appropriate response to the site’s immediate context, whilst respecting the buildings unique fabric.

The proposed redevelopment will provide 110 apart-style bedroom suites within the existing building, together with the creation of a new glazed bedroom extension of the top floor.

Neil Haining, director of Mosaic, said: “The proposed extension to the existing top floor level will create high level suites with exemplary view across Blythswood Square. The overall increase in scale of the existing building has been carefully balanced with the scale of the adjacent B-listed properties surrounding Blythswood Square.”

The existing deteriorated facades will undergo a full ‘like-for-like’ replacement, with the existing sandstone cladding being removed and replaced, along with new glazed units which will meet current standards. An external courtyard area will provide a private external space for guests.

A new feature entrance on West George Street will provide access to ground floor bar and restaurant facilities while a new extension accommodating additional bedroom suites, external terrace area and plant space is proposed within the existing rear parking courtyard.

HLM helps University of Glasgow students to benefit from lessons in nature

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

Design and architecture practice, HLM, has recently utilised innovative biophilic designs to transform existing teaching classrooms throughout the University of Glasgow campus, inspiring active learning, productivity and wellbeing.

With significant research indicating that levels of productivity increase in environments containing natural elements, HLM has refurbished the spaces with forward-thinking designs and aspects of nature, particularly in rooms with limited access to natural daylight.

In partnership with the University of Glasgow and its Inspiring Spaces Group, HLM has completed this second phase of the Active Learning Spaces Pilot Rooms project. Building on the success of last year’s refurbishments these new spaces will inform the design of future learning and teaching estate across the campus.

The biophilic designs include the use of natural materials, textures and patterns as well as lighting with variable temperature settings which respond to the body’s circadian rhythm. The result are teaching spaces that increase comfort levels and provide more relaxed learning environments for the students.

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

David Greig, associate at HLM, said: “We are working closely with the University of Glasgow to evaluate what elements and aspects contribute to the most active learning spaces, and then we plan to incorporate these designs in the broader Learning and Teaching Hub project which is due to be completed in 2019.”

Aline Browers, senior interior designer at HLM, added: “We are really excited about the project and have received positive feedback from the students already. The design truly brings the outdoors into the learning space, allowing us to move away from the traditional classroom and create inspiring environments.”

Karen Lee, director of strategy, performance & transformation at the University of Glasgow, said: “The refurbishment of the rooms to create active learning spaces is a fantastic opportunity for the university to test and understand what designs will be most successful in our new developments and buildings. We are really impressed with how HLM have transformed the spaces to enable more interactive and flexible teaching, and can see how it is having a positive effect on the student community.”

With extensive expertise in the education sector, HLM will also take part in the post occupation evaluation during the first year of use of the Piolet Rooms. The outcomes will provide invaluable insights that will enable the team to understand the full spectrum of contributing factors to improving the student experience.