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.

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. 

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.”

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.”

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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