Pacific Quay hotel plan recommended for refusal

Councillors have been recommended to reject a planning application to build a Holiday Inn hotel on the former Glasgow Garden Festival site at Pacific Quay.

Mosaic Architecture + Design submitted proposals with Iceni Projects last year for the 150-bedroom hotel situated on the south bank of the River Clyde.

The development will feature seven storeys with a first floor split between conferencing and co-working space and a Skybar on the top floor offering views across the river to the iconic Finnieston Crane and beyond.

The project represents an investment of more than £18 million in Glasgow by developer Pacific Quay Developments. RBH Hospitality Management was lined up as the operator with more than 50 permanent jobs set to be created.

Twelve letters of support have been received by the council’s planning committee, which is due to consider the application on Tuesday.

Glasgow’s development plan limits use of the land to business or industrial purposes.

A report by council planners stated: “Since 2012 the council has approved two separate hotels (totalling 354 bedrooms) and a residential development of 203 new dwellings in the area all on the principle that it was enabling development. None of this ancillary, enabling development has led to new industry and business proposals.

“In the view of the local authority, with the availability of development sites in the SEIL [Strategic Economic Investment Location] which could accommodate industry and business uses dwindling, there is no scope to accommodate further non-conforming uses.”

Planners added that a historic pump station building would be “entirely obscured” from view from the river walkway and the north bank of the River Clyde, that a significant area of public realm would be built over and that there are flood risk concerns.

The report explained: “The proposed hotel use is unacceptable in land use planning terms and this was communicated to the planning agents prior to the submission of this application.

“The principle of developing a site within the functional flood plain is unacceptable in policy terms and has been objected to by both the national and local flooding authorities.

“Even if the flooding position was different, the restrictions on non-industry and business uses imposed by the SEIL status of the site also means that the principle of hotel use in this location would be unacceptable.

“Thirdly, placing a building upon protected open space that has value is strongly resisted in principle by the Glasgow City Development Plan so there are three different issues why this application is unacceptable in principle.

“When considered in detail, the detrimental impact of the scheme on the Category A listed Four Winds former hydraulic station is also unacceptable.”

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