Student flats plan next to Glasgow School of Art deferred

Sauchiehall Street student flats 2Councillors have voted to continue an application to build new student flats next to the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) until a hearing has been carried out

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.

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

Haus said the move was made to placate the GSA which had voiced objections on the grounds of overdevelopment and “harmful impact” on Mackintosh’s masterpiece.

However, on deciding on the project, Glasgow City Council’s planning application committee yesterday voted to allow for a hearing to give a chance for those for and against the plans to make their case.

A date for this hearing is still to be decided.

Sauchiehall Street student flatsThe council has received more than 50 letters of objection in relation to the application including impact on the character and setting of the Mackintosh Building and conservation area and views towards it from surrounding areas.

Objectors have also claimed the building would damage Glasgow’s reputation as a tourist destination and any future Unesco World Heritage bid, as well as complaints of an oversupply of student accommodation in the city centre.

GSA director Professor Tom Inns has said the institution is “significantly concerned” by the revised proposal which, according to Historic Environment Scotland, has “not fully addressed the impact on the Mackintosh Building”.

Professor Inns told Scottish Construction Now: “We are two years into a meticulous restoration project which aims to bring this masterpiece back to its full significance for our students and for the people of Glasgow. It would be a tragedy if a decision were taken to support a development that will block light into over half the south elevation of the building, including studios and exhibition corridors, impacting directly on the students and visitors.

“The GSA is committed to growing Glasgow’s economy but this must not be done at the expense of one of the very assets that make the city distinctive. We hope that recognizing this councillors will call in the proposals for further work to ensure that the buildings can co-exist without detriment to the jewel in Glasgow’s Mackintosh crown.”

Share icon
Share this article: