Page and Park Architects has finally been given the green light for one of the most controversial development proposals in Glasgow's history.
The practice's copper-roofed 107-flat project (above
) in the internationally renowned Park Circus conservation area was approved by the city council on Tuesday (24 April), despite heated opposition from heritage groups.
The decision comes after 25 years of delays, setbacks and disagreements about the future of the site in the heart of Victorian architect Charles Wilson's A-listed city centre treasure trove.
In 2002 the Scottish Executive rejected a similarly scaled housing project by the Stewart Milne Group (below
) - the same developer behind the Page and Park scheme - claiming the designs were 'inapproriate for the area'.
Back in the 1980s, a competition-winning scheme by Mark Baines, now a tutor at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, also went down the pan following heavy local criticism.
It is not guaranteed that the latest six-storey, sandstone clad project will definitely go-ahead either, as it has yet to been given the formal thumbs-up from the Scottish Executive.
Glasgow-based Alan Dunlop, of gm & ad, said he was pleased the council had decided to back the £15 million development, but was disappointed the approved scheme was not daring enough.
He said: 'I'm delighted that a scheme for this site has finally been given approval, even though I think the project is rather tame.
'We should have been bolder and less concerned about pleasing everyone - and as a consequence really pleasing no one.'
He added: 'A planning approval for this site has been 25 years in the making, and because of the ridiculous notion that the site is so precious we can't touch it, combined with a full-blown Nimby factor, it has been unresolved.
'Glaswegians have been looking at the rear ends of buildings for a quarter of a century in a conservation area and from one of our major routes into the city.'by Richard Waite