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Bid to build student flats next to Mac fails in appeal

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The Glasgow School of Art has hailed the latest rejection of a proposal by HAUS to build a student accommodation block next to its Category A-listed home

Reporter Robert Seaton dismissed an appeal against an earlier decision by Glasgow City Council to refuse planning permission for the 181-bed student scheme at 294 Sauchiehall Street (see AJ 05.04.17).

Seaton said the proposed scheme, for developer Urban Pulse, would not ‘respect, preserve or enhance the historic environment’. Opponents had raised fears over the impact of the plans on Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 Category A-listed Glasgow School of Art.

Seaton said: ‘The proposed development has an adverse effect upon the amenity of users of the Mackintosh building and the building’s function. It would also dominate its immediate area. I therefore find that it also does not provide high-quality amenity or enhance quality of life for everyone, contrary to [the local development plan].’

He concluded that the HAUS scheme did not ‘accord overall with the development plan’ and said he found ‘no material considerations that would still justify granting planning permission’.

A spokesperson for the Glasgow School of Art said the school ‘welcomed’ the reporter’s decision, ‘and specifically the recognition that while economic benefits of development are important these should not outweigh the detrimental effects of proposals on the historic environment’.

HAUS said it was looking at options for the site.

A spokesman for the practice said: ’We fully respect the significance of the subject site in context of its relationship with Glasgow School of Art while also noting the broader fundamental importance of its redevelopment as part of a wider strategy for the regeneration of Sauchiehall Street, its economy and appeal as a gateway to the city.

’The decision by the reporter is disappointing acknowledging the comprehensive pre-application consultation period and extensive dialogue engaged with the professional planning team at Glasgow City Council. Our design process included engagement with Historic Environment Scotland and frequent dialogue with Glasgow School of Art throughout. Most disappointingly the product of this process was originally an enthusiastic recommendation for planning approval by the city’s planning team.

’We are currently assisting our client in assessing the options for the future of this dilapidated property”

Original plans from August (left); updated plans from December (right)

Original plans from August 2016 (left); updated plans from December 2016 (right)

Original plans from August (left); updated plans from December (right) 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Keeping in keeping with the dental school displays superior urban sensitivity. (And if you're going to list an art school you surely should list a much more prominent dental school too.)

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