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Decision on controversial Sauchiehall Street plans postponed

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Councillors in Glasgow have deferred a decision on controversial plans by HAUS for a student accommodation block next to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Grade A-listed Glasgow School of Art

At a meeting earlier this week, Glasgow City Council’s planning committee decided to grant more time for objectors to give their views on the proposals next to the 1909 Mack building.

Objectors say that the 185-bed building on Sauchiehall Street, funded by developer Urban Pulse, could harm a future bid for World Heritage Site status for the art school.

At the meeting councillors decided not to vote to resolve the application, which planners had recommended for approval.

A report prepared for the meeting said officers had ‘given due care to the potential for the proposal to impact upon the character and appearance of the surrounding conservation area and setting of adjacent listed buildings and are satisfied that the design enhances the character and appearance of the Central Conservation Area at this location and preserves the special interest of adjacent listed buildings.’

The report added that the application proposals had been altered during the design process to reflect comments from Historic Environment Scotland and other statutory consultees.

The council has already received more than 50 letters of objection to the plans from local residents, politicians and heritage groups, as well as from Janette Ferguson, MP for Glasgow Central.

Last month, architect and academic Alan Dunlop told the AJ: ‘It is clear that the proposed building is vastly over-scale in relationship to the south and east elevation of the Glasgow School of Art.

‘On such a site you have to take additional care and build tentatively.’

Urban Pulse refused to comment on the councillors’ decision.

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

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

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

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Judging by the image, surely the City Council's planners can see that this development is unsympathetic to the neighbouring buildings on Sauchiehall Street, let alone the College of Art?
    And how on earth can they think that it would enhance the character and appearance of the Central Conservation Area?
    It's unfortunate that these questions arise a week or so after the executive director of land and environmental services resigned as the police started investigating claims of corruption and cronyism in the council.

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