Keppie Design is facing an even bigger battle in its bid to overhaul the ‘nationally important’ Arnold Clark garage in Glasgow after Historic Scotland (HS) upgraded its listing status.
Earlier in the year it emerged Keppie wanted to replace the 1911 building in Vinicombe Street, known as the Botanics Garage, with 35 flats, mews cottages and shops – proposals which incensed lovers of the green-and-white tiled block.
Now HS has made the job even tougher after changing the garage's listing category from Grade B to the loftier Grade A, ‘in recognition of its national importance'.
HS' Head of Listing Deborah Mays said: ‘The garage was built in the early 1900s when parking on the street was not allowed. People living in grand Glasgow tenements would have relied on public parking garages like this one.
‘Though existing buildings were converted for use as garages, purpose-built multi-storey garages were not common. It is an incredibly rare survival and may well be the earliest one of its type remaining in Scotland.’
However, a spokeswoman for Arnold Clark Automobiles, the landowner and mastermind behind the plans, said the listing upgrade would not affect its intention to build a ‘high quality and viable design solution.’
She said: ‘We are currently working with Glasgow City Council and Historic Scotland to find a satisfactory solution for this site.
‘We will ensure the recognised and desirable features are incorporated into any future design and will endeavour to create a useful and valuable commodity for the west end and wider area.’
A new planning application has yet to be submitted.