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MAST Architects come out in favour of Wyndford demolition

February 16 2023

MAST Architects come out in favour of Wyndford demolition

A new study of Glasgow's Wyndford estate commissioned by Wheatley Homes has seen MAST Architects throw their weight behind voices arguing that demolition is necessary.

The latest report found that the 600 properties targeted for demolition are not fit for purpose, as they fail to meet minimum space standards. Comprising 200 bedsits and 400 small one-bed apartments the homes are considered unsuitable for retrofitting owing to the use of thick concrete walls.

MAST Architects director Michael Jarvis wrote: "The space standards of the apartments are very poor, with the bedsit apartments only 38m². The one-bedroom apartments are 47m², which is approximately 5-8m² smaller than the average new-build one-bedroom apartment.

“Living space is also very limited with the combined living and kitchen area of the one-bedroom apartment 4m² smaller than the minimum required.”

Jarvis also takes issue with comparisons to the recently renovated Cedar Court in Woodside, arguing that structural differences make them a poor template to follow. He adds: "You need to compare apples with apples, which these two are not. Cedar Court is made up of family-style housing called maisonettes. They are all two-bedroom properties, with their own private balcony, compared to the cramped one-bedroom and sub-standard studio properties at Wyndford.

"The properties at Cedar Court were not structurally modified and the units are far more generous and spacious to meet the space standards."

Arriving hot on the heels of a Historic Environment Scotland report rejecting a listing request the report also highlights issues around lack of light from overshadowing, a lack of privacy from shared balconies and poor wifi and mobile reception.

Wheatley is progressing with a £73m regeneration of the Wyndford that will include the delivery of 300 family-friendly homes, although the precise amount which will be affordable is still in question. In addition, Urban Realm understands no architect has yet been engaged on the replacement homes, despite demolition being scheduled for April.


#1 Posted by Local on 16 Feb 2023 at 11:33 AM
Any link to the report UR?
Sue Pearman
#2 Posted by Sue Pearman on 16 Feb 2023 at 12:35 PM
Much as I personally think the towers should be replaced with Laurieston style modern tenements and townhouses, I also think the space standard argument is a little fatuous. Given we are currently building similar towers with small flats in the city (eg. Keppies, Anderson Quay, with 30sqm studios & 45sqm 1 beds). Maybe Michael means they are slightly smaller than the average Public Sector newbuild? Unfortunately they are certainly not small for most private sector newbuilds.
D to the R
#3 Posted by D to the R on 16 Feb 2023 at 13:17 PM
Someone get Alan Dunlop on the phone ... Quick !
Neil C
#4 Posted by Neil C on 16 Feb 2023 at 13:58 PM
mmmm, do MAST work for Wheatley? I know they do and have done projects for GHA. So no surprise, really.
#5 Posted by Miesian on 16 Feb 2023 at 16:54 PM
#2 Glasgow’s Housing strategy required Affordable Housing to meet the ‘Glasgow Standard’ for space. This a challenge for the social housing provider here in that the stock wouldn’t comply. The private sector doesn’t have this restriction albeit GCC do push developers for better space standards. Personally feel we need a bigger debate on space standards as small space living can support housing supply when done well with supporting amenities.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#6 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 16 Feb 2023 at 17:17 PM
Did MAST provide this report on a charity work / God bless you job / pro bono basis?

If yes -- then that would be a very civic minded thing to do. Although you might ask what other charity work is out there and maybe they could lend a hand if they are at a loose end at the moment.

If no -- then whoever pays the piper calls the tune and the report isn't worth a bucket of warm spit.

Main issue is the opportunity cost and the reduction of the social housing stock in the city by at least 300 and possibly 420 units if this plan goes ahead.

Very self indulgent project at a time of great housing shortages in the city and a plethora of ghost streets in the north and east of the city waiting to be developed.

Surely it would be better to re-populate these areas with new homes and revitalise the Wyndford towers with new thinking and active management rather than a few ego tripping hobby horsers desperate to spend a lot of other people's money in the wrong place so they can cut a ribbon.

Not good -- tick box management at its worst.

Neil C
#7 Posted by Neil C on 16 Feb 2023 at 17:27 PM
From what I've read, the retrofitting alternative included making the balcony into an internal space/ winter garden. If done then the floor areas throughout would increase substantially and there would be no overhang " problem".
Kevan Shaw
#8 Posted by Kevan Shaw on 17 Feb 2023 at 11:03 AM
The bottom line is the loss of 600 social housing units to be replaced with predominantly private "mid market" rent and far fewer units. How is this justified given the massive shortage of predominantly social housing stock? Compared to the space allowances in the majority of "Student Accommodation" developoments these small flats are pala in space!tial
#9 Posted by Lovely on 17 Feb 2023 at 12:36 PM
It's becoming very clear that the main driver for this project is the increase in values recently with the west end creeping ever deeper into Maryhill.

Everything else is just post rationalisation of a decision already made.

This positive turn of events could be monetised in a more productive, more environmental and fairer way to other areas as many commenters have astutely pointed out.
#10 Posted by OssianLore on 20 Feb 2023 at 14:07 PM
I think the towers are the least of the Wyndford's issues. The main problem is the old barracks wall that surrounds the entire site where it interfaces with the rest of the built environment. The next major issue is the organisation of the site with unclear and dog-legged routes and unclear delineation of public and private spaces. The last issue is the viability of the towers.

The entire site needs reworked. Starting with the removal of the vast majority of the old barrack wall (who even cares that it was a barracks for a bit, like, really, who gives a toss?) just leave the main gates and a the plaque and maybe the odd useful wee stretch here and there. The street and block plans then need to be restructured to integrate with the rest with the urban fabric of Maryhill and wider city, forming clearly delineated routes through the estate fronted by tenemental scale architecture.

Is that really to obvious a thing to suggest? Some perimeter blocks and main street or two with some commercial units for anybody trying to bring services and job to the area, some clear walking and cycling routes that aren't so at odds with everything round about it. The site has so much potential but it was utterly squandered with construction of the ghastly mess that is Wyndford Island...

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