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Residents rally against planned Garnethill tower on deadline day

May 19 2023

 Residents rally against planned Garnethill tower on deadline day

A resident's group is mounting resistance to a planned high-rise apart-hotel on Cambridge Street, Garnethill, arguing that it would have a detrimental impact on the Glasgow School of Art, among other local landmarks.

Taking their message to the city chambers to make their feelings known in person the group are keen to drum up further support before comments on the application close later today.

Spokesperson Declan Kenning told Urban Realm: "We are led to believe that the planning officers don't see any issue with the building proposal. However, this proposed aparthotel will dominate the skyline, rivalling the height of the tallest buildings in Glasgow (such as the Cineworld building) - and will change the background and cast shadows...

"The building design is modern and not in keeping at all with the local surroundings, overshadowing and overlooking residential homes. Also an increase in traffic flow on an already busy road (considering construction on the Art School and the M&S building Renfrew St will be at a standstill), will be exacerbated by full-scale demolition in a residential area surrounded by B listed buildings."

Objectors include local councillors, the Garnethill community council and the MP for Glasgow Central but numerous letters of support have also been filed, arguing that 19 storeys is appropriate for a city centre site in need of investment. 


#1 Posted by Dec on 19 May 2023 at 09:41 AM
What is it with some people and their desire to have Glasgow as underdeveloped as possible?
#2 Posted by Lovely on 19 May 2023 at 10:22 AM
I believe the high rise experiment has already been done in Glasgow. It's just plain odd to now seek such dystopian density in a city with so many gap sites and undeveloped existing buildings. The idea that it will become like a new Hong Kong or Dubai is just a sad fantasy of infantile corporate architects who have lost their humanity. Would you actually want that anyway even if it was possible?
#3 Posted by Ant on 19 May 2023 at 10:30 AM
#2 not sure its the architects fantasy!
#4 Posted by V on 19 May 2023 at 10:44 AM
We want the area to develop, but in a way that brings value to the city and community. This monstrous tower will bring none of that and will continue to erode the Garnethill Conservation area. If it were a 4 storey building that matched its surroundings we'd be all for it, but this generic tower doesn't fit in at all. Not to mention that an aparthotel is the last thing this area needs since there are tons of hotels around here.
#5 Posted by Rob on 19 May 2023 at 10:47 AM
"numerous letters of support"? Seriously?! It's a whopping 3 letters of support and I've got a strong feeling it's from people involved in this project.
#6 Posted by MV on 19 May 2023 at 11:32 AM
Erm... how is this going to affect the Art School? Art School is dead, is it not? It's too far away in any event?

If the residents want to complain about anything, it should be about the design. Bring on the height, but bring it on with some good, creative, design.
#7 Posted by Lovely on 19 May 2023 at 11:39 AM
@3 My apologies:

I thought it was perhaps designed by architects but you are almost certainly correct.

Upon re-inspection it does look a lot like its been designed by a team of corporate lawyers, lower grade financial people and some outsourced technical drafting, maybe even a bit of early stages AI of the Sim City variety.

Onwards and upwards as they say.....!
#8 Posted by L on 19 May 2023 at 12:00 PM
#7 in a way you are perfectly right.
Unfortunately, architects these days are nothing but puppets controlled by developer's lawyers; they need to go against their principles and schooling to survive in a capitalist society where they don't get a say in the actual design of a building if it goes against what the client wants. And that's simply for survival, we can't afford to argue with the person keeping our company afloat and our fridges full... As long as developers, solicitors, and accountants are in charge of what gets built in the city, we can say goodbye to any form of quality architecture...

The one system in place to avoid this happening would be the planners, but they are mere people working with outdated policies and corruption.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that despite the 54 objections lodged against this proposal, it'll go through and we will be witnesses to yet another instance where money is the end all be all of anything in this world...
#9 Posted by EasyKet on 19 May 2023 at 12:03 PM
Get it built
#10 Posted by EM0 on 19 May 2023 at 12:07 PM
It is an eyesore, yes the area needs investment, but Garnethill is getting more and more surrounded by ugly buildings. I am not surprised they are doing anything possible to stop this!
#11 Posted by EMS on 19 May 2023 at 13:14 PM
Get it built as soon as possible.
#12 Posted by pman on 19 May 2023 at 13:45 PM
The objections to this are utterly embarrassing.

People claiming a 19 storey building in the city centre is too tall. People claiming it'll make roads *slap bang in the middle of the city* too busy. These people want Glasgow to be some kind of suburban backwater with buildings no more than 4 storeys tall and an abundance of parking spaces everywhere. They don't want it to be a thriving 21stC city, because that would mean hustle and bustle and activity on their doorstep. God knows we can't have that.

If we're stuck with this derelict building because councillors cave to this anachronistic provincialism it really will be depressing.
#13 Posted by Glo on 19 May 2023 at 14:10 PM
#12 It's about finding a balance that respects the historical significance of the area and ensures that development enhances rather than detracts from its unique charm. Many cities around the world successfully integrate modern architecture while preserving their cultural heritage. Proposing a bland looking tower in a residential area full of B-listed buildings with Victorian architecture creates an architectural clash that resembles a game of "Tetris gone wild" in the heart of a historic area.

Let's not forget the abundance of hotels and B&Bs already present in the area, with high vacancy rates reported. Justifying the need for yet another aparthotel on top of the existing surplus remains unanswered.

Rather than dismissing valid objections, it would be more constructive to address these concerns, engage in meaningful dialogue with the community, and explore alternative solutions that align with the neighborhood's character and the needs of its residents.
#14 Posted by MV on 19 May 2023 at 14:22 PM
I like what #8 said. Well, I don’t like it, but it is nonetheless true.
#15 Posted by UtopianDensity on 19 May 2023 at 14:32 PM
When will this madness end? I didn't vote for Christy Mearns just to see people keep building things in the city centre, you know
Great Uncle Beet
#16 Posted by Great Uncle Beet on 19 May 2023 at 15:00 PM
The kind of people that actually think NPF4 is a good idea...
#17 Posted by L on 19 May 2023 at 15:02 PM
#12 Go to Vienna. Go to Paris. Go to Barcelona. Go to Prague. Go to Berlin. Go to any European capital and let me know how many of these eye-sores you will find in their historical centres. Every big city has an area of high-rise contemporary development where these proposals are appropriate and work with their context, but their historical centres and listed buildings are kept with their human scales and pedestrianised streets. Every one of these capitals has a thriving high street, a rising economy, and valued culture and tourism.

But sure, let's destroy our history and urban environment for the purpose of some developer getting yet another penthouse in Monaco, shall we?
Garnet Hill
#18 Posted by Garnet Hill on 19 May 2023 at 15:16 PM
Living in the centre of the country's largest city isn't for everyone. If you would prefer to live in low-rise low-density suburbia please move there and spare us your bleating.
Shatner's Bassoon
#19 Posted by Shatner's Bassoon on 19 May 2023 at 15:20 PM
Berlin is full of eyesores.
#20 Posted by UtopianDensity on 19 May 2023 at 15:30 PM
My prediction - planning dept recommend it for approval, the planning committee pander to the objectors and refuse anyway, applicants appeal to ScotGov who decide the committee's refusal wasn't reasonable and approve it. So we get to the right decision in the end but this rigmarole adds an extra year to the process
#21 Posted by Roddy_ on 19 May 2023 at 18:37 PM
Merits an objection based on the quality of the design.

Clearly City Design take the softly softly approach here and I suspect are leaned on politically. Most applications like this are pretty conclusive proof that design governance in the city is largely non-existent.
#22 Posted by Riddy_ on 19 May 2023 at 19:28 PM
From my ivory tower I can clearly see that this is not good enough for Glasgow.
Much better to have a derelict 1960s carbuncle than anything that actually regenerated Glasgow.
As for the Glasgow School of Art ……. It might be a pile of rubble, but at least it still has its integrity
Showbiz Sam
#23 Posted by Showbiz Sam on 19 May 2023 at 20:18 PM
Oh God! That one! Spare us the politics! That's just ugly as sin. Refuse it for God's sake! That should be reason enough.
#24 Posted by Chris on 19 May 2023 at 20:45 PM
A vision for Glasgow: Fiercely protect the beautiful and irreplaceable sandstone buildings, all other spaces can be filled with shining New York skyscrapers and greenery should fill the mono-blocked boulevards and squares.
I can’t believe this could be controversial in anyway.
town planner
#25 Posted by town planner on 20 May 2023 at 16:48 PM
#24 Couldn't agree more.
#26 Posted by Chris on 20 May 2023 at 18:08 PM
The future trajectory of Glasgow’s buildings is upwards. There’s no reason why this can’t be a positive thing - but only if the quality of the developments proposed are decent.

This particular development fails in that regard.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#27 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 21 May 2023 at 15:55 PM
What is Garnethill famous for?

An art school that burns down at regular intervals.
A triad execution.
St Als.

The Dental Hospital has more of an impact on the district than this.

File under rent-a-mob.
#28 Posted by Falconhoof on 23 May 2023 at 10:47 AM
Use the same height & materials as the old C&A & everyone should be happy,well maybe not the developer.

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