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Divisive Sauchiehall Street student scheme blocked in a crunch vote

November 28 2023

Divisive Sauchiehall Street student scheme blocked in a crunch vote

A controversial student housing development planned for Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street has hit an impasse after councillors chose to refuse consent following a knife-edge vote.

Overturning a recommendation to grant full planning consent councillors were split 5 to 5 on whether to rubberstamp that decision, only for the chair to employ a casting vote against.

Opponents of the Matt Brook scheme for Fusion Students; such as councillor Angus Millar, Kaukab Stewart MSP and Garnethill Community Council, warned of an over-concentration of students around Sauchiehall Street. Other factors to count against the project included a lack of mixed tenure accommodation and the impact on key views within the Central Conservation Area.

The decision is a blow to proponents of the project including Paul Sweeney MSP, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, who countered that the investment would bring economic benefits and preserve an important Art Deco facade designed by Robert Lutyens.

The decision coincides with the approval of 273 student beds at Old Wynd.


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 28 Nov 2023 at 15:15 PM
The old / the settled / the financially secure -- what a shower.

They would rather have an economic wasteland on Sauchiehall Street than agree to some sort of progress / development.

Probably too close to Caley -- it would attract the wrong sort of student.

That would be those without a Hogwarts background / the right pedigree.
#2 Posted by EM0 on 28 Nov 2023 at 15:51 PM
This is sad, because people are not fighting over developing on Sauchiehall St, my fear is that it is still sitting like this in 15 years if this is blocked....!
Thin Guy with Sense
#3 Posted by Thin Guy with Sense on 28 Nov 2023 at 16:48 PM
"They would rather have an economic wasteland on Sauchiehall Street" - what nonsense Fat Bloke... The are talking about demolishing all but the facade of a store which is in prime location and very usable if the right client takes it on... that's not progress...

And as for "Caley -- it would attract the wrong sort of student" do you meant nurses, dentists and optomotrists?

Getting rid of shops and filling the city with student accomodation is not the way to "save" a dying city....
#4 Posted by Ben on 28 Nov 2023 at 16:51 PM
Utter madness. Hopefully will be approved on appeal by ScotGov.
Impact on key views in the conservation area? Why did GCC then approve the hotel tower on Cambridge Street one block away? This scheme would have transformed one of the bleakest stretches of any urban street in Greater Glasgow and it doesn't send out the best message to other developers interested in taking forward projects in Scotland.
#5 Posted by Charlie_ on 28 Nov 2023 at 16:56 PM
Special mention for Angus Millar who spearheaded the nimby campaign to block this, the first significant peice of sauchiehall street regeneration/investment in decades, all while acting as convener of the councils city centre recovery group. What chance have we got
#6 Posted by Charlie_ on 28 Nov 2023 at 17:17 PM
@'guy with sense', the upper floors of the existing building will *never* be reused and nobody bar money laundering fronts (tartan tat, seasonal gifts, american candy etc) will take ground space. Its, literally, worthless.
town planner
#7 Posted by town planner on 28 Nov 2023 at 18:33 PM
What a depressing decision, really liked this.
#8 Posted by Roddy_ on 28 Nov 2023 at 18:49 PM
The design continues the well-established paradigm of austerity architecture in the city. If they had refused on those grounds I think I could accept that but as it stands I actually feel sorry for the developer (and future developers) that want to build PBSR -they don't have a chance with current policy regarding this typology - it is a coin flip.
A stick-on for appeal - but in the meantime, it will be amusing to read the planning officer's handling report as it back-peddles to accomodate and post-justify the views of the committee.
#9 Posted by spike on 28 Nov 2023 at 20:04 PM
What a lost opportunity............
Wonder how many years it will stand empty encouraging further blight?
#10 Posted by NotANimbyJustHateYoungPeople on 28 Nov 2023 at 20:29 PM
Hopefully they appeal, ScotGov approve, and we just lose a few months during all the faffing about

But Angus Millar is a disgrace and should be removed from his role as the councillor in charge of city centre regeneration if he's incapable of putting the good of the city above the interests of a small group of middle-class NIMBY constituents
#11 Posted by g1 on 28 Nov 2023 at 22:25 PM
The first major planning application post publication of the Golden Z and its flatly rejected. This is a stunning proposal which would have been transformational for Sauchiehall Street. Councillor Miller has now lost all credibility as the city centre lead and offers little hope for the city centre being anything other than a locus for drug consumption centres, complex need centres and the associated anti social behaviour resulting from long term decline not because of a desire to invest but a desire by city leaders to oversee decline through lack of leadership and extraordinary levels of experience
Tommy Tuppence
#12 Posted by Tommy Tuppence on 29 Nov 2023 at 08:56 AM
I wonder if a move to BTR would see it through planning?
Progress Pooper
#13 Posted by Progress Pooper on 29 Nov 2023 at 09:18 AM
Makes sense, Sauchiehall Street doesnt really need any development. This is one of the few student housing proposals in Glasgow that actually looks reasonable.
Honestly you couldnt make it up, Angus Millar and his SNP/Green anti-progress comrades have a lot to answer for
#14 Posted by Falconhoof on 29 Nov 2023 at 11:53 AM
5 retail units,where there are currently zilch,facade retention,activation on sauchiehall st & dreary Renfrew st,more people/life on the street,this council have a serious death wish,what views will be impacted exactly? there is nothing in front or behind of any note.
#15 Posted by David on 29 Nov 2023 at 12:57 PM
This application sums up everything that is wrong with Glasgow City councillors. Meanwhile other forward thinking (actually just 'thinking') cities are open to new development to revitalise run-down areas. Clearly GCC are more content to let Sauchiehall Street and the surrounding area go to ruin. Or is there a more sinister reason for the rejection?...
#16 Posted by L on 29 Nov 2023 at 14:00 PM
Sure, let's reject something which will actually bring value through shopfronts and preservation of good architectural features to an area that is in desperate need for regeneration, but let's approve an 18-storey characterless overpriced APARTHOTEL just down the road (at Cambridge St.) which will bring absolutely nothing for the residents or the public frequenting the area... Logic.
Hairy Hipster
#17 Posted by Hairy Hipster on 29 Nov 2023 at 14:20 PM
People of Glasgow - You get what you voted for! You were well warned that this rogue squadron aren't suitably qualified and experienced for the task but you voted them in anyway.

The chickens are home to roost and I have zero sympathy.
#18 Posted by sheepy on 29 Nov 2023 at 23:12 PM
The Greens would rather urban sprawl than dense city centre developments. Disgrace.

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