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Full extent of Victoria Infirmary demolitions confirmed

January 19 2017

Full extent of Victoria Infirmary demolitions confirmed
Sanctuary Group have confirmed that only the Nightingale wings, gatehouse and a listed administration block at Glasgow’s former Victoria Infirmary will be retained, (with the rest of the sprawling hospital set to be demolished), ahead of a series of public consultation events.

The confirmation of intent dovetails with finalisation of a consultation timetable by the housing and care provider following its acquisition of the hospital and grounds in August 2016. This will see a series of two day drop-in events staged at Langside Library, Sinclair Drive, beginning with a ‘masterplan’ discussion to be held on the 9th and 11th of February.

That will be followed by a more detailed look at the design on the 9th and 11th of March, all of which will be attended by representatives of both Sanctuary and Collective Architecture. Drawings of new build elements aren’t expected until a third round of consultations which are penciled in for the 23rd and 25th of March during which the proposed planning design will be exhibited.

Peter Martin, Sanctuary group director, said: “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to redevelop the old Victoria Infirmary site and are looking forward to hearing from the community at the six drop-in sessions.

“We understand how important this site is to local people and our aim is to create a development that fits perfectly in this landmark location.”

Members of the public are invited to attend Thursday sessions between the hours of 14:00 and 19:00 and Saturday events between 10:00 and 15:00.


Paul Sweeney
#1 Posted by Paul Sweeney on 19 Jan 2017 at 17:10 PM
I commend Sanctuary for retaining the Nightingale blocks up Battlefield Road in addition to the listed administration block but the loss of the handsome interwar ward block facing Battlefield Rest (originally the Paying Patients' Annexe) - that is readily convertible to residential use - is simply unacceptable. I will be lobbying at the highest level to have this building and all major pre-war elements of the site spot listed by Scottish Ministers via Historic Environment Scotland as soon as possible. I would urge all others of similar mind to do so too. The locally made decision by HES not to list more of the site was ill-informed and unsound.
Merrymac Paddywac
#2 Posted by Merrymac Paddywac on 19 Jan 2017 at 19:43 PM
Can we have an isometric view of site showing what will be lost and what's to be retained?
The Flâneur
#3 Posted by The Flâneur on 19 Jan 2017 at 21:43 PM
Hear hear Paul, and I wish you every success in this.

It may assist you to know Historic Environment Scotland's letter of 4 December 2015 in response to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's planning application reference 15/02741/DC concerning the extent of the demolition reveals that they reviewed the listing for the hospital in 2013 and decided not to extend it. However, I cannot find a handling report from the designations team related to this decision. Regardless, the decision reveals an unfortunate tone deafness and to my mind was a mistake. Even GCC City Design think the buildings worth retaining.

I know that the recent demolition of the Victorian villa at the northern end of the site was drawn to the attention of a senior HES officer who went out to have another look at the site so the hasty demolition in advance of consultation over the masterplan will come as no surprise to them.

So I hope they read the runes about just how unpopular this is - which is probably why Sanctuary are only prepared to have drop in sessions for the consultation and have ruled out any public meetings or presentations - and re-think it given the obvious townscape and aesthetic merits of the interwar elements of the complex.

Those buildings, including the handsome understated Private Annexe - which provides the perfect backdrop to the Battlefield Rest, indeed it is hard to imagine Battlefield without it - were by architects John Watson and his son John Watson Junior.

John Watson designed the superb extension to the City Chambers which in 1927 was awarded the first RIBA Scottish Architecture medal for the best city building completed within the preceding five years and was featured in last year's Scotstyle Exhibition for the Festival of Architecture.

John Watson Junior trained under both Sir JJ Burnet and E. Vincent Harris - one of the finest classical architects of his generation who designed the extension to Manchester's Town Hall Extension and Central Library - and his training shows in the restraint and understatement of the interwar and some of the postwar buildings which include some very fine neo-classical sculpture such as the superb and rare bas relief panel 'The Reaper' by a Douglas Bisset which sits over the entrance to the Pathology Department. How anyone could have looked at that and thought it not worth listing I do not know.
#4 Posted by Colette on 20 Jan 2017 at 07:18 AM
Would be good to organise a tour to show people exactly is being kept.
Also if the tour highlighted certain parts of the building that could be retained or re used elsewhere then this should be up for discussion.
New is not always good, Peter try to keep as much of the old character as possible
As once it's gone it's gone.
Even the old stone could be used for walls like the ones you see in the country.
Jack Onory
#5 Posted by Jack Onory on 20 Jan 2017 at 09:43 AM
I have to say I don't think they're going far enough here. We shouldn't be too precious about some of the more average average buildings that were built in Glasgow. Personally I don't think it would be a huge loss if most of what is there was razed. This kind of nicey nicey attitude to retaining old buildings has the air of independence supporting lefty liberals that seem to think they can change this country for the better, which will only cost more - bah!
T Oro
#6 Posted by T Oro on 20 Jan 2017 at 12:38 PM
I believe that Sanctuary paid £million with teh promise of a % of social housing and lareg consultation with locals. CALA offered £15M and were turned down in preference of the sensitive/community based approach promised by Sanctuary. NHSGCC would have been as wlel to take the better money. Sanctuary's flip flopping on community consultation and disregard of local opinion is indicative of the way the development will proceed. GCC have been lax in dealing this development.
Lee Duncan
#7 Posted by Lee Duncan on 20 Jan 2017 at 14:31 PM
Jack Onory, you have the air of UKIP voting Trump ,supporting idiocy in your comments. This building has been the heart of this area for along time physically and aesthetically.It would be a travesty if it were not preserved and replaced by some unimaginative piece of cheap housing with a shelf life of 50yrs at best.
David Henderson
#8 Posted by David Henderson on 20 Jan 2017 at 17:26 PM
I think more time and energy would be better spent trying to better our new hospitals and NHS in General, what a state thats in.....but thats a harder fight. It is an average building most of which isnt that attractive.
Not that great an issue for me.
Islands of sanity
#9 Posted by Islands of sanity on 21 Jan 2017 at 14:49 PM
#1. Good luck with that but you don't have much time as following a decision in the Court of Session following a challenge by Tesco for the Government buildings in Galashiels, HES will not list during a live planning application.
N. Macaskill
#10 Posted by N. Macaskill on 28 Jan 2017 at 06:03 AM
So they're demolishing the old x-ray department. Shame.
Fraser mitchell
#11 Posted by Fraser mitchell on 11 Jun 2018 at 16:50 PM
Could someone inform me of the whereabouts of the 'Grim Reaper' relief that used to be in the Pathology Department... Thanks.

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