PERMISSION has been given to knock down an empty shop and and build an 18-storey aparthotel near Sauchiehall Street.
The planning department received 135 objections with public concerns including the scale and height being excessive, the impact on the Central Conservation Area and surrounding listed buildings; and the modern design being incongruous within its context.
But city officials were in favour of the proposal. Their report stated: “The [existing] building is of no townscape value – rather, due to the sustained vacancy, the building detracts from the visual amenity of the streetscene and the sense of place.
“The development of an aparthotel offer at this location will contribute to the activation of Cambridge Street and Renfrew Street, providing visitors with immediate access to the city’s cultural resources along the proposed ‘Avenue of the Arts’
and beyond into the City Centre.
“Standing at 18 storeys, through its architectural approach and materiality, the proposed building will create a visual landmark which will signal a new phase in the evolution and regeneration of the Sauchiehall Street corridor.”
It continues: “The proposed height is considered to be appropriate to the context of the site, with Fleming House being a tall
building immediately to the north, and the surrounding streets featuring a diverse range of architectural scales and forms.
“The proposed building is of a high quality contemporary design and is not considered to detract from the historic character of the existing buildings within the locale.”
The aparthotel will have 161 units — 55 small studios, 75 large studios and 31 with one bedroom .
A coffee shop and workspace area will be created on the ground floor. There will be external amenity space on level six.
The existing building, on the corner with Renfrew Street, has been empty for many years. Retailer Littlewoods ceased trading from the premises in 2005.
The developers had stated: “Given the site’s prominent location within the city centre, and its location within a key strategic economic area, we believe there is justification for demolition, and opportunity for a building of scale that promotes a use type that will support the economy of the city and its strong tourist industry.”