FINNIESTON Apartment Block At Old Foundry Site Gets Go-Ahead

27 March, 2023 | Listed / Historic Buildings

A GOVERNMENT planning expert has ruled that a former brass foundry in Finnieston can be demolished for a flats development.

Nevis Properties has been given approval to knock down the unlisted building — now used as offices — on Minvera Street and build an eight-storey block containing 59 one, two and three-bed apartments.

The developer had asked for a decision on the application to be made by the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division.

Planning reporter Philip McLean, who was appointed by Scottish Ministers, stated in his decision document: “A number of objectors argue that the proposal would adversely impact the settings of nearby cultural heritage assets or views towards them, in particular the St Vincent Crescent Conservation Area, the category A listed buildings on St Vincent Crescent, and the category A listed Stobcross Crane (also known as the Finnieston Crane).

“Based on my observations, and having reviewed the submissions on this topic (including the appellant’s heritage, townscape and visual assessment), I am satisfied the proposal would not significantly impact any key views, would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area, and would not adversely affect the setting of any listed buildings.”

The report continues: “Objectors also submit that the existing building on the site, originally built as a brass foundry, is itself a valuable heritage asset that should be retained and incorporated into any new development rather than being demolished.

“Historic Environment Scotland issued a Certificate of Intention Not to List (COINTL) for the building in October 2022, concluding it is not of special architectural or historic interest.

“I am therefore satisfied that, in the context of the broad policy support for the principle of regeneration at this location, demolition of the building and redevelopment of the appeal site is acceptable

The report concludes: “I do not identify any substantial conflict with relevant development plan policies, including in relation to design and density, amenity, parking, and open space considerations.

“I therefore find that the proposal accords overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations that would justify refusing planning permission.”

MSP Paul Sweeney, who campaigned to save the foundry, said: “It’s a disappointing outcome that the independent Scottish Government reporter has determined to grant the application in the face of opposition from all democratically elected representatives of the community, both council and parliamentary, but one for which I took all possible steps to prevent.

“Ultimately Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) decision not to list the brass foundry building after a listing application was made, and then grant a certificate of intention not to list, spelled its death knell.

“I supported both the listing application and wrote against the granting of the Certificate of Intention Not to List, but my representations were not upheld by HES in this instance.”

He said the decision would result in a “further sad and unnecessary erosion of Glasgow’s industrial heritage” in the Stobcross and Finnieston district.”

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