PLANS for a new ‘neighbourhood quarter’ at historic Acre House and its overgrown grounds in north Glasgow have been given the go-ahead.
City planners have approved an application allowing five homes to be created in the grade C-listed main house and in a new mews building, and four blocks containing 64 flats to be built.
Acre House, at Acre Road, off Maryhill Road, was built around 1860 as a private residence and was once a convent. Most recently the property was owned and used by Glasgow University as student accommodation.
The building has been empty since 2004 and has suffered numerous break-ins, vandalism and several fires which have destroyed the roof and entire interior layout. Only the external walls remain in place.
The development will include Acre House being converted into three dwellings. The stables/coach house will be demolished, and replaced with a modern mews building containing two houses.
Of the 320 surveyed trees on site, 93 would be felled to accommodate the development, and a further 44 are in poor condition are recommended to be removed. The landscaping proposals includes planting of 74 new trees.
Officials stated in their decision report: “The existing listed buildings sit within a mature woodland setting which contributes greatly to its special historic character. The main house would be refurbished, and the proposed development acknowledges the special character of the site, and its development constraints.
“The development results in some loss of mature trees on site, but includes replanting proposals, and the structure and character of the woodland tree belts are retained. The replacement mews building is sensitive to the design and materials of the original building.
“By virtue of their scale, massing and placement within the site, the four proposed flatted blocks do not dominate the main house, and are not considered to negatively impact on the special setting and appreciation of the building.”
A statement submitted by Mosaic Architecture and Design explained: “The concept is focused on the design of a new neighbourhood quarter which sensitively blends new with old and opens up to the existing community of Acre in Maryhill.
“Our client aims to deliver a unique, low-energy, high-quality, residential development that will support, connect, and reinforce the existing small close-knit community of Acre.
“This development aspires to deliver quality architecture and urban design that will bring new families to the area and establish new connections to the surrounding communities.”
The statement continued: “Acre House makes an important contribution to the character of the area, but the dereliction and abandonment of the property and grounds has had an adverse impact on the amenity of the surrounding streets.
“Our proposal seeks to retain as much of the existing heritage structures that is safe to do so and the development represents the best chance of protecting and minimising the adverse impact on Acre House.
“By retaining and restoring Acre House, we will create a sense of place which points to the Victorian past whilst providing new, high quality homes.”
There will be a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom properties.