FINAL plans for a major mixed-use city centre development have been approved, including a 20-storey tower that will now house rental flats and not student accommodation.
Glasgow City planners agreed to revised drawings and changing the use of the high-rise building at the Love Loan development which involves much of the block bounded by Martha Street, John Street, North Frederick Street and George Street.
Instead of a 272-room student housing complex, there will be a 136-flat build-to-rent block on Martha Street, with a mixture of studios, one and two-bedroom units.
Other aspects of Love Loan include an 11-storey hotel nearing completion on the George Street / John Street corner.
The A-listed former Parish Halls building next door at 266 George Street is being incorporated into the hotel which will have 246 beds.
The B-listed Inland Revenue building at 280 George Street is to house 12 flats.
A three-storey building to the rear of the Parish Halls is being converted to offices.
There will be ground floor commercial space across the site.
An east-west lane linking North Frederirck Street and John Street, fronted by new ground floor commercial, retail, leisure and food/drink uses.
A public plaza will be provided into front of the build-to-rent complex.
A report issued by planners in 2017 when the development was originally approved stated: “The design of the new buildings relates successfully to that of the existing buildings helping to convincingly repair the character of the conservation area across this city centre block.
“In adapting the language the applicant presents a modern interpretation rooted firmly in the character of the place, without pastiche of the existing buildings.
It continued: “The proposal will preserve and enhance the character of this part of the conservation area and bring important listed buildings back into use safeguarding their future.
“The redevelopment will regenerate an important part of the north of the city centre that has been underutilised in recent years, redefining the city block in light of the blight caused by the railway tunnel underneath the site, reconnecting the block back into the network of city centre streets and connecting George Square with the quarter of Strathclyde University.
“The 24-hour nature of the proposal will bring vitality and vibrancy to a part of the city centre that usually closes down after office and university hours. The extra footfall and residential population will make this part of the city centre feel safer.
“The regeneration of the block will create significant construction and full-time job opportunities and will ultimately add to the economy of the city centre.”
A statement submitted on behalf of the applicant asserted: “The proposed variation of the conditions arising from the floorspace, use and elevation amendments across the site do not warrant a departure from the conclusions reached in relation to the extant consent.”