NEW Studio Flats Scheme Can Be Built At Historic Site

4 June, 2024 | Listed / Historic Buildings

PERMISSION has been given for a city centre residential development that involves demolishing a B-listed building but keeping its facades.

City councillors agreed that a complex containing 71 rental units — most of them studios — can be built at 520 Sauchiehall Street.

The site includes a vacant plot, formerly occupied by The National Bank of Pakistan which was demolished in 2008, and a two-storey, late 19th century B-listed building which extends from Sauchiehall Street to Renfrew Street. It has lain vacant for more than 10 years and was previously used as a bar/nightclub.

The listed building would be demolished but the listed facades on both Sauchiehall Street and Renfrew Street would be kept.

Planning officials had recommended approval of the application and their report explained: “Though the application under consideration was submitted in 2021, there has been delay in progressing the decision due to concern regarding previous iterations of the scale and massing presented.

“Consequently, the proposal has been through a process of revision to gain an appropriate form that responds to the townscape and heritage context of the site, whilst presenting a viable development scheme.

“As originally submitted, the proposal sought consent to deliver 87 units within a 14-storey building. The revised proposal now seeks to deliver 71 units, with an eight-storey building presented to Sauchiehall Street, and six storeys from ground level on Renfrew Street.

Most of the accommodation would be studio apartments of varying sizes, although there would be two duplex apartments, and three one-bedroom flats. There would be a central courtyards and ground floor commercial space is also provided.

A number of the units are considered to fall within ‘co-living’ thresholds, which offer social living space with shared amenity facilities for residents under a single management arrangement.

The report continues: “The development has been designed to retain the historic facades of the listed building, preserving their special interest and the positive contribution these make to the Central Conservation Area. The facades will be repaired where necessary and integrated into the proposal to create distinctive entrances to the accommodation.

“The structural condition of the brickwork throughout the building is generally considered to be poor. A new-build scheme, incorporating the listed facades, is therefore appropriate to ensure an optimal residential density is delivered on the city centre site.”

Planners state: “The existing site fails to deliver a contribution to the community, having been vacant for a significant period and now detracting from the appearance of the street scene.

“The proposal would retain and restore the existing facades and deliver an appropriate density of city centre accommodation to support the diversification and regeneration of Sauchiehall Street and the surrounding area.

“In addition, the provision of commercial space at ground floor would deliver an active use to the street scene to the benefit of the community and local economy.”

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