OTAGO Lane Flats Plan Can Go Ahead After Appeal Succeeds

9 May, 2023 | News

A DEVELOPER has won its appeal against refusal of permission for revised plans to develop land beside the River Kelvin at Otago Lane in Glasgow’s West End.

The application by Queensberry Properties for 49 apartments in three six and seven-storey blocks was rejected by planners in 2021.

The proposal, which attracted more than 750 objections, aimed to improve on a similarly controversial plan for 45 flats and four townhouses for which planning consent was granted in 2016.

Documents included with the revised proposal stated there were ‘buildability’ issues with the first scheme although permission for it remained in place.

Queensberry’s appeal was considered by councillors on Glasgow’s local review committee today, They voted 6:3 in favour of approving the application.

Otago Lane
How Otago Lane would look under the proposal

The decision report by officials regarding the application had stated: “The basic question is whether the proposal would unacceptably affect the amenity and existing use of land and buildings which ought to be protected in the public interest.

“In this case, there are various issues concerning daylight, sunlight, privacy, waste and recycling storage and collection.

“Due to their cumulative effect, it is considered that the proposed development would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring residential properties.

“Therefore, it would not deliver the high quality of design required to preserve and enhance the character of the Glasgow West Conservation Area.”

The developer’s appeal statement had argued: “It is considered that the reasons for refusal have been addressed by the submission of technical information which accompanied the planning application or could be satisfactorily addressed by a suitably worded planning condition.”

A statement by JM Architects that was submitted with the most recent application explained: “There has been a previous consent on the site and one of the key objectives has been to improve on that in terms of the area of accessible public realm by providing routes and viewing points over the River Kelvin.

“The development also provides the opportunity to consolidate and improve the existing green corridor along the river edge and therefore secure its habitat, environmental and visual benefits.

“Sitting behind the 15-metre contour of the river bank and above the flood plain, the architectural character of the proposed blocks aims to fit with the existing tenemental and warehouse architecture that occurs between Gibson Street and Kelvinbridge.”

The statement pointed out that in the controversial earlier application, two of the blocks were to be located on the river’s edge and would no longer satisfy current flood risk requirements.

It added that the location of those blocks raised ‘buildabilty’ issues on the sloping site and that the landscaped area with path to the river edge would “no longer be considered appropriate as it would be too disruptive to the wildlife in the green corridor”.

The new planning application aimed to address these issues by moving the buildings away from the river bank and creating a more substantial, bio-diverse green corridor.

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