PERMISSION Refused For Transformation Of City Centre M&S Site

28 November, 2023 | Student Accommodation

How the development was expected to look

CITY councillors have narrowly voted against proposals for a massive student accommodation development at the former Marks and Spencer site on Sauchiehall Street.

Glasgow’s planning applications committee today refused permission for a complex with around 630 student rooms plus commercial units, although council officials had recommended that it be approved.

The current building, which has been vacant since April 2022, was to have been demolished, apart from the 1930s facade.

The replacement structure was to have been of various heights, ranging from five to 18 storeys.

The committee voted 5:5, with the chair making their casting vote against.

Main reasons given by the councillors who opposed were:

  • Impact on the conservation area, with particular regard to views
  • Lack of mixed tenure accomodation in the proposed development
  • Over-concentration of student accommodation in the local area

The applicant can appeal over the refusal.

How the Renfrew Street side of the development was expected to look

Planning officials were favour of the development, stating in their report: “If implemented, the proposal will deliver economic development benefits within the city centre through investment in the built fabric, increased population, and the creation of employment opportunities.

“This would also assist in delivering alternative uses in the Sauchiehall Street area –- being a strategic priority to ensure the vitality of the city centre.

“The proposed use is appropriate to the city centre environment and will encourage footfall and activity within the neighbourhood.

“The proposed scheme would deliver an additional 633 rooms to the Glasgow student accommodation offer. Given the demand for accommodation, it will not lead to an over-supply, but would rather assist in addressing the crucial shortfall issues within the student accommodation market.”

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