A DEVELOPER is proposing complete demolition of a historic West End church, saying plans to retain the facade are no longer viable.
Wemyss Properties is proposing residential development at the site of the former Hillhead Baptist Church, at the junction of Cresswell Street and Cranworth Street.
The number of flats being considered is not stated but several designs have been drawn up.
The B-listed building has been vacated for about 20 years after the need for repairs meant it was no longer fit for purpose.
Wemyss Properties were selected as a development partner by the church in 2017 and planning permission to retain part of the façade and deliver 29 flats and facilities for the church and the wider community was achieved several years ago.
But the developer now says that the covid pandemic delayed progress over 2020-21, and the roof needed to be removed as an emergency measure because it was unstable.
Documentation on a consultation website regarding the new project states: “Recent condition surveys (March 2022 and June 2023) show that the building façade is now deteriorating more quickly than anticipated.
“Future repair work will be extensive and increasingly costly, compounded by the significant rise in construction costs and inflationary pressures.
“Given this situation, Wemyss Properties has inevitably had to subject its original assumptions to rigorous tests to determine the likely costs and viability of the project.
“An independent development consultant has reviewed all alternative uses (e.g. student accommodation, hotel) for the site to understand if they allow retention of the building’s façade, but unfortunately all options would generate significant financial losses.
“The unavoidable implication is that the demolition of the façade represents the only economically reasonable way forward. Based on this, the intention is to progress new proposals which no longer retain the façade.”
Wemyss Properties hope to submit a planning application to Glasgow City Council in November.