PLANNERS ‘Reluctantly’ Say Listed Building Can Be Lost To Make Way For Flats

17 February, 2022 | Residential, Listed / Historic Buildings

A PLAN to demolish a listed building and build housing association flats near the Forth and Clyde Canal at Anniesland is being recommended for approval by city officials.

A joint planning application has been lodged by CCG (Scotland) Ltd, Partick Housing Association and Hanover Scotland to transform a site between Bearsden Road and Crow Road is due to be considered by councillors on Tuesday.

The proposals include demolition of the former Temple Hills Sawmill offices, which operated from the site in the 1930s. The building — some of which is C-listed — was later the Canal Bar and Restaurant but has been vacant since 2005.

The development would have 46 two-bedroom affordable flats spread across two blocks.

Forty-two objections were received including one from the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland.

A report by Glasgow planning officers states: “Our starting position as a local authority is always that listed buildings should not be demolished if they can be retained in any way.

“Whilst that was the initial position we took with this proposal, as did Historic Environment Scotland, the updated information received in July 2021 satisfied the City Design’s heritage staff, Building Standards structural staff and Historic Environmental Scotland that the structural damage to the building was now so significant that parts of the structure were not salvageable and would have to come down.

“We then asked the applicant to investigate partial retention of the listed building and that exercise made it clear that the costs of trying to rebuild the listed building (particularly the western elevation) and integrate it into a new development would not be economically viable.

“We also considered the issue of what special interest would be retained were the building to be rebuilt and incorporated into a block of flats and whether a facsimile of the original structure subsumed into a contemporary building would be a satisfactory outcome for the extra resources and financing that would necessarily be involved.

“Following all that, we reluctantly concluded that the demolition of the Category C listed building met the tests in both the Development Plan and within local and national heritage guidance.”

The report continues: “The residential proposal to replace that building is appropriate in scale, density and locational terms and meets the aims of Local Development Plan policy.

“In addition to delivering new housing stock for two registered social landlords on a site identified in the council’s housing strategy, the proposals will also see the improvement of the ramp up to Bearsden Road and provide buildings of a contemporary tenemental scale at a key crossing point over the Forth and Clyde Canal.

A statement submitted by the applicants explains: “The subjects have been extensively and professionally marketed by [owners, leisure and property company] G1 Group within the period since 2005.

“They have failed, however, to take receipt of a single legal offer for the property under constraints imposed by the (part) listing of the building, the fabric condition and infrastructure contained within the site — this includes charged Scottish Water mains which compromises both the insurability of the existing structure and any new build beyond.

“The buildings have more recently been the subject of a detailed feasibility study financed by Glasgow City Council and instructed by Partick HA. A draft feasibility study considered retention, conversion, façade retention and redevelopment of the site and buildings.

“The feasibility study and the full suite of associated documentation arising therefrom stands in support of the planning application and listed building consent application.”

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