reGlasgow

DEVELOPMENT Of West End Site Moves Step Closer With Demolition Appeal Win

A DECISION by Glasgow City Council to refuse permission for demolition of a building in the West End has been overturned on appeal.

Rossweir Ltd wants to build flats at Fergus Drive and Wilton Street, near Queen Margaret Drive, but had its application to knock down the existing structure — which is in a conservation area — rejected. (The flats proposal was also refused and is subject of a separate appeal yet to be determined.)

City officials said the building has a neutral impact on the Glasgow West Conservation Area and it had not been demonstrated that it is “incapable of viable repair and reuse”. They also said there would be loss of broadleaf trees which “contribute positively to the landscape character and visual amenity of the Conservation Area”.

Rossweir Ltd appealed to the Scottish Government whose expert decided that demolition can take place but only when planning permission has been granted for a new development on the site.

In his report, Government planning report Steve Field states that the existing building “appears incongruous” but “is not an eyesore”. He continues: “It is unprepossessing and utilitarian in appearance. I do not consider that it makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area.

“The council considers that the building has a neutral impact on the character of the conservation area. I believe this to be a fair assessment of its environmental value.

He adds: “Having found that the building at 127 Fergus Drive does not make a positive contribution, there is no presumption in terms of national policy that it should be retained.”

Mr Field also states: “The trees on the site, particularly the two mature limes and two mature sycamores on the south-west boundary make a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area.

“Consequently, I find that they should be protected from damage during demolition, with any tree work, if appropriate, only being sanctioned in connection with future development proposals.

“The view I formed on my site inspection is that the building could be demolished without any impact on the adjoining vegetation.”

Rossview Ltd’s appeal over refusal for 19 flats will be considered by councillors on Glasgow’s planning local review body.

Mr Field said: “Whilst I take no view on the merits or otherwise of the current planning application, I consider that appropriate redevelopment of the site in some form in the foreseeable future is likely to be achievable.”

The flats proposal for the site which was refused and is now subject of an appeal.