A PLAN for a massive hotel on a Merchant City gap site has been withdrawn. The proposal had attracted numerous objections from residents and a local MSP.
Merchant Hotel Glasgow Ltd had applied for an eight-floor 396-bed development on land bounded by Candleriggs, Ingram Street and Albion Street. It was to feature gathering spaces, bars/restaurants and co-working spaces.
In 2008, planning permission was given for a 200-bed, six and four-storey hotel at the site although it did not proceed. The land has been vacant for 50 years and is currently used as a car park.
No explanation for the applicant withdrawing the proposal is given in planning documents. It is not clear if a revised plan will be submitted.
Many residents from nearby flats had lodged objections raising concerns over the size of the buildings and loss of privacy, daylight and open space.
Merchant City and Trongate Community Council was also opposed, citing the “excessive size and height” of the building compared with neighbouring listed buildings.
An official objection from Sandra White MSP stated: “Considering the historical significance of Candleriggs and this part of Glasgow, I am surprised that a property development of this scale and ambition has failed to provide an artist impression of its inclusion in the local setting.”
She said this meant the wider public was unable to form a full view of the project and it left the impression the applicant was “trying to hide its impact.”
She feared the structure would dominate the skyline of Merchant City. The MSP added the site should instead be considered for a public square or green space.
A document submitted with the application had stated: “The proposal seeks to introduce a vibrant ‘Urban Village’ destination hotel use to this part of the Merchant City.”
It continued: “The proposal seeks to bring this long-term vacant, brownfield site within the City Centre back into viable use thereby contributing to the on-going regeneration of the Merchant City and the vibrancy of the City Centre.”