Tensions flare up as work begins on development
TENSIONS have flared as work begins on a controversial West End housing development.
City developer Hugh Scott is currently in the process of building four townhouses and 45 flats on a site in Otago Lane.
Residents who are opposed to the plans claim that the development is threatening their jobs and safety.
Otago Lane Community Association has said that concrete anti-tank barriers installed are restricting customers and residents from entering the area.
A spokesman for the group claimed that people, including several children under five-years-old, have been prevented from accessing the lane, making it both dangerous and congested. They also said emergency vehicles had difficulty accessing the site.
They added: “Council rubbish removal lorries were not able to remove the waste from any of the flats on Otago Lane and even the neighbouring Otago Street residential properties which Mr Scott actually owns. At a time when the UK is still reeling from the effects of the Grenfell disaster, the health and safety and environmental health consequences are almost too serious to contemplate. The community fears that this is indeed just the start, and much worse is to come.”
A three-year battle was waged between local residents, businesses and politicians and Scott’s Otago Street Development following plans being lodged.
An ‘anti-flats’ petition was signed by more than 3,500 people with more than 600 individual objections. Despite the backlash, Glasgow City Council approved the plans in 2012.
The community association added: “It transgresses almost every planning policy that was designed by Glasgow City Council to protect the historic nature and natural environment of the city.
“The ambitious and unsympathetic building project which was granted approval, in spite of massive public protest and clear grounds for its rejection by the planning committee, will effectively spell the end of the Kelvin River Wildlife Corridor, vital to provide cognate habitat for such rare species as bats and otters.
“In addition the livelihoods of up to 30 workers on the lane’s iconic artisan businesses – Voltaire and Rousseau, Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, Mixed Up Records and Kenneth Chappelle Clock Restorer – are at risk due to to the length and disturbance of construction (up to two years).”
Fears have previously been raised about privacy, daylight, overcrowding and flooding issues.
They have also objected to the design and scale of the development.
Hugh Scott did not respond to the Evening Times’ request for a comment.