STU­DENT FLATS U-TURN SAVES HISTORIC BAR

Fresh £40m plan un­veiled for High Street site

Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY STACEY MULLEN

ONE of the city’s most historic pubs has been saved after con­tro­ver­sial plans to build stu­dent flats were scrapped.

The Old Col­lege Bar will now be re­tained as part of re­vised £40m pro­pos­als for pri­vate homes on the High Street site.

CON­TRO­VER­SIAL plans to build stu­dent flats near the Mer­chant City have been scrapped – safe­guard­ing a historic Glas­gow pub.

The pro­pos­als, first un­veiled in March, sparked a fierce re­ac­tion from politi­cians, who said such de­vel­op­ments were “swamp­ing” the city.

How­ever, re­vised £40mil­lion plans have been re­vealed for res­i­den­tial flats for let on the site at the cor­ner of High Street and Ge­orge Street, which in­clude the re­ten­tion of the Old Col­lege Bar – thought to be one of the city’s old­est pubs.

The new plan has been put for­ward by Glas­gow-based de­vel­op­ers Struc­tured House Group in re­sponse to feed­back on the ini­tial plans, and is ex­pected to cre­ate around 500 jobs.

Mer­chant Res­i­den­tial will in­clude a mix of of­fice and re­tail space as well as pri­vate-rental apart­ments. The com­pany has lodged a Pro­posal of Ap­pli­ca­tion No­tice for the site and a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion event will be held on June 14 seek­ing the views of res­i­dents and neigh­bour­ing busi­nesses.

Craig Inglis, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Struc­tured House Group, said: “Our pro­pos­als and am­bi­tions con­tinue to be to re­ju­ve­nate the cor­ner into Mer­chant City and to con­vert what has been a di­lap­i­dated site into a gate­way to the city.”

Mean­while, plans have been un­veiled to build a 14-storey ho­tel with hun­dreds of stu­dent rooms on the site of the former STV of­fices in the city cen­tre.

One of Ire­land’s big­gest hote­liers, The Dalata Ho­tel Group is be­hind the plan to de­velop the gap site at the junc­tion of Ren­frew Street and Ren­field Street.

The firm has for­mally ap­plied to Glas­gow City Coun­cil for plan­ning per­mis­sion to build the 300-bed­room four-star ho­tel.

The plans sub­mit­ted in­clude a pur­pose-build stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion block, of­fer­ing 446 one-bed stu­dent units across 12 of the 14 floors.

The plan­ning state­ment said park­ing pro­vi­sion will be not be con­sid­ered for the de­vel­op­ment. A drop-off point is, how­ever, in­cluded in the plans.

Over the years there have been sev­eral at­tempts to de­velop the site as part of the Broad­way mas­ter­plan, which has led to the ad­di­tion of the Ci­ti­zenM Ho­tel and of­fices now oc­cu­pied by Tesco Bank.

The plan­ning state­ment read: “The pro­posed de­vel­op­ment is ap­pro­pri­ate and com­pli­ant with plan­ning pol­icy and there­fore should be ap­proved in or­der to fill this city cen­tre gap site and com­plete the Broad­way jig­saw.”

San­dra White, Glas­gow MSP, wel­comed the pro­pos­als for the ho­tel, but added that more stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion was the last thing the city cen­tre needs. She said: “I am ap­palled at the amount of pri­vate stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion which has sat­u­rated the city cen­tre area par­tic­u­larly in such a pres­ti­gious area.

“We are call­ing out for ho­tels and yet we are giv­ing th­ese pieces of land over for more stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion which is be­com­ing sat­u­rated.”

She added: “The ho­tel is wel­comed. I know we need more ho­tels in the city cen­tre but we are ab­so­lutely sat­u­rated with pri­vate stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion and need other al­ter­na­tives.”

A de­ci­sion is ex­pected on the plans by Oc­to­ber 4.

San­dra White, bot­tom right, wel­comed plans for the ho­tel, above, while the Old Col­lege Bar, be­low, is to be saved after pro­pos­als were re­vised

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