STUDENT FLATS U-TURN SAVES HISTORIC BAR
Fresh £40m plan unveiled for High Street site
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