Bid to build hotel and flats next to Clyde approved, despite flooding fears

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Concerns that plans to create 1,100 flats and a hotel beside the Clyde are being partly built on a flood plain have been dismissed, despite fears they were “a red flag”.

The proposal for flats at Yorkhill Quay, made up of 500 for private rent, 400 for co-living and 200 for sale with commercial businesses on the ground floors, has been given outline approval by Glasgow Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

The hotel is set to have 200 rooms and there is also be a golf attraction and a river walkway for pedestrians and cyclists.

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Seeking reassurance that the site won’t come under water, Councillor Christy Mearns, Scottish Greens, said it is a “concern to hear that we are potentially building onto a flood plain”, and asked if potential buyers would be made aware of the issue.

The development site is next to the Clyde.The development site is next to the Clyde.
The development site is next to the Clyde.

An officer told councillors there have been months and months of discussions with SEPA and applicants Glasgow Harbour Ltd.

She explained there is a potential risk of the the lower car park flooding but it would be designed to withstand the danger and free drain. She also said the commercial units would have flood resilient measures with electricity wiring coming down from the ceiling rather than from the floor.

The planning official said a car would not be swept away and there would be no safety issues,

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Councillor Eva Bolander, SNP, described flooding issues as a “bit of a red flag.”

The officer told the meeting the development would “provide a new skyline along the river and would offer a substantial area of public amenity along the waterfront.

Councillor Bolander said: “I know these are conceptual buildings but if we are trying to create a new skyline I would like to see innovative architecture.

“I’m concerned it is square boxes mainly with possibly some nod to industrial heritage on the site.”

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Councillor Patricia Ferguson, Labour, said the height of the buildings seems to hinder the opportunity to “enjoy what is special about the Clyde” and could create a barrier as there is no connectivity making it easy for people to come through.

She added: “I think we should be looking at doing something more attractive and not so massive in architectural terms.”

She said she also has concerns about building on the flood plain.

Responding to councillor Ferguson’s comments, the officer said she thinks the development opens up access to the river.

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The officer said “landscaping has been used to lift buildings out of the flood plain” and only the car parking and commercial units sit in it.

Councillor Ferguson added: “I’m not sure it is even wise to have car parking on a flood plain.”

The officer said the an estimated likelihood of flooding would be a once in a 200 year event but mentioned it can vary from once in 400 years to once in 20 years.

SEPA had no objections to the proposal. There were nine objections submitted to the council.

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The majority of councillors agreed to grant planning permission in principle apart from Councillor Bolander who expressed her dissent.

Detailed designs for the plans require further planning permission.

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