Decision to turn listed Wright and Greig Ltd distillers building into 182 new flats due next month

A decision on plans to demolish most of a Glasgow distillery and build 182 flats in the city centre is expected to be made next month.

Council planners believe Liverpool-based firm Brickland’s bid to develop a site which includes the former home of Wright and Greig Ltd distillers on Waterloo Street should be refused.

They say a 24-storey tower included in the plans is “excessive” and would “unacceptably impact” on the Glasgow Central conservation area.

But, at a meeting in November, councillors decided to give the developer an opportunity to argue its case and voted in favour of a hearing, which is set to be held on January 11.

Brickland wants to knock down unlisted buildings at 70-72 Waterloo Street and “substantially demolish” the B-listed distillers building.

The developer would retain “approximately the front third” and the facade of the listed building, creating six flats alongside the new 24-storey tower.

In a report, council planners said that although there was permission for a tall building on the site, the current plan was “excessive in scale” and would not accord with rules which mean “special attention” must be given to “preserving or enhancing the character of appearance” of conservation areas.

They added some of the proposed flats would have an “undesirable” aspect onto flanking buildings, impacting on residential amenity of occupants.

Planners also believe a proposed residents’ lounge and cafe for residents and the general public would “detrimentally affect the amenity value of the space”.

Brickland had requested the hearing and in the company’s application to the council, it claimed the distillers building is “underutilised and requires significant investment”.

It added: “When combined with the adjacent 70-72 building, the site provides a significant opportunity to create a new best in class residential-led mixed use scheme to serve the Glasgow city centre market, whilst retaining and enhancing the historic assets of the distillers building, which contributes to its uniqueness.”

There were 13 objections to the proposal and nine letters of support. Blythswood and Broomielaw Community Council was “delighted” to see plans for homes, but said the building “does not fit the locale” and described the height as “inappropriate”.

At the meeting on January 11, councillors are set to decide whether to grant planning permission, listed building consent and conservation area consent.

During the previous planning meeting, Cllr Martin McElroy supported a hearing, saying he didn’t want to pre-judge any outcome.

“There are a number of potential policy issues which need to be debated by the committee if we are ever going to achieve some of the strategic aims that the city wants to see, including doubling the population of the city centre.”

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