Glasgow Planning Committee grant approval for ‘bland and blocky’ flats in Glasgow’s Southside

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Councillors approved the plans for the block of flats, despite calling the design ‘a thing of no great beauty’

Plans to develop 50 “bland and blockey” style flats on a former car garage in Glasgow’s South Side have been given the green light by planning chiefs.

An application to build four one bedroom flats, 33 with two bedrooms and 13 three bedroom properties at 640 Pollokshaws Road on the site of the old Arnold Clark car dealership was brought before the planning committee this morning.

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The new five-storey block of flats, which was described as “needing more of a visual appeal” by some councillors, will be managed and maintained by the Southside Housing Association and will help meet the demand for affordable housing.

Included in the proposals are two close entrances on Pollokshaws Road and on Nithsdale Drive with bin and cycle storage inside the block.

The development is to be car-free.

During the meeting concerns were raised about the gold juliette balconies included as part of the design and that the materials used wouldn’t compliment the surrounding area.

Councillor Martha Wardrop said: “I was just looking at the colouring and material and how there is concern about how this building would sit alongside others. The colour of gold doesn’t really dominate anywhere else.

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“The other modern building is more grey so the colouring [of this] will have to sit alongside that steel structure. I wonder if we can look again at that and make sure the materials match the building that is already there please.”

The ‘bland and blocky’ flats will be built on Pollokshaws Road despite their controversial appearanceThe ‘bland and blocky’ flats will be built on Pollokshaws Road despite their controversial appearance
The ‘bland and blocky’ flats will be built on Pollokshaws Road despite their controversial appearance | Contributed

Chairman councillor Ken Andrew added: “I don’t think anybody likes the gold on the juliette balconies at all. It makes a bland appearance even blander because it melts back in.

“It is hard to see from this visualisations what this would look like in the flesh but I do wonder if we should be thinking of something more contrasting on the juliette balconies to actually give it some detail rather than have that very bland – prison like appearance on Nithsdale Road. It needs more of a visual appeal.”

A council officer confirmed that they could look to change the conditions of the materials and colour palette for the windows and railings.

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Councillor Andrew continued: “On balance, we have a need for more affordable housing. I think what is there on the site, which was a commercial garage, was a thing of no great beauty.

“Notwithstanding, we want to grant applications for good quality buildings. There are some things that could have been designed better. It is very blocky but I am happy to recommend approval.”

Councillor Maureen Burke added: “I agree with quite a lot of the comments that have been made but I certainly want to support this because we do have a shortage of housing across the city.

“I know that cosmetically we need to get it right as well as making sure we get affordable homes for people who need it at this moment in time. I think adding a condition about the juliette balcony is certainly a request I would make as we don’t want tackiness in amongst lovely buildings going up.

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“I know that it is a block style of building but I want to support it as it is very much needed.”

Members agreed that all external colours of the new building will be submitted and approved prior to implementation. The application was approved unanimously.

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