Over 430 student flats planned for former Scottish Television site in Glasgow city centre

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Over 430 student flats could be built at the former home of STV as a new plan aims to complete the redevelopment of a city centre site.

ES Renfield Ltd, part of McAleer & Rushe Property, has asked Glasgow City Council for permission to create student accommodation at the corner of Renfrew Street and Renfield Street.

It would be the “final part” of the regeneration of a “city block” which has included the construction of the Citizen M Hotel and Maldron Hotel as well as a revamp of the Theatre Royal.

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Previously used by Scottish Television, the site had been earmarked for offices by the developers but, according to the new application, there was “no tangible occupier interest”.

Under the proposal, there would be 432 student apartments in a 16-storey development as well as a lounge, private dining space, cinema, bar, gym, TV lounge and study zone. Social areas are also planned on the rooftop, with plans showing communal terraces, a garden and a “biodiversity green roof”.

“The applicant’s priority is to create an environment that encourages wellbeing for the residents and respects the local community and neighbours,” the application stated.

It added: “The proposed development will form the final part of the redevelopment of this entire city block. The site is currently a vacant brownfield site, enclosed by a temporary security fence.”

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Almost 450 student flats had been included in an initial proposal which eventually led to the construction of the Maldron Hotel. However, the plan was withdrawn after talks with council planners and a revised hotel-only scheme was submitted, with the hotel completed in 2021.

Consent for an 11-storey office building on the site was approved in late 2019 but “will not be implemented due to changing office market and viability considerations”. The developers reported an “active marketing process” found “no tangible occupier interest”.

They have also submitted a report which concluded the “proposed development will help meet housing needs from the 77,640 full-time students living in Glasgow”.

“There is a clear undersupply of student accommodation in Glasgow and strong demand for additional bed spaces,” the application added. “The application site offers an opportunity to provide professionally managed student housing at the right location, which will benefit from ongoing regeneration in the local area.”

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Scottish Television used the site from 1974 until 2006 when, newly rebranded as STV, it moved to its current base at Pacific Quay, alongside the BBC Scotland headquarters. After the move, the site, with the exception of an extension which then contained The Herald and Glasgow Evening Times newspapers, was demolished and redeveloped.

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