At risk Glasgow city centre building set to become serviced apartments

Empty offices in an at-risk listed Glasgow city centre building can be converted into 96 serviced apartments, council planners have decided.

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Permission has been granted to turn the upper floors at 55 West Regent Street, part of Castle Chambers, into one bedroom and studio flats.

A roof extension can also be created, with three additional storeys planned to the rear of the property.

The offices, above bar Cova and fast food restaurant Bistro, have been empty for around 25 years and the B-listed building’s condition has deteriorated. It has been on the Buildings at Risk register since 2000.

The applicant, Surjit Chowdhary, has secured permission for the “refurbishment, regeneration and extension” of the listed building.

The at risk building on West Regent Street.The at risk building on West Regent Street.
The at risk building on West Regent Street.

His plans revealed: “The application seeks to convert the currently vacant floors of the building into a development of modern serviced one bedroom apartments and studios.”

The properties, which will have access to a communal lounge on the seventh floor with “panoramic views over Glasgow city centre” are intended for the rental market.

Since the offices closed, the building has been in “steady decline”, the plans stated. “Little to no repair works have been carried out in this time which has led to its current condition and requirement for urgent renovation works to prevent further, irreversible damage.

“The basement and ground floor levels remain in use under normal conditions, all vacant levels above are in deteriorating condition. The highest levels are the most significantly damaged due to the poor condition of the roof.”

They added “extensive areas of plasterwork” will “require to be made good” and timber floor joists and floor boards have been affected by damp resulting in wet rot, dry rot and mould growth.

As well as the residents’ lounge on the seventh floor, there will be a gym and a terrace/balcony.

“The proposed reconfiguration of the roof fronting West Regent Street is motivated by a number of factors,” the application stated. “Primarily, the existing pitched roof structure condition has been compromised by water ingress resulting in wet rot and dry rot in sections, in particular at the junction of the existing parapet and valley gutters.

“Secondly, a reconfigured roof offers the opportunity to provide significant amenity space for the residents with a lounge, gym and balcony at high level providing maximum views across the city to the north and the south.”

The applicant claimed the roof reconfiguration would have a “minimal impact” on the listed building.

The building is within the block made up of 51-57 West Regent Street, known as Castle Chambers, the former headquarters of distillers and brewers Maclachlan & Co of Castle Brewery.

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