Growing Glasgow: Plans to demolish former bank on Trongate to create over 170 student flats approved

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Plans to demolish a former city centre bank and a bar to build 173 student flats have been approved.

Caledon Properties Ltd initially got permission to build a hotel on the site, at the corner of Trongate and Hutcheson Street, but have changed the proposal to student accommodation.

Council officials recommended the new scheme should be given the green light when the city’s planning committee met on Tuesday.

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The developers will now demolish ground floor retail units, including a former Royal Bank of Scotland and the Oriental Bar, and build a block of student flats rising to 11-storeys.

Documents submitted by the applicant state the development would “create a high-quality purpose built student accommodation scheme”, which would “make a positive contribution to the character and viability of the local area”.

The project also includes a cafe which would be open to the public.

All 173 apartments would be one-bed studios. The building would have a games room, private dining and study rooms, a yoga studio, gym and lounge areas.

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Council planners have reported it has been concluded that “demolition of the existing buildings on site would facilitate the redevelopment of the site with a more sustainable building”.

They added the proposal would “bring residents, activity and increased footfall to the area whilst delivering investment and employment opportunity to the community”. 

“The proposal would also utilise an existing long term vacant building, bringing the site back into active use through the development of a sympathetic but modern building.”

Caledon Properties Ltd want consent to use the development as short-stay accommodation outwith term time. Officials have reported the use is “suitable” and recommend a legal agreement to “ensure the proposed development remains in use principally as student accommodation”.

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In a statement from the developers, they have said the upper floor offices have been “vacant for some time” and the ground floor retail units have “spent a large amount of time vacant and on short-term lets”.

They added: “A new building in this location will help contribute towards improved social cohesion which will have economic benefits for the Trongate area and the wider context of Glasgow. 

“This building will be an asset to the city and could become a catalyst for more development along the Trongate.”

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