SNP Glasgow manifesto pledge would see fewer buildings demolished

A ban on the demolition of buildings in Glasgow and tighter restrictions on short term lets are among the promises in the SNP’s election manifesto for the city.
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The party launched a 98 page document outlining pledges if they once again win control of the council on May 5.

The nationalist group, who are fielding 50 candidates, say they will introduce a new stricter licensing scheme for short-term lets as well as introduce a ‘built heritage commission’ to better protect old buildings.

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Among a broad range of policies, the manifesto promises to “introduce a presumption in favour of refurbishment and retrofitting rather than demolition of existing buildings.”

It would mean current properties would remain standing and get a makeover unless there is no alternative as the carbon intensive process of knocking them down damages the environment.

The SNP want fewer Glasgow buildings demolished.The SNP want fewer Glasgow buildings demolished.
The SNP want fewer Glasgow buildings demolished.

Commenting on the proposal SNP councillor Angus Millar said: “We are moving away from the demolition and rebuilding model. As far as possible we want to promote the reuse of buildings.”

There was outcry on social media after a listed Art Deco building in Bearsden Road recently got permission to be torn down to make way for flats.

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Councillor Millar said the party has aspirations for tackling climate change and increasing the number of affordable homes and the forthcoming new city development plan will offer the opportunity to tackle those issues.

Modern buildings would also be more likely to be saved and could be altered to make them more attractive according to Councillor Millar.

A proposal for a built heritage commission has also been put forward in the manifesto. It said the commission would draw on “independent expertise to help inform policy responses and advocate for powers and resources to protect the city’s built heritage.”

Summing up the manifesto, which was launched on Saturday, Councillor Millar said: “It really is a comprehensive document. We wanted to set out the achievements over the last five years. And we have set out our plans and aspirations for the future.”

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Tighter restrictions on short term lets in the city, which includes Airbnbs, have also been put forward.

The manifesto laid out a proposal to “introduce a new licensing scheme for short term lets and declare a planning short term let control area to cover the city.”

The Anderston, City and Yorkhill politician said: “The practice of turning whole flats into short term lets can have a real impact on neighbouring permanent residents and removes properties from the local housing supply. Planning policy in Glasgow already prevents flats in the same close as mainstream properties from being granted planning permission, but new powers from the Scottish Government could allow us to strengthen the protections we put in place for local communities.

“Glasgow SNP is committed to introducing a licensing scheme for short term lets that makes having appropriate planning permission a requirement of gaining a licence, and we will make use of new planning powers to confirm that planning permission is always needed to convert a flat into a short term let, with conditions to protect residents against the impact of short term lets on their communities.”

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