Residents raise concerns over Finnieston planning application

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Finnieston residents have raised concerns that an architect designing  flats on Argyle Street wanted to “try and change an objectors mind” so plans didn’t go before councillors for a decision. 

Emails exclusively leaked to the local democracy reporting service, show that Elder & Cannon Architects asked Glasgow City Council if they could ask a person what would “address their concern enough to remove any objection.”

Elder & Cannon had re-submitted a planning application for 14 new flats at 1017 Argyle Street, including two ground floor commercial units and amenity decking to the back of the property.

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The bid was lodged with the local authority’s planning department after a planning application was previously refused in November 22.

The proposed development would fill the gap next to an active railway line.

But emails, originally obtained through an FOI request and passed onto the LDRS, show discussions between Glasgow City Council and the architect who submitted the plans on behalf of  applicants HJV Consultants Ltd.

During the initial public consultation period six objections were made – meaning proposals would have to be presented at a planning committee rather than being decided by officers.

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An email from Glasgow City Council informed Elder & Cannon that the application had six objections and would have to go to committee.

One objection in particular said that “the reworking of this scheme had resulted in substantial improvements” but they “continued to object to the enhanced juliette balconies.”

An Elder & Cannon  representative wrote to the council : “Is there still any route to go back to the person making this comment to find out what would address their concern enough for them to remove any objection to the detailed design of the balustrades.

“And if so could we get down to five recorded objections and back to the delegated powers?”

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Describing it as a seeming attempt to “sneak” the application through,  campaigner, Frank McCallum, 70, said: “An email from an Elder & Cannon employee goes so far as to suggest that one of the objectors might be approached to change his mind to stop the number of objections reaching the point where the plans would have to go before committee for scrutiny.”

Commenting on the  application, he said: “The planning committee will have to decide if the proposed changes go far enough to address their previous concerns that the building would be an incongruous addition to the local conservation area.

“Hopefully they will also look at the effect it would have on existing residents in Argyle Street and Minerva Street.

“They might also want to question why there has been such an extensive catalogue of irregularities surrounding applications for this ground including a missing noise and vibration survey in respect of the nearby railway.

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Since the proposals were uploaded to the council’s planning portal, they have attracted more  criticism from Finnieston residents who claim they are not a suitable design for a conservation area.

They are also worried that the scale of the building – believed to be six storeys high – is too large and the decking to the rear of the property will infringe on people’s privacy in the already existing tenement blocks.

Proposals for the site can be viewed on the council’s website but a date has not yet been set for when it will go before committee. 

Elder & Cannon have been approached for comment. 

Glasgow City Council was also approached who confirmed the application was live and was going through the planning process.

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