Current building at 127 Fergus Drive
There is a proposal seeking planning consent from Glasgow City Council to demolish the existing two storey building and for a seven storey apart-hotel to take its place at 127 Fergus Drive. The planning reference number is 17/00985/DC and the closing date for comments is 9th June 2017. I have attended several community meetings to discuss this proposal and to hear the views of residents in the last two weeks. There are a wide range of reasons why this proposal is unacceptable to the local community including;
Pressure on limited local on street parking: Given the already overloaded “uncontrolled parking zone” surrounding the site, and no way to prevent short-stay residents bringing a car - it is completely unacceptable to disadvantage local residents by creating additional pressure. In heavily tenemental areas like this, the night-time pressures are high, which would coincide with peak demand from the proposed development. A Restricted Parking Zone would be the only way to control this conflict, but none exists. Also no mention is made of addressing staff parking needs. Whilst it is expected that Student Accommodation can prevent students bringing cars, an Apart-Hotel cannot.
The proposed new build would be seven full storeys. The Design Statement refers to the modern blocks as "six storeys", but they are actually seven. The tenements opposite are four storey. In terms of scale, the modern blocks in Wilton Street and Fergus Drive are designed to fit better within the streetscape than the proposed new development.
Arrangements for Deliveries /Servicing other than Waste are not mentioned. Large vehicles would find difficulty and cause road safety issues and dangers to local residents in reaching Fergus Drive entrance due to the one-way system.
In terms of materials, the glassfibre concrete panels, even if they are coloured 'sandstone', are not acceptable for this area within the Glasgow West Conservation Area; the finish, especially for a building that would be so over-dominant, must be stone.
The Lantern of huge, elevated glass structure may be considered suitable by daylight, but must not be used as a “beacon” in the dark.
The scale of the plan for Queen Margaret Drive and Fergus Drive is a significant concern. The Apart-hotel will loom over the buildings in these streets. It is even higher than the modern blocks which are further up the hill; a new development could reasonably be the same physical height as these, but of course would be visually lower as it steps down the hill. It also looms above the tenements across the street in Fergus Drive, taking its parapet or wall head height from the roof ridge of the tenement. This is invisible from the street, rather than the wall head height of the tenement. Further east, as it goes up the hill, it ignores even that and rises away above the roof ridge of the tenement.
The scale of the plan within Wilton Street is not appropriate, as this is where it will tower over the neighbouring two-storey B Listed villas.
It will result in the loss of Mature trees, unlike other buildings the gables of the proposed development extend to the back of the pavement. These trees are an essential feature of the much-loved “leafy west end” character, and healthy for the city.
Further details at:
UPDATE ON 18TH JUNE 2017:
Please note the closing date for objections has been extended. The new deadline for submission of comments is 30th June 2017.