Properties on Glasgow’s High Street are to be demolished following the devastating impact of a fire in the building earlier this month.
Members of the city council were informed at a meeting on Thursday that 223 to 229 High Street would be torn down in the interest of public safety.
Nobody was injured as a result of the fire in the early hours of Tuesday, May 4, but police appealed for witnesses to help in their investigation.
Green group councillor Jon Molyneux asked councillor Kenny McLean what fire prevention measures were in place and to provide an update on the recent fire.
Councillor McLean said: “The requirements for managing and maintaining fire safety measures rest with building owners and occupiers.
“It has since been assessed that the extend of the damage from 223 to 229 High Street is so severe that the council considers the demolition is required in the interest of public safety.
“Currently this does not include the house at 219 High Street which the fire did not reach. Since then, building standards have continued engaging with the owners to push them to take this forward.
“There has been good cooperation to date. This includes their agreement to install the current safety exclusion zone along with side security.”
Councillor Molyneux told the council that it was a “real blow” that demolition was being recommended as the site contributed to what was left of the historic character of the High Street.
He added: “This area was already under threat from unsuitable development before the fire.
“It is even more important that we act now to protect the heritage that’s still there. What more can the city convener do to ensure that buildings that add to the historic character of the area are protected in the future.”
Councillor McLean pointed out that public safety was the council’s priority.
He responded: “We resolve to protect our city’s heritage wherever we can. Obviously, there are difficulties, and we will work with the private owners of the site to do what we can to protect buildings.
“It is an absolute tragedy if a building like this goes on fire. That is way beyond our control. There is not a lot we can do about it. It has suffered a catastrophic incident and is in a dangerous state therefore a demolition is required for public safety.
“If buildings can be saved, we will save them but public safety takes precedence.”
The site is currently the subject of a proposed city centre development featuring an 11-storey apartment block. The plans required a number of the unlisted buildings in the conservation area to be demolished.
Story by local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter