Egyptian Halls ‘may be demolished’ if owners forced to remove advert

Glasgow City Council ordered the owners of the building to remove the Google phone advert.

Egyptian Halls ‘may be demolished’ if owners forced to remove advert Google Maps

The owner of Glasgow’s Egyptian Halls has warned the building may be demolished if it is not allowed to keep an advertising banner on its scaffolding.

Council bosses ordered the owner of the city centre building to tear down an advert promoting the Google phone.

However the building’s ownerhas lodged an appeal to the Scottish Government against the council move, claiming the advertising pays for scaffolding keeping the structure safe.

Union Street Investments Ltd warned demolition could be a possibility on public safety grounds without money coming in. 

Glasgow City Council demanded the advertising on the front of the building should be removed by Friday October 15 as part of an enforcement order served on its owner and occupiers.

Planners believe the marketing banner “constitutes excessive advertising, which is out-of-scale, over dominant and out-of-keeping with the setting of a Category A listed building.”

The enforcement order also said the promotional image “spanning three floors in height” and “nearly the full width of 84-100 Union Street jars with the features of the street scene”.

The advertising banner is also contrary to two policies in the council’s city development plan according to the local authority. 

Union Street Investments Ltd said: “The revenue from the advertising banner pays for the scaffolding. The scaffolding is currently supporting the façade of the building which is in a serious state of disrepair. The scaffolding is also used to fix a shroud around the building which helps keep it wind and watertight.”

It pointed out annual costs include £24,000 for scaffolding hire, £12,000 for electricity and maintenance ranging from £12,000 to £15,000. 

Its appeal statement submitted by agent Savills called for more time for the advertising enforcement notice to come into effect to “ensure no negative impact in respect of public safety.”

Designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, The Egyptian Halls have been empty for more than 40 years and are more than 150 years old. 

Union Street Investments Ltd warned demolition is a possibility for public safety “if there is no or minimal rental income from the ground floor retail units or advertising revenue to pay for the scaffolding.”

Union Street Investments Ltd recently submitted a draft building conditions report to the council.

Once agreed it would see an action plan put in place in partnership with the council to “secure the future” of the building according to the appeal statement. 

The statement also argued how the “banner has historically benefited from deemed advertisement consent from 2008 until 2018” and asked why it is now considered contrary to policy.

A reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers will consider the case and reach a decision.

Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Sarah Hilley 

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