The principle of redevelopment at Shawlands Arcade to build over 600 homes and new retail space has been approved, despite hundreds of people signing a petition against the scheme.
More detailed applications will need to be agreed before work can begin, but developers want to demolish the 1960s arcade to clear space for the flats.
Landowners Clydebuilt LP – a partnership between Strathclyde Pension Fund and Ediston Real Estate – have already submitted proposals for the first phase, which would include 330 Build to Rent apartments and 2,000 square metres of retail space.
That plan has not been approved at this stage, however Scotland’s tenants’ union Living Rent has said Shawlands “does not need more luxury flats”.
Objectors criticised a lack of affordable housing in the development plan, as well as added “pressure” on congested streets and a loss of daylight for nearby homes.
Planning officials said it was “not considered appropriate to impose” a percentage of affordable homes at this stage, but “this position may change prior to the determination of detailed proposals” as policies are developed.
Councillors were split on whether to approve the principle of development or postpone for a site visit and public hearing.
With six votes in favour of a site visit and hearing and six votes to approve the plan, the casting vote went to the chairman, Councillor Ken Andrew, who decided to grant permission in principle.
A hearing could still be held when future, more detailed applications go before the committee.
There were 69 objections to the in principle application as well as a 365-signature petition opposing the scheme, while 51 letters of support were submitted to the council.
Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council, the Shawlands branch of tenants’ union Living Rent and Glasgow councillors Jon Molyneux, Holly Bruce [both Greens] and Bailie Norman MacLeod, SNP, were among the objectors.
During the planning committee meeting, councillor Maureen Burke, Labour, called for a hearing. She was backed by councillor Thomas Kerr, Conservative, who said: “I think major developments should always have site visits.
“While I understand this is planning in principle and we would have a chance in future to look at the specifics, my personal view on this is that the objectors are objecting to this planning in principle.
“Shawlands Community Council has said the application will shape the town centre for generations to come. We owe it to ourselves as a committee to at least listen to both sides of the views.”
However, Cllr Andrew proposed a motion to accept the application. He said potentially when a “full application comes in front of us, at that point we can then consider whether we wish to have a site visit and hearing”.
He had earlier said that the committee is “concerned about the need for affordable housing in the city.”
After the meeting, the Shawlands and Langside branch of Living Rent said the council had failed to “listen to the needs and opinions of the community”.
The union wants any redevelopment of the arcade to include at least 25% social housing and a community space.
Bianca Lopez, chair of the Shawlands and Langside branch, said it is “undemocratic” for councillors to “reject the widespread calls for a site visit and committee hearing”.
“As Glasgow faces a huge rent crisis, Shawlands does not need more luxury flats — Shawlands needs secure social homes for working class people and families,” she added.
In the application, the developers stated the arcade is “in need of renovation and its proposed regeneration will create a new, vibrant shopping and leisure experience in the heart of Shawlands”.
“The redevelopment also offers the opportunity to provide new homes in this increasingly popular area,” the plans stated.
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