The city council has rejected plans to demolish Glasgow’s former flagship Marks and Spencer’s store.
The proposals would have seen the 1930s Art Deco facade retained with a new 57m tall development comprising of student and other residential accommodation for “around 500” people erected on the site.
At a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, five councillors voted in favour of accepting the plans and five against.
The chair made their casting vote with developer Fusion Students’ proposals for the 18-storey block refused.
The main reasons given for by the councillors who opposed consent were its impact on the conservation area, with particular regard to views, a lack of mixed-tenure in the proposed development and over-concentration of student accommodation in the area.
A total of 17 representations had been received on the planning application, consisting of 12 objections, one neutral comment and four letters of support.
The objections covered a number of concerns from local representatives including the “excessive” scale and height of the building as well as the impact the construction could have on the surrounding Central Conservation Area.
Those in support of the plans stated that the development will bring “economic benefit” to the area and increase footfall.
Previously, a spokesperson for Fusion Students said the company was “excited” to unveil the proposals for the Sauchiehall Street site.
“Glasgow is a first-class university city with several world-renowned educational institutions which attract students from across the globe,” they said.
“The delivery of high-quality accommodation for a growing student population is required to enable to city to maintain it’s position as an educational powerhouse on the global stage.
“Our studies have shown that there is a significant undersupply of purpose-built student accommodation in the city, with 73% of the city’s growing student population unable to access this valuable type of accommodation.
“This shortage often leads students into privately rented accommodation, creating pressure on the local housing market.
“By bringing first-class purpose-built accommodation to the city, coupled with carefully thought-out public realm spaces and new retail units, we believe our proposals will enhance this historic street in the heart of Glasgow city centre.”
A spokesperson for Marks and Spencer added: “We are delighted that that these plans are being brought forward to redevelop the site and ensure a positive future for this part of Sauchiehall Street.
“Over the last few months, we have been focussed on making sure this site can find a complementary alternative use, so we’re really pleased that these redevelopment plans are driven by strong design and sustainability credentials and that they are closely in line with the city and council’s vision for the local area.”
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