Planning permission given for new Glasgow West End student flats development
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Tue 26 Jun 12 @ 11:01
Alumno Developments’ proposed 174-bed new build development, at 241 Dumbarton Road near Partick Cross.
Plans for new purpose-built student accommodation in Glasgow's West End, which will be car-free and have a robust 24\7 approach to management and maintenance, were approved on Tuesday 19 June by Glasgow City Council's planning applications committee.
Alumno Developments' proposed 174-bed new build development, at 241 Dumbarton Road near Partick Cross, is within short walking distance of the University of Glasgow.
The mixed-use scheme, on the site of the Comet store at the junction with Keith Street, also includes 400 square metres of retail space on the ground floor, which will generate additional jobs in the area.
The building is designed by Glasgow architect Iain Carson of Carson + Partners, who earlier in his career worked with Riverside Museum designer Zaha Hadid.
Planning officials had recommended the development be given permission, saying that it "enhanced the character of Partick", with uses "entirely appropriate to the site".
Their conclusion added: "One of the factors which contributes to the unique environment and economy of the West End is the existence of students, which this proposal embraces. The proposed retail function will contribute to the existing town centre and allows for the continuation of this use."
The design of the building was praised, saying that it "will enhance an important junction within Partick, relating well to the existing built environment and proposing a building which will improve the local area through contemporary architecture, unlike the existing building which has a negative impact. The development is appropriate in terms of land use, density, scale, massing and design."
Alumno's managing director David Campbell said: "We will deliver an energy-efficient development for the Partick area of high quality, combining modern, purpose-built student accommodation and attractive retail units at street level.
"I can assure local people that it will be well managed around the clock, providing excellent on-site facilities as well as the necessary support and welfare services for students. In addition the development is car-free and sustainable, supporting local transport use and infrastructure.
"Overall we believe this development will help meet the high demand for student accommodation, particularly within the West End, which Glasgow has been identified as lacking by sector analysts. It will also create employment opportunities and contribute to the appearance, vitality and security of the area.
"This is Alumno's first development in Glasgow, but we have a strong track record in creating such developments in other UK cities. On a personal level, I am delighted with this permission - given that Glasgow is my home city and I see this project as a solid foundation and platform with which Alumno can progress further with new opportunities seeking to invest long term in the city.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: "Attracting students to come to Glasgow from throughout the UK and from all around the world is an important driver for the city's future economic prosperity.
"Not only do they and their families spend in Glasgow whilst they study here, but they are also an important part of the skilled workforce of the future supporting all sectors and industries in the city. The provision of quality and affordable student accommodation which is well managed will play a key part in attracting these students, which is why developments such as Alumno's are so important."
The design process for the Dumbarton Road development was undertaken through detailed representations to the City Council's specialist urban design panel, which gave a favourable response.
There was also close consultation with local groups and residents, including both Partick and West of Scotland Housing Associations. The overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that the site was in need of redevelopment (63%), and 83% recognised the importance of affordable purpose-built accommodation being available to students studying in Glasgow
Following the consultation, Alumno implemented changes and enhancements to the original design proposals, in particular to ensure that the height of the building was in keeping with the surrounding tenements.