NGS have filed the following letter with planning. For the developers own website with information and videos please see here.
The New Glasgow Society wish to register our objection to Planning Application ref 11/01234/DC, Site at Riverside Walkway Between McAlpine Street/York Street On Broomielaw Glasgow- aka ‘Broomielaw Quay’. Whilst we recognize that the area is in need of amenity, our objection is specific to the design and size and positioning of the buildings, and is founded on three key issues:
1- Architectural and aesthetic grounds.
Glasgow’s Clyde waterfront is the last area of untapped potential within the City Centre. The recent upgrade of the landscape has been a huge success, and brought much needed amenity to the area. Whilst we acknowledge it is essential that the Broomielaw area is serviced by retail, restaurant and coffee outlets in order to facilitate the further expansion of the IFSD, we believe this ‘urban park’ is a valuable asset, and it is vitally important that this is maintained and preserved when developing the area further.
2- Scale and massing
The forms are visually heavy and rise to three storeys in height when the rooftop plant space is taken into consideration. The shiny metallic ‘wrap’ is cumbersome and visually dominant, rather than complementary to the undulations and idiosyncrasies of the south facing elevation of the City. We are very concerned that the four restaurant pavilions, each incorporating 250 covers, constitutes over development of the site. 1000 dining places is an excessively ambitious move and we feel it needs to be broken down with different scales and sizes of prospective businesses, such as sandwich shops and coffee outlets. This would assist in eroding the heavy repetitious form that the four blocks currently hold. The height and scale of the block will also have a detrimental effect on the Broomielaw itself. The ‘pavilions’ are clearly orientated towards the river. However the drawings may present it, this leaves a ‘back of house’ condition facing onto the Broomielaw. This leaves an obvious service access zone to the ‘rear’ of each building. If the pavilions were less restrictive in form, these essential services could be more effectively enveloped within the building fabric. The front to back ‘wrap’ makes this extremely difficult. City plan 2: DES 1 - Development Design Principles also contains specific guidance notes on these issues, recommending that developments should- have regard to local plot patterns, building lines, heights, scale, massing, detailed design, use of materials and micro-climate ensure that the siting, form, scale, proportions, detailed design and use of materials do not detract from the visual amenity of the existing or surrounding buildings and wider area; ensure that there is no undue impact on the amenity or development potential of adjacent land and that there is no adverse impact on existing or proposed properties in terms of overlooking, loss of privacy, daylight or sunlight (see Note 2), overshadowing, noise or disturbance
3- Proximity to the river
Development of the Clyde riverfront is key to the regeneration of Glasgow and to the successful integration of the city with the future Commonwealth Games site and therefore any proposed reduction of the pedestrian & cycle path from the recently opened Riverside Museum to the site of the commonwealth is counterintuitive. The existing area of new landscaping along the Broomielaw between the Kingston Bridge and the new pedestrian bridge is the only area within the proximity of the city centre where the Clyde can really be fully enjoyed and appreciated. The area is very busy in good weather, not just at lunchtime, Monday to Friday, but weekends also. It is very popular with cyclist and runners, and is a great place to allow children to play safely. There is NOWHERE in the city quite like it. The Anderston/Broomielaw district of the IFSD is in great need of local amenity services, but acknowledgement of the great popularity that this wee urban park has gained is vital when considering a proposal of this nature. The four ‘pavilions’ proposed are of such a size that the preservation of the river walk is in severe jeopardy. The buildings will encroach onto the river edge, narrowing the river walk down to 5 meters in places. This is in direct contravention of the guidance noted in DES 5: Development and Design Guidance for the River Clyde and Forth and Clyde Canal Corridors, City Plan 2: A continuous footway/cycleway along the bank of the River should be maintained or created, which should be a minimum of 6 metres wide, or 10 metres if street furniture is proposed. The success of development of this nature is based on the use of street furniture- all of the images and drawings presented show this. Therefore we would expect the development to be no less than 10 metres from the river edge at any point. The Guidance goes on to state: Development, in close proximity to the riverside, should include a townscape analysis in their Design Statement to specifically assess impacts on the waterfront and surrounding area We would hope that this study has been carried out, and we would encourage the Committee to be particularly critical of the evidence provided.
We would like to appeal to the Committee in the strongest terms possible to refuse this application. Our membership is adamant that the architecture of this development is substandard and that it does not meet the criteria stated in City Plan 2, referenced within this letter. The buildings proposed are cumbersome and bulky and clearly show that the site is in need of a differing range of scales of structures in order to complement the urban environment effectively. We believe the proposals represent cheap, poor quality architecture that is far from the standard of design that Glasgow requires and deserves. We respectfully offer our objections to you for consideration.
Yours sincerely, New Glasgow Society
For more details on the Egyptian Halls issue please refer here. Please also note the letter below regarding the decision on this proposal.
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