Vinicombe Street Garage Meeting

October 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow West, Local News


Around 40 campaigners trying to save the threatened Vinicombe Street Botanic Gardens garage from demolition and redevelopment proposed by owners Arnold Clark Automobiles, were urged to lodge new objections to the new planning applications.

Said Dr Sam Maddra, chair of the Save the Botanic Gardens Garage group: ‘This garage is at risk of being demolished. Thanks to the efforts of our campaign, it has been A listed which means its importance is nationally and internationally recognised. Demolition is unthinkable. But people must lodge objections again because this is a new application for planning permission. All previous objections are no longer relevant because  they apply only to that previous application.’

Ann Laird of Friends of Glasgow West, a voluntary amenity society, gave detailed advice on how to frame objections. ‘It is a little like being at a wedding when the question is asked  – ‘does anyone here know of any legal impediment to thsi marriage?’ – It is not a case of you don’t want the marriage to go ahead because you don’t like the idea. You must have objections which can stand up in law.

She pointed out that there was an application to demolish the Vinicombe Street garage, leaving the facade and there was a separate application for a new building. ‘It is a technical game, but you must lodge objections to both applications. That can be done in the one letter.’

The meeting, held in Hillhead Library community hall, was chaired by Jean Charsley who is chair of Hillhead Community Council. She urged everyone to spread the word and lodge objections. ‘This development is contrary to the City Plan for the area.’

According to Ann Laird, if there was no public fuss over the intentions of Arnold Clark, ‘Glasgow City Council just might let them do what they want to do.’

A spokeswoman for Arnold Clark told the LOCAL NEWS the company had no comment to make. She explained that when an application was going through the planning process, the applicant was inhibited from making any comment as the planning authorities could take exception to their decision being pre-empted in any way.

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The Botanic Gardens Garage in Vinicombe Street off Byres Road is the oldest surviving multi-storey car park in the UK. It was built between 1896 and 1912 and was designed by David Valentine Wyllie. Efforts by the Save the Botanic Gardens Garage campaign resulted in the premises being ‘A’ listed. The building is owned by Arnold Clark Automobiles. The company has submitted a new application to Glasgow City Council’s planning department for partial demolition and redevelopment of the A-listed structure.

Pressure from the campaigners a year ago, resulted in Arnold Clark Automobiles withdrawing its initial application to demolish the garage and build flats and retail units on the site. A new application has been made by the company which again shows that the garage buildings would be demolished and replaced by a four-storey complex for mixed residential, leisure and retail use but saving the facade.

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