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Consultation on Tall Buildings in Glasgow begins

A public consultation on Tall Buildings in Glasgow begins today (8 July) in response to the increasing number of these being built and planned, especially in the city centre and on its fringes.

Design guidance on Tall Buildings will be shaped by consultation results

The consultation will run until 30 September, and will help to shape the final design guidance on Tall Buildings - which not only guides the best location and design principles for these, but is a key factor in the determination of planning applications.

Given the increasing pressure to develop these types of buildings, the trend to add additional height to re purposed buildings, and the move to the re-densification and re-population of the city centre, it became clear that further design guidance was necessary.

While strategies such as the Central District Regeneration Framework, City Centre Strategic Development Framework and the River Clyde Strategic Development Framework identify opportunities for increased density and increased height along the Clydeside, it is also considered important to maintain the character of the Glasgow Central Conservation Area.

There are a range of views on Tall Buildings, with many people proposing that they can help reduce sprawl, increase density, and provide opportunities for refurbishment and re-use.  Others suggest that they are inherently unsustainable, with a greater consumption of more materials, energy, and resources than lower-rise buildings, and create social and environmental problems.

Glasgow City Council recognises the role taller buildings can play in terms of sustainable and organic growth of the city system, and encourages competent, forward thinking and holistic responses to the challenges of planning, constructing, and maintaining taller buildings - so tall buildings can be sustainable if they are designed and built with care and innovation, and if they are part of a holistic urban planning strategy that balances environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects.   However, the council does not view tall buildings are not a panacea for urban sustainability challenges and should be complemented by other forms of low and medium-impact development that promote diversity, liveability and inclusive economic growth.

Current design guidance on Tall Buildings is based on the following factors:

  • Quality of the city centre: the distinctive qualities and values of this distinctive place including historic character and context;
  • Heritage: understanding the significance of the local historic environment and the potential impact on this significance;
  • Visual: the impact on the city centre streetscape, and wider urban landscapes, and views of the skyline. This includes the setting of heritage assets;
  • Functional: the design, embodied carbon and carbon cost, construction and operation;
  • Transport: the impact on the local transport infrastructure and particularly public transport needs;
  • Environmental: the influence on local micro-climates such as creation of wind tunnels, 'canyon' effects, distances between tall buildings, overshadowing, and effect on heritage assets in terms of the impact these micro-climatic changes could have upon their fabric, and how they are experienced; and
  • Cumulative: the combined impacts on heritage assets from existing, consented and proposed tall buildings.

The Tall Buildings design guidance was considered earlier this year at meetings hosted by the Glasgow Design Panel and attended by architects, designers and developers, a meeting with Ward 10 (Anderston/city/Yorkhill) community councils, and last month the council hosted a digital round table workshop for UK and international professional and academic experts with previous expertise in producing tall buildings design guidance for similar scale cities to Glasgow.  The consultation beginning today will help shape the final design guidance document and is open to anyone with an interest in this topic in Glasgow.

This consultation can be found here.

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Convener for Neighbourhood Assets and Services at Glasgow City Council said: "New Tall Buildings are an increasing feature of Glasgow, particularly where increased density will help us grow the city centre population. With more proposed and in the pipeline, we are refining the planning and design guidance so that these buildings are located and designed in the best way for the city.  We want as many people as possible to take part in this consultation to help shape this guidance and ensure that the city meets the needs of Glaswegians today and can rise to the challenges yet to come."

Last modified on 09 July 2024

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