Glasgow takes first steps towards tall-buildings policy

The council says the guidance – which is being drawn up ahead of a public consultation next spring – will set out the preferred sites and recommended height for new tall buildings.

The move comes amid Glasgow City Council’s drive to repopulate the city centre, bringing it up to 40,000 by 2035. Several tall buildings are already in the pipeline or being built, with further tall buildings expected in the future.

Large schemes in the works include Stallan Brand’s Candleriggs development in Merchant City, which will have a 17-storey centrepiece, and a 16-storey building at the former Marks & Spencer on Sauchiehall Street by Matt Brook Architects.

Hawkins\Brown has meanwhile designed a 30-storey student tower for Portcullis House, a former 1970s office next door to Charing Cross station. The scheme has been out to second consultation.

Glasgow City Council says that, in addition to the expected rise in tall schemes, ‘the repurposing of existing city centre buildings will in some cases necessitate additional height to create more floorspace’, which creates the need for a tall-buildings policy.

‘Opposing views are held on tall buildings, with supporters promoting their benefits in terms of increasing density, reducing urban sprawl and offering opportunities for refurbishment and reuse,’ the council said, ‘and others suggesting they are unsustainable due to their consumption of energy and resources.’

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for development and land use at Glasgow City Council, said: ‘New planning guidance for tall buildings in Glasgow city centre will help achieve our aims of repopulating and redensifying the city centre in a sustainable way.

‘When complete, the guidance will ensure that tall buildings meet design standards and are located only in places that are appropriate to their local setting.’

Architects, designers, and heritage bodies will help draw up the guidance as part of a Glasgow Design Panel before going to public consultation next spring.

Outside of London, cities such as Liverpool have introduced a tall buildings policy. The guidance was adopted in October.