Glasgow public's views wanted on tall buildings in the city centre

A public consultation is set to be held on tall buildings in Glasgow city centre, as guidance will identify appropriate areas for their construction.

Draft guidance has been drawn up as Glasgow City Council looks to increase the city centre population, with planners reporting “development pressure” for tall buildings is increasing.

Talks have been held with architects, designers, developers and professional and academic experts — and the next step is for the guidance to go to public consultation.

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A report by officials states pressure for tall buildings is increasing due to “new forms of residential and other developments, market demand and changes to methods and costs of construction”.

“There is also increasing pressure for repurposing of buildings within the city which may therefore require additional height to accommodate floorspace to make this possible.”

The guidance will include a “map of appropriateness” and detail on “what would be described as ‘taller’ buildings”.

Other factors to be considered include the “qualities” and historic character of an area, the visual impact and the effect on the skyline, the design and construction cost and the environmental impact, including overshadowing.

Council policies support the “re-densification and re-population of the city centre”. The report adds tall buildings are “a controversial topic in the field of sustainability”.

“Many argue that they are a beneficial form of urban development, as they can help reduce sprawl, increase density, and provide opportunities for refurbishment and re-use

“Others contend that they are inherently unsustainable, as they consume more materials, energy, and resources than lower-rise buildings, and create social and environmental problems.”

The report continues 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, they are not “a panacea for urban sustainability challenges, and they should be complemented by other forms of low and medium-impact development”, it adds.

A start date for the consultation has yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to run for 12 weeks to “maximise opportunity to engage in the process”.

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