Community News, Views & Information

Plans to build 6-storey block on Finlay Drive

Neighbour posted on the 22/04/2018 6:48:29 PM

Developers Nixon Blue are again seeking planning permission to build a six-storey block of 31 flats on the site of the old Gospel hall on Finlay Drive. Their slightly revised plans can be viewed on Glasgow City Council's online planning portal. The reference number of the application is 18/00920/FUL. As well as internal changes affecting the size and design of the various flats, and the numbers available in the 1, 2 and 3 bedroom categories, the exteriors of the north and west elevations now have additional features which are intended to reflect the traditional Dennistoun tenement bay-window.
Given the number of objections to the previous plans because they provided only eight car-parking spaces for 31 flats probably the most surprising feature of the new plans is that they STILL provide only eight car-parking spaces for 31 flats. Instead, spaces for parking 22 bikes have been incorporated into the new design -hence, probably, the need to alter the size and arrangement of the flats as each floor has been given bike spaces. Even the occupants in the penthouse flats, who will have to carry their bikes up five floors, have been provide with cycle space. Has this solved the car-parking problem? The developers again say that the decision to provide only eight spaces was arrived at "after extensive discussion at pre-planning stage". And also "the tenemental style which typically provides no dedicated parking is an essential aspect of Dennistoun's nature and look."
Some resident, but not all, affected by the proposed development have been informed of the plans by letter dated 17th April which states that any objections /representations must be submitted within 28 days of that date. It also points out that objections/representations made to the previous proposals will not be treated as representations to this current application. In other words, even if you objected before and still object to the development going ahead, you have to submit your objections all over again with this new application. You may wish to modify them in regard to the changes in the new plans but remember,- all objections have to be lodged by May 15th.

Once again, the plans and information are available at the Glasgow City Council online planning portal. The planning permission application number is 18/00920/FUL.
The previous ( rejected) plans, which can be viewed for comparison, are available on the same site. Their application number is 17/02477/DC

18 Replies :

#1 - The Mentalist replied on the 23/04/2018 8:34:34 PM

31 flats? Good grief.

#2 - James Mc replied on the 24/04/2018 8:01:32 PM

They're going to just keep re-submitting this until people get fed up objecting

#3 - Paul replied on the 24/04/2018 11:25:24 PM

I think you're right, James Mc. I've objected to it. Anyone else?

#4 - Pat replied on the 27/04/2018 4:15:47 AM

Just looked at the elevations... Still a hideous blonde brick cornflake box with a metal hat. Massively out of place with existing architecture. Might as well be an office in Ipswich...

#5 - Paul replied on the 27/04/2018 10:17:44 AM

Just 5 comments objecting. We need more to stop this - get to it folks.

#6 - The Mentalist replied on the 28/04/2018 12:44:13 AM

The whole deal does seem a bit of a mess. 6 storey is too high for the area. 8 spaces for 31 flats is unrealistic. It's also near a school. What Dennistoun needs in this area is a community hub, not more overpriced rabbit hutches.

#7 - Ollie replied on the 4/05/2018 10:31:34 AM

I noticed the other night that someone had put leaflets through the close doors of the surrounding properties, well done to whoever did this as it helps to highlight the issue and hopefully will result in more objections- 37 so far but not as many as received for their initial application.

#8 - Neighbour replied on the 4/05/2018 7:18:07 PM

Yes, well done to whoever distributed the leaflets. So far there's been a poor response in terms of objections, compared to the last time. Possibly a lot of the people who objected last time are unaware that the developers have re-applied for planning permission. Also. there has been very little public notification by the developers ,-even less than last time. . All a bit stealthy.

Also the process of registering an objection online is hardly user friendly. You have to go through a process,- which I've no doubt some people will find a little complicated and off-putting-, of becoming registered with the planning site before you can submit an objection.

If in doubt, submit your objection(s) instead, in a letter, by writing to: The Executive Director of Development and Regeneration, Glasgow City Council, 231 George Street, Glasgow G1 1RX, quoting Planning Reference No. 18/00920/FUL. Written objections carry the same weight as those registered online

Remember, even if you objected last time, you will have submit your objection(s) afresh, as this is a new application.

And note, all objections have to be in by 15th May. Any received after this date will not count.

Grounds for objection are: The building will be completely out of character with the surrounding area. The materials and cladding used are cheap-looking and inappropriate. A six storey building in an area of traditional four storey tenements is all wrong. The provision of only eight parking spaces for 31 flats in an area which is already seriously short of parking spaces, will create numerous and-possibly dangerous- parking problems. The flats will deprive people living opposite of natural light. People living in the opposite flats will lose the privacy which they presently enjoy.
You can use some or all.
Object while there is still time. After the 15th it'll be too late.

#9 - Anon replied on the 7/05/2018 9:30:25 PM

I dont see how lack of parking spaces can be a valid argument when so many people state that the victorian tenements weren't designed with cars in mind, and that parking permits aren't the answer. So with that logic the planned development is only in keeping with the area - high density and congested.

You dont need to write / post a letter to the council, you can also just email the planning department.

#10 - James replied on the 13/05/2018 10:49:35 AM

I agree the design is awful. If you look at some of the smart modem flats being built around the south side and currently in Lauriesttown, you can see that the planners are approving interesting and well designed accommodation. The ones proposed at Finlay drive look really awful and I am surprised there are not more objections. Whatever is built here will be an eyesore forever unless we object. Dennistoun is a fantastic place to live and we deserve a bit of thought and imagination about what is built in our area instead of developer led rabbit hutches. Please object ASAP.

#11 - Concerned Neighbour replied on the 15/05/2018 2:14:51 AM

I agree with most of the comments on here for reasons for objecting, and I myself will be objecting, however GCC planners (and all planners) will only consider material objections based on current Planning Policy. As a resident of Finlay Drive myself I am concerned that the parking woes will be exasperated, however I believe that this will have been one of the first things that the planner would have considered, and I would imagine there will have been plenty of dialogue between developer and GCC on this issue. For this reason, and the fact the D&AS keeps making reference to the site being with GCC's high accessibility zone, I anticipate this reason for objection will unfortunately not carry much weight with GCC. The same developer recently built a new flatted development on Minerva St with zero parking provision, how they managed that is beyond me, as the new development right next to them was forced to provide 100%.

There is no 'right to light' law in Scotland, as opposed to England, however an argument could be made that the 6 storey development could blight the amenity of adjacent properties. This should definitely be considered as a reasonable objection, however I can't imagine the flats on the opposite side of Finlay Drive will have a grounds of objection on this basis, such is the distance and the block typology of the Glasgow tenement.

I'm just playing devil's advocate a bit here. NIMBYism does tend to get planners backs up, therefore it is important the objections should have as solid a planning argument as possible.

Brief summary of some of my reasons for objecting/raising concerns..

- Statement of Energy - I understand that it is a compulsory requirement of GCC that all new applications should be accompanied by this. I don't see one.
- Elevations - Despite the fact that, contrary to the D&AS, the proposals are not sympathetic to their context, the elevations are wrong / misleading. The proposal shows lifts on plan, however the elevations do not show any lift overruns. Unless they are using some new lift invention without an overrun, you will definitely see a significant overrun above the flat roof, as is the case with their Minerva St development. I assume they have left this 'detail' out, as it flies in the face of their contextual elevation diagram.
- The fact they are proposing a flat roof and brick (not stone) at all is an argument that that design is not in keeping with its context. The elevations are extremely bland
- Overshadowing of the adjacent properties. I would expect to see a daylighting analysis study.
- The main street elevations are going to be peppered with vents, however I don't see any reference to this in their drawings.
- The cycle storage now provided at each core landing does not meet current Scottish Guidance

Finally, the fact that the architect hasn't even bothered to travel to site to take their own photographs for the D&AS says a lot in my opinion about the level of thought that has gone into the design!

#12 - DennistounCommunityCouncil replied on the 15/05/2018 2:16:27 AM

The Dennistoun Community Council objection to this revised submission is available for viewing at

Specifically, here:

#13 - Chaz replied on the 16/05/2018 1:26:35 AM

I think the flats are a great idea. What's the alternative? A rotted building? Stick some flats for the ever growing housing shortage.

#14 - James Mc replied on the 16/05/2018 2:53:57 PM

Nobody is objecting to more flats, but they should be in keeping with the surroundings. The tenements in the area are 4 storey blocks with bay/oriel windows. This thing is 6 storeys with a lift extension on top with a blank facade.

#15 - Neighbour replied on the 16/05/2018 8:45:13 PM

Given that the closing date for objections to the planning application was May 15th, is it not strange that the the findings of the Site Investigation carried out by the developers were NOT MADE PUBLIC until MAY 16TH. The risk levels of hazardous materials, possible mine workings etc disclosed in the report were not made known to the public before the objections deadline had passed and consequently it is now (all too conveniently) too late for the public to raise concerns based on the disclosed information.
Why would someone wait until after the deadline had passed before disclosing vital information?

#16 - Neighbour replied on the 16/05/2018 8:46:32 PM

Has anyone put an objection in to planning and it hasn't showed up on line.
I put an objection in on 10/05/18 and got an automated reply from council saying it was received.
Strange that no other objections comments are showing after 10/05/18 ????

#17 - Anon replied on the 18/05/2018 1:53:01 PM

Yes, same thing happened to me. I emailed the Council and this was their response "I can confirm that your representation has been received before the deadline therefore it will be considered along with all other representations submitted. Your representation may not have appeared on the public system yet as there may be personal information which requires to be removed before it has been uploaded".

#18 - resident replied on the 18/05/2018 2:03:28 PM

Good comments from 'Concerned Neighbour'.

Chaz - the existing building may well be nothing special but it isn't rotting. And most people on here accept that new flats on that site would be acceptable, but, there are concerns about the application(s) submitted.

'Neighbour' - yes, there's a delay between submissions being received and them appearing online.

Another comment on the elevations - one of them has an elevation comparison with the existing buildings across the road, but they seemingly do not line up in the way they should, giving the impression that the proposal is set back further than the buildings across the road. Some innocent mistakes/ommissions, or intentionally 'creative' presentation?

I note also that the new application is made in the name of an individual rather than the name of the developer, as per the original submission.

Meanwhile, over in the West End, just along from their zero parking development that was clearly the basis for the Finlay Drive design, Nixon Blue and their architect Jewitt & Wilkkie have submitted an eight storey design for the bowling green site on St Vincent Crescent, opposite a row which is only three storeys high.

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