Glasgow approves Clydeside complex

A major retail, office and leisure development at Glasgow Harbour has been approved despite concern about its effect on the city centre and neighbouring towns.

Peel Holdings was granted outline consent last week for a development featuring a 30-storey office tower, 190 homes, a cinema, restaurants, a 200-bedroom hotel, and retail space on the banks of the River Clyde.

A report from Glasgow City Council planning officers to members stated that the scheme is acceptable in land-use terms. "The third party representations have been taken fully into account but in this case do not warrant refusal," they advised.

"It is recognised that concerns exist regarding the potential impact of the retail and office components on existing centres, particularly the city centre, and that the proposal is a departure from the structure plan."

Objections were lodged by Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Councils, which feared that the scheme would take business away from Paisley and the Braehead Shopping Centre and undermine the regeneration of Clydebank. "We do not believe that the retail assessment takes into account current economic conditions," a Renfrewshire spokesman said.

Major retailers including Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis also opposed the plan, maintaining that the council should instead focus on strengthening the city centre.

The decision will be referred to the Scottish Government for final approval because of the city council's involvement in the Glasgow Harbour initiative.

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