Dear Cala … Jordanhill responds to open letter as builder reveals David Stow plans

David Stow - impression copy
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Opponents of a major housing development in Jordanhill have accused its backers of “breathtaking arrogance and contempt for local democracy”.

The comments are levelled at those supporting the proposals in a letter penned by senior figures on Jordanhill Community Council (JCC).

Jordanhill campus plans letter
Response: the community council has replied to comments made in an open letter last week

John Winfield and John Grierson were responding to an open letter written by Jim McIntyre, managing director of Cala Homes (West), last week.

The two community representatives say Mr McIntyre’s letter is “mischievous, raising a number of serious misconceptions and inaccuracies that require clarification”.

They claim that any partnership that may have existed between the community, Cala and Strathclyde University, which owns the site at the former Jordanhill college campus, has been lost in recent months.

The letter refers to initial engagement with the community undertaken by the university in 2010-11.

“This process added value by improving the quality of the emerging planning permission in principle proposal,” the letter says, which culminated in the Jordanhill Campus Plan 2 in Jan 2013.

But the writers say the situation had changed by the time Cala held a public information event about its plans in December 2016.

“This non-statutory event, giving a limited overview, created confusion as the ‘matters specified in conditions’ proposals were significantly different from the community-led principles of the approved Campus Plan 2.”

The letter adds: “Why had the density increased from a ‘potential maximum of 364 new units’ to 420 new dwellings at detriment to open space and conservation provisions?

“Why was there no shared community facilities? No justification was given for adverse ‘development creep’ nor were there any sustainable proposals for public transportation enhancement, required for this outer urban area site with below base transport accessibility.”

Jordanhill campus plans letter
Changed: the community says Cala’s public event in December 2016 caused ‘confusion’

It concludes: “In terms of setting the record straight the University of Strathclyde has allowed their preferred developer to dismantle the trust and legacy aspirations of the Community.

“What we see is breathtaking arrogance and contempt for local democracy in assuming that a partnership exists with the Jordanhill Community.

“No partnership can be founded on ‘broken promises’.”

In his open letter last week, Jim Mcintrye wrote: “Almost 200 direct and indirect jobs will be created by the construction phase, while independent research estimates that, post-construction, the development would raise an extra £1.3 million in council tax and support 56 local retail jobs through an estimated £5.8m retained retail spend.”

He added: “We look forward to presenting our exciting proposals next month, and to continuing to work in partnership with the community to deliver a successful development within the heart of Jordanhill.”

Meanwhile, the developer and its architects have outlined how their plans for Jordanhill Campus would reinstate the imposing structure of the site’s dominant feature – the David Stow Building.

The B-category listed building was the main teacher training college building at Jordanhill Campus when completed in 1917, but it is now surrounded by decaying 1960s and 1970s concrete buildings including the seven-storey Henry Wood building, says Cala.

Architect Peter McLaughlin of practice 7N, said: “Our proposals to demolish these later buildings would reinstate the visual prominence of this historic building and maintain its heritage and identity.

“Importantly, our plans will address the growing risk of disrepair by creating a viable new life for the David Stow building.

“From the elegant neo-classical entrance lobby, reminiscent of New York residences from the same period, to the series of simple, large volume former teaching spaces, the building will convert well to high quality apartments that are imbued with the character of their former use.”

Jordanhill and letter
Restored: Cala Homes says its plans would ‘create a viable new life’ for the landmark David Stow Building

Cala says the retention and refurbishment of the David Stow building, which would create 67 apartments, is central to its plans for Jordanhill Campus.

Ian Conway, development manager of the Jordanhill Campus for CALA Homes (West), said their plans would provide a sustainable future for the David Stow building, which is falling into disrepair.

He said: “In addition to significant investment in the David Stow building, more than 40 per cent of greenspace would be retained and there would be a net addition of 350 trees.

“Playing fields at the site would also be protected and made available to local schools and community groups. Our plans also contain new paths and play parks.”

Cala’s matters specified in conditions planning application was lodged with Glasgow City Council in March this year.

* You can see the open letter written by John Winfield and John Grierson here.

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