RESIDENTS have offered support for plans to double the city centre’s population in the next 15 years but will not welcome more student housing.

Of the active community councils in the area, both the residents’ organisations representing Trongate and Merchant City and Garnethill were clear that they do not want to see more student housing built in the city centre.

The council recently approved plans to double the city centre’s population - with the goal of reaching 40,000 people by 2035, as part of the City Centre Living Strategy (CCLS).

Daniel Harte, Garnethill Community Council Secretary, said: “The CCLS raises some serious amenity issues, around the lack of adequate high quality and diverse green spaces, and public facilities such as schools, GPs, leisure facilities and public restrooms, as we are feeling in our community.

“The need and implementation of community assets feels lost by the planners, as highly profitable developments such as student housing consistently seep through the cracks, often a blight in Glasgow’s much-loved cityscape.”

The CCLS itself notes the problems of existing communities feeling “overwhelmed” by student housing developments but does contain references to promoting Glasgow as a centre for higher education and does not rule out developing more student homes.

The Merchant City and Trongate Community Council is in favour of doubling the city centre population, but chair Dr Duncan McLaren said: “Not with transient students but permanent residents. That is how we create a community and then have access to a GP surgery, a primary school, and local shops.

“Our members responded to the survey and our words are clear in reference to no more student accommodation, and a stress on building mixed social and private residences for people who will be proud to call the Merchant City and Trongate area their home.”

Dr Neil Gray, a research associate in urban geography at Glasgow University expressed concerns about the council’s past record of large redevelopment plans and said it risked entering into a “weak negotiating position” with private developers, risking the “homogenisation” of the city centre.

He also noted that there were no set targets in the strategy for building social housing.

A spokesman for Glasgow city council said: “A key theme of the strategy is the quality of design – and a high standard and quality of design will help to ensure the city centre is attractive and liveable. All of this means that the homogenisation of the city centre in Glasgow will not happen.

““Just because some hold the view that certain cities have made mistakes in city centre development does not mean that Glasgow will do the same.