EXPERTS have raised concerns over "cut and paste plans" for a new development that should be a "showcase" for redevelopment in the north of Glasgow.

Bellway Homes has submitted a planning application to build more than 400 homes on the former Ruchill Hospital site, part of an area set for dramatic changes over the next 30 years.

But the scheme has been dubbed "how not to do urban regeneration" and criticised for the "identikit" proposed houses that would sit around the site's A-listed water tower.

Glasgow architect Ross Aitchison said: "We really, as a city, need to move away from developer-led approaches that see identikit housing dropped into a space.

"Over the past 20 to 30 years other European cities have looked to Glasgow as having been quite a leader in the development of urban housing.

"There are examples across Glasgow of where it's going really well - Laurieston, the Gorbals, Anniesland - where this council and the council before it have been really aspirational for the city.

"This feels like Anywheresville oriented around a tower."

Ruchill Hospital was closed in 1998 before Scottish Enterprise bought it the following year.

The government agency was given consent to demolish the buildings on the site in 2012 following an appeal and then sold the land to Bellway Homes.

A planning application submitted to Glasgow City Council shows there would be a mix of 403 flats and houses on the 37-acre site with 658 parking spaces.

Ross added: "It is a very 80s/90s development that is out of kilter with what sits around it.

"In a post-covid reality it is also out of kilter with how people are going to be living their lives in the next five to 10 years.

"It has been designed around every house having two cars but this is totally out of synch with the demographic of the area.

"With home working, what would people rather have - a concrete slab for their car or more green space?

"There has been very little attempt to make streets and places that people can enjoy; there are no spaces for living that are orientated towards the streetscape - just a children's play area in the middle of parking spaces."

Bellway Homes held community engagement events over two nights with a model of the site on display and representatives from the project team on hand to talk through the proposals.

But only 11 people turned up.

Former MP Paul Sweeney said: "The approach that government agency Scottish Enterprise have had towards the old Ruchill Hospital site since they took control of it from the NHS in 1998 is a case study in how not to do urban regeneration in Glasgow.

"They neglected and then persisted with destroying some of the finest historic civic buildings in Glasgow, and they have at no point engaged the local community in any meaningful way, simply attempting to dispose of the site to a generic volume housebuilder that has only engaged 11 local residents prior to submitting the biggest construction proposal the area has seen for years.

Glasgow Times:

"Whilst reactivation of the site after a quarter of a century of abandonment and several false starts is welcome, the design proposed is a weak and old fashioned suburban gated community of expensive private homes in a sea of carparking, at 160% the number of homes, with no effective engagement with the surrounding area, or any community amenity on the site itself.

"Despite the huge profit Bellway stands to make from the house sales, there is no plan to reactivate the iconic water tower, the only surviving building from the old hospital, which would be a fantastic public viewing space, nor any plan to use the salvaged fragments of the old buildings that are still stored on the site for landscaping or incorporation into the new builds.

"The council must insist on a much higher quality masterplan for this increasingly vibrant district of Glasgow, on the doorstep of the West End.

"The contrast with the more dense urban and heritage conservation approach taken at the old Victoria Infirmary site couldn't be starker.

"Why is this more deprived community being ignored and served up a cut and paste gated housing estate on what should be a showcase design-led regeneration masterplan for north Glasgow?"

There were also concerns raised for the historic water tower on the site, the final in tact remaining part of the old hospital building.

Niall Murphy, chairman of Govanhill Baths Building Preservation Trust, said: "The Ruchill Hospital Water Tower was designed in 1892 by City Engineer Alexander Beith McDonald who also designed Govanhill Baths.

"Lavishly ornamented, the three tiered water tower is one of the most beautiful in Glasgow, its third stage being particularly elaborate.

"Alas, other than noting that ‘the historic water tower acts as an anchor to the development’, there is no reference to what is to happen to it or who pays for the upkeep of this ‘A’ listed landmark.

"From previous experience, my worry is that ownership of the tower will be transferred to all the people buying into this new estate, who will then have to pay for its maintenance, so there is a risk it will become a white elephant.

"If this scenario is to be avoided, then you really need to start thinking now about how to get a sustainable use in it."

The site has previously seen dispute when, in 2007, the then-community council criticised private housing plans for the site that did not include social housing.

A spokesman for Bellway said: "Bellway’s application for the former Ruchill Hospital site provides the opportunity to regenerate an area by providing much needed family homes while retaining features from the former hospital site which has been derelict for many years.

"We look forward to working with the City Council in order to bring these plans to fruition."

"Scottish Enterprise sold the Ruchill site to Bellway Homes following a competitive marketing exercise and the developer has undertaken a public consultation as part of the planning application process and is also considering potential uses for the water tower," a spokeswoman for Scottish Enterprise added.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said he could not comment on live planning applications.