A developer planning to demolish most of a historic distillery to build 182 flats in the city centre will get a chance to convince councillors to back the project — despite planners calling for the scheme to be refused.

Liverpool-based firm Brickland wants to develop a site which includes the former home of Wright and Greig Ltd distillers, providing a mix of one, two and three bedroom build-to-rent apartments at 64-72 Waterloo Street.

The company is planning to demolish unlisted buildings at 70-72 Waterloo Street, and “substantially demolish” the B-listed distillers building, leaving “approximately the front third and its facade in place”.

Glasgow Times:

Six flats would be created in the distillers building and a 24-storey tower would be erected.

Council planners concluded the proposal should be turned down as it is “unsympathetic and over dominant”.

But councillors on the city’s planning committee have voted in favour of a hearing, giving the firm an opportunity to put its side across.

The committee was recommended to refuse the application on Tuesday, but agreed to the request from Brickland to allow a hearing following a vote, with seven members in favour and six opposed.

Cllr Martin McElroy said: “I’m minded to suggest we go to a hearing because, while I don’t want to pre-judge any outcome, there are a number of potential policy issues which need to be debated by the committee if we are ever going to achieve some of the strategic aims that the city wants to see, including doubling the population of the city centre.”

Cllr Ken Andrew had wanted to make a decision today, based on the report from council planners.

He said: “There are a number of areas where this application is at odds with our city development plan, it is not marginal.”

There were 13 objections to the application and nine letters of support. Blythswood and Broomielaw Community Council said it was “delighted” to see a proposal for residential properties, but the building “does not fit the locale” and the height is “inappropriate”.

Historic Environment Scotland did not object but did say the proposals would “detract from the character” of the conservation area and have a “detrimental impact” on the listed building. It would prefer a “more conservation-led approach”.

Planners concluded that the current proposals are “considered to be excessive in scale to the point they would unacceptably impact on the setting of the Glasgow Central Conservation Area”.

They ruled the development was “unsympathetic and over dominant” and a suggested residents’ lounge and cafe, which would be open to the public, would “detrimentally affect the amenity value of this space”.

The “absence of details on flood risk” was also a reason for their recommendation.

In the application, the developer had said: “The distillers building is underutilised and requires significant investment.  “When combined with the adjacent 70-72 building, the site provides a significant opportunity to create a new best in class residential-led mixed use scheme to serve the Glasgow city centre market, whilst retaining and enhancing the historic assets of the distillers building, which contributes to its uniqueness.”