COUNCILLORS do not have the power to refuse planning permission for drive-thru outlets on climate change grounds, according to a senior councillor.

A controversial drive-thru for Burger King and Starbucks in the west of the city is under construction, despite a strong community campaign to halt it.

Another application for a drive-thru, on the other side of the River Clyde, in Ibrox, has attracted a petition to stop it being approved.

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Kenny McLean, convenor for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm, said currently there are no “tools” to refuse but that is expected to change with a new city development plan.

In an exclusive interview with the Glasgow Times, Mr McLean spoke about the challenges facing the city and its neighbourhoods and the impact of climate change and the pandemic.

Glasgow Times:

Asked how the growth in drive-thrus fits with meeting climate change objectives, he said it can’t be used as a reason to refuse.

Mr McLean said: “We don’t have the tools in the development plan. We can’t say no to it.

“The world has changed since the last development plan.

"If we don’t have a reason to say no, a developer would appeal and would win. We have to address this. The new plan will give us powers.”

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He said the new plan would allow other considerations to be taken into account, adding: “It is two years away. It will take into account climate change and the pandemic.”

The councillor said he wants a mix of social, private and mid-market rent properties and for social housing to be seen as desirable once more.
The council doesn’t build houses but does give approval and sells land to developers.
The sale of a plot of land at Collina Street in Maryhill to a developer has been suspended as local people want it used for social housing.

Glasgow Times:
Mr McLean said there are seveal projects across the city, like the Meat Market in Gallowgate and at Wyndford, that are helping the council achieve its goals.
He said: “The challenge is to deliver the right mix. In the past I don’t think we have had the right mix. For a long time social housing wasn’t a priority. We weren’t building enough units.

"The private rented sector has mushroomed, maybe because there is not enough affordable, not just social, housing. 
“A problem Glasgow has had is the city didn’t have an affordable housing policy. We couldn’t say to a private developer you have to give us a proportion of affordable homes. 
“I don’t believe in rebuilding the schemes of the past with one type of tenure. Or big estates of private housing.”
The plan is for 6500 new affordable homes, with 70 percent social housing by 2027.
Mr McLean pointed to a development in Anderston at St Vincent Street as an example to follow.

Glasgow Times:
He added: “Anderston is a mix of social, mid-market and private. You can’t tell the difference. The quality is superb. Social housing should not be a choice of last resort. No type of tenure should be seen as better than another. We are doing a lot to bring social housing back as a desirable choice.”
The 20-minute neighbourhood concept will, he said, be a feature in coming years.
Mr McLean added: “The development plan will reflect that. It’s not a new concept. It is a theory that’s been a thing since 1961 in America. 
“Having everything within 20 minutes as we bring new projects on stream is common sense. We don’t want people jumping in cars for great distances to get what they need.”