New guidance will set out appropriate areas for tall buildings in Glasgow city centre, as planners respond to “development pressure” for high-rise construction.

Council officials have reported tall buildings are “a controversial topic”. Many believe they are “beneficial” as they can “reduce sprawl”, increase the number of people living in an area and offer opportunities for “refurbishment and reuse”.

However, others argue they “consume more materials, energy and resources than lower-rise buildings, and create social and environmental problems”.

The report, updating councillors on the development of planning guidance, added the council recognises taller buildings can be “sustainable if they are designed and built with care and innovation”, but they are “not a panacea”.

It stated tall buildings “should be complemented by other forms of low and medium-impact development”. Officials added “development pressure” for tall buildings is “increasing” due to “new forms” of residential developments, market demand and construction costs.

There is also “increasing pressure” for city centre buildings, such as offices or retail, to be re-purposed, which a council report stated “may require additional height”. Glasgow City Council wants to repopulate the city centre and has an aim of doubling the number of residents to 40,000 by 2035.

Public consultation on the tall buildings guidance is expected to be held in spring next year, with the intention of rolling it out by the summer.

It is expected to include a “map of appropriateness” and categorise areas which would be “most or least adversely affected by tall or taller buildings”, as well as providing design principles.

“This will expand on the principle that not all developments within an area identified as being appropriate for taller buildings can be high risers if specific conditions are not fulfilled,” the report added.

When determining the impact of a tall building, factors which will be considered will include the “historic character” of the area, the effect on the “skyline”, the design and the “carbon cost” during construction and operation.

The guidance is also expected to provide a definition of “what is tall” and “a minimum height threshold for the policy to be applied” will be considered.