Empty offices near the M8 at Townhead could be turned into 150 student rooms under a plan submitted to Glasgow City Council.

Developers want to convert and extend a building at Swan Street which has been vacant for over two years to provide student accommodation.

Council guidance on the over-concentration of purpose-built student accommodation suggests a new development in the area would be opposed, however the applicants believe this should not apply as the plan is for the “retention and reuse of an existing building”.

Swan Street Glasgow Ltd’s application states the site is in “a desirable location for students, particularly those studying at Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Strathclyde”.

In documents submitted to the council, the developers add there is “a significant shortfall of accommodation for students”.

The current three-storey L-shaped building is unoccupied and was last let as offices over two years ago. Plans state the developers are “now pursuing an alternative use for the space, seeking permission to re-purpose the existing building… to ensure its long-term viability”.

Two extra floors would be added to the building to provide 105 rooms over five floors. The studio rooms would have “integral kitchen spaces and ensuite bathrooms”.

Documents add: “It is proposed that the existing building structure will be partially retained. The building will be stripped back to the frame and, subject to further structural analysis floors may also be retained and reconfigured as required in response to the necessary introduction of lifts and stairs.”

A courtyard and cycle storage rack would be provided to the rear of the building.

Currently, the property is let to a charity on a short-term lease for “sorting donations”, but the applicants believe this is “not a sustainable long-term use”. 

“It has been widely reported that many businesses in Glasgow are now seeking flexible, grade-A office space, which cannot be provided by the current building,” they add. “Alternative uses for the building are therefore being explored to ensure its long-term viability.”

“While an operator has not yet been specified, the proposed development could potentially fill a gap in the market, providing a high-quality level of student accommodation in the heart of the city at a more affordable price.”