Plans launched for 685-property development at Glasgow’s Charing Cross

A planning application has been made for the creation of a new residential development on the site of Portcullis House at Charing Cross in Glasgow.

Watkin Jones Group is behind the plans, which would see the former HMRC building on India Street be demolished to make way for the 685-property build to rent and co-living development.

The firm defines co-living as flexible housing for people who want to be part of a strong community. It explained that residents will usually share meals and spend time in common living areas.

The shared kitchen space

Build to rent is a popular concept in Europe and America. As the name suggests, all properties are for rent, not for sale. Watkin Jones Group said that residents are offered long-term security of tenure, with the flexibility of renting and having access to wider on-site amenities such as gyms and workspaces.

The development could also support economic and social opportunities, which the firm said could include retail, food and drink, office and leisure. The top floor of the development will be open to the public through a booking system, which will allow visitors to enjoy ‘stunning’ views.

Iain Smith, planning director for Watkin Jones Group, commented, “We’re thrilled to submit our planning application for this exciting scheme at Portcullis House, regenerating a brownfield site to create sustainable new homes for people in the city. By ensuring there is a good supply of high-quality rented housing in Glasgow we will meet growing demand, which will benefit people across the local area and beyond.

“The design of our proposed homes will help to keep skilled young people in the city who will boost Glasgow’s economy. These people are actively looking for a sustainable and desirable place to live in central location with excellent transport links and places to shop or socialise. This will repopulate the city centre and benefit local businesses as part of an overall renewal of the west end.

“Build to rent and co-living developments are built for the long-term, so our focus is on creating a great place to live for decades with high-quality rented accommodation at competitive prices that appeal to a wide-range of people. There is huge demand in Glasgow for these homes, which offers long-term security of tenure, combined with the flexibility of renting.”

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, added, “It is fantastic to be seeing this level of investment being made in Glasgow. Delivering high-quality housing such as this, which is desperately needed, will address increasing demand. It will also serve to retain skilled young people in the city as well as regenerating the city centre, which is a key aspiration for the city council.

“Glasgow City Council’s city centre living strategy outlines a target to double the city centre’s population to 40,000 over the next 15 years and increasing density in the city centre is essential to its long- term success and sustainability. Schemes such as this do exactly that. The site has excellent transport links and local businesses will clearly benefit from these proposals. Innovative developments such as this are to be greatly welcomed.”