Heart of the south?

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SHAWLANDS may soon become a designated conservation area — which could lead to a wave of new investment.

Glasgow city council has launched a consultation calling for public opinion on a draft area appraisal of Shawlands Cross and Waverley Park.

The news follows the approval of the Shawlands town centre action plan — given the go-ahead in May — which will see £3.3 million poured into the area in the hope of boosting its profile as the heart of the southside.

Now, GCC is asking southsiders to share their views.

Bailie Liz Cameron explained: “The final version will not only help to protect and enhance the city’s heritage in Shawlands Cross and Waverley Park, but will help shape how the area develops in the future”.

GCC has suggested that being named a conservation area may bring in more investment through a bid for Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) status from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

If approved, THI status allows the council to apply for grants to restore listed buildings, upgrade the area and improve shop fronts.

The results of the consultation will be used to submit a stage one bid to the scheme, and a verdict is expected in January 2013.

Shawlands and Strathbungo community council has voiced its support for the conservation plan, and chair Andrew Montgomery told The Extra: “We see it as a really positive move which would help bring additional focus onto Shawlands.

“While there aren’t an awful lot of listed buildings, a distinct advantage would be helping to preserve what is there — getting rid of satellite dishes blighting the front of buildings, and helping shop fronts become more uniform.

“Shawlands has some good features which should be retained, and becoming a conservation area would link in to the town centre action plan and help preserve what we have”.

Shawlands residents have long been crying out for extra cash, and this week, The Extra’s Twitter followers debated the neighbourhood’s needs.

@aboutshawlands commented that the best way to boost the area would be “sorting the lack of community areas — the place needs a good clean, and something to help get the raft of empty shops open”.

Owen Duffy added: “I reckon knocking down (the) shopping centre and starting again would be an idea — probably too costly”.

n Anyone interested in taking part in the consultation — running until November 2 — can find out more at www.glasgow.gov.uk, or at an evening viewing at Shawlands Academy, taking place on September 27 at 7.30pm.