Railway arches in the Laurieston of will be transformed into a new retail hub – offering “attractive” homes to businesses.
Network Rail has been granted planning permission to refurbish eight derelict arches near the Citizen’s Theatre, converting them into shop units.
It is part of a wider project which will see a total of 16 arches redeveloped, with arch seven to be opened up and used as a pedestrian through-route.
The use of the units will be “partly market driven” as, when the planning application was submitted, Network Rail had yet to identify suitable tenants.
“The proposal is a refurbishment project which seeks to bring new uses into the area and visually enhance the arches and its surroundings,” a planning report states.
“It will contribute towards the wider transformation of the Laurieston area which has seen a mix of new housing tenures and types in recent years, and bring services and small-scale employment opportunities to the area.
“In addition, the opening up of arch seven to form a new pedestrian route, connecting Cleland Lane and Laurieston Road, will make the railway structure more permeable and reduce walking distances for local residents travelling in an east-west direction.”
Developers hope the project will provide “attractive units for local businesses, which could include fast food outlets and office space, and upgrade the “visual appearance of the arches and the surrounding environment”.
“Each arch is relatively small and likely to be attractive to small, independent businesses,” the report adds. “It is important to have a good mix of uses.
“It is acknowledged that the council would be concerned about a proliferation of hot food takeaways but it is considered that this type of use is appropriate in one or two units given its location away from residential properties and the availability of parking.
“Network Rail recognises that the first tenancies that we allow will set the tone for others to follow and that it is important to get the mix and tenancy right.”
Planning conditions imposed by Glasgow City Council ensure “no two consecutive units shall be used for food and drink purposes” to “protect local residents from nuisance resulting from the disposal of cooking odours”.
The council has also restricted the arrival of delivery vehicles to between 7am and 10pm daily. Onsite parking will be increased around the arches by using open ground adjacent to Cleland Lane.