Chop or not?

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A DEBATE over the entrance to Langside Halls sparked this week, as residents of Shawlands consider the possibilities opened up by the town centre action plan.

The project, approved by Glasgow city council in August, will see £3.3 million being poured into improving the area – and Shawlands and Strathbungo community council has hopes for a new public square.

Chair Andrew Montgomery believes that cutting down some of the trees obstructing views of the A listed building and replacing them is the first step towards regeneration.

He told The Extra: “Although I wouldn’t usually condone cutting down trees, you can’t see the Langside Halls building in the summer. We believe removing half a dozen trees would be of great benefit to the area.

“It would allow the building to be seen, and go back to being a public square, for use as a performance space or an outdoor café — and hopefully it would boost the local economy too by bringing people in”.

Further suggestions at the last town centre action plan meeting included the reintroduction of automated toilets, as well as relocating the taxi rank to where an old toilet building stands.

Andrew added: “Most people were in favour — but the first instance is further consultation, to hear what everyone in the neighbourhood has to say”.

A debate over the suggestions, including replacing the trees with a flowerbed and wooden benches to create a public space, took place through The Extra’s Twitter feed this week.

Extra follower @GlasgowFoodie commented: “Open up that vista – plant more, de-clutter and open area at dead toilets, move taxi rank. [It] sounds great to me”.

Lucy Haughey added: “Yes — as southsiders running a southside business, we think most of the southside could look better and tidier”.

But not everyone agrees, with Gary Kilpatrick tweeting: “No, I think the trees are lovely. There are too many trees getting cut down as it is. It’s a beautiful building but I don’t like to see trees being cut down”.

Stewart Lochrie added: “Keep the trees. I like the southside leafy – makes Langside Halls a hidden gem”.

Langside Halls are already a focus for refurbishment, with the South Glasgow Heritage and Environmental Trust asking Collective Architecture to carry out a study in order to consider business plan options for the site.