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Will Glasgow Adopt a Tall Buildings Policy?

Will Glasgow Adopt a Tall Buildings Policy?
23 November 2023

Glasgow City Council is developing new planning guidance for tall buildings, to ensure that they meet design standards and do not spoil existing views.

Council officers, architects, designers, developers and heritage bodies met to discuss the topic, with a public consultation planned for 2024.


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As part of the wider Glasgow City Development Plan to make the city an attractive and sustainable business location and meet to demand for housing and commercial space, several tall buildings are in construction in the city, such as the Candleriggs and Pitt Street developments.

Under tall building regulations, such buildings would have their heights and locations questioned at the planning stage, taking views of important buildings, townscapes and skylines into consideration.

According to a poll by think tank Policy Exchange, 71 per cent of people believe tall buildings should not be allowed to interfere with historic views, and 70 per cent believe they should fit in with their surroundings. 56 per cent believe new planning regulations to more effectively control tall buildings should be introduced.


What is a Tall Buildings Policy?


Tall building policies limit the heights and locations of high-rise developments, protecting views of important buildings, townscapes and skylines. Such schemes are already in place in Liverpool and London.


What Defines a ‘Tall Building’?


A tall building is defined as a building (including rooftop structures and masts) that significantly exceeds general building heights in the immediate vicinity and which alters the skyline.


What Will Glasgow Consider?


The guidance will be developed using case studies from existing tall building policies in the UK and a detailed examination of the topography of the city centre to assess which areas would be most affected by tall buildings. This will be balanced with urban planning strategy considerations.

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Development and Land Use at Glasgow City Council, said: "New planning guidance for tall buildings in Glasgow city centre will help achieve our aims of re-populating and re-densifying the city centre in a sustainable way. 

“When complete, the guidance will ensure that tall buildings meet design standards and are located only in places that are appropriate to their local setting."

Picture: a photograph of Glasgow’s skyline. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 23 November 2023


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