West Tollcross Student Accommodation

Posted on: November 8, 2023

In terms of use, we accept that a PBSA scheme is a suitable use here

Address: 3 -5 West Tollcross & 9 Thornybauk Tollcross

Proposal: Erection of mixed-use development comprising  comprising student accommodation, commercial uses

Reference No: 23/04950/FUL

Closing date for comments: Tue 07 Nov 2023

Determination date: Mon 04 Dec 2023

Cockburn Response

The Association has had several discussions with the developer and their professional team, including a presentation of the proposals to our Policy & Development Committee recently. We acknowledge this positive engagement for this important yet relatively hidden site.

The Cockburn accepts that this is a development site. Despite its interesting and varied history, none the buildings proposed for removal have significant merit or haven’t been substantially altered over the years. We also acknowledge the impact that the 1960s and 70s traffic engineering schemes have had in the local area.

In terms of use, we accept that a PBSA scheme is a suitable use here. Unlike very many schemes coming in the market, the location is very well placed for a number of institutions. Whilst we would prefer a mixed-use/tenure scheme, the site is both constrained in size and context as to make this impractical.

Overall, we are content with the scale and massing of the proposals. We welcome the proposed active frontage and support the small space being provided. In due course, we hope that significant changes to the road layout might mean greater area is give over to the open space.

We have some concerns with the use of brick on this site, particularly from an embodied carbon management perspective. Brick is one of the most carbon-heavy materials due to its manufacturing process and going forward, such carbon assessments should form part of the decision-making process per NPF4’s objective in climate change mitigation. We therefore advocate that a condition be imposed requiring low carbon alternatives (eg baked v fired brick) to be considered.

We note the proximity to one of the city’s busiest fire stations. Noise management will be crucial in making this a successful scheme and whilst mostly the domain of the building regulation system, the amenity of the proposals relies on ensuring sufficient building mass to address this external noise source.

Finally, the use of the site as a music venue/nightclub over many years has created an interesting part of the intangible heritage of the city. Bands such as U2, The Clash and Pink Floyd have performed here early in their careers. We would therefore advocate an interpretation strategy in the proposed open space to mark this fact.