Glasgow & West Scotland

Council approves west end university development

Glasgow Uni Western Infirmary plans Image copyright University of Glasgow

A development at Glasgow University, worth about £1bn, has been granted planning permission in principle.

The project aims to demolish much of the former Western Infirmary, between Byres Road and Dumbarton Road over the next 10 years.

In its place will be a large extension to the university campus.

The plan includes research and student learning and recreation space, as well as 11 small shops, a small hotel and a central square.

Prinicpal and vice-chancellor Prof Anton Muscatelli said the redevelopment would be a major economic driver for the city.

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Media captionGlasgow University west end development approved
Image copyright Aecom and 7N Architects

"This will be one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland's history and is certainly the biggest development undertaken by this university since it moved to Gilmorehill 150 years ago," he said.

About £430m is to be spent over the next five years on the first phase of the project.

It is part of the wider £1bn investment, which includes significant spend on refurbishing and improving the existing estate.

Image copyright Aecom and 7N Architects
Image copyright Aecom and 7N Architects
Image copyright Aecom and 7N Architects

The development will have public access.

Proposals for the 14-acre site have faced local opposition, much of it to the removal of trees.

The university struck a deal with the city's health board in 2012, to buy the land after hospital services had been moved - mostly to the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

That took place in 2015. The site is ready for demolition, though several buildings are listed and are to be retained.

These include the hospital chapel and the former outpatient building.

Image copyright Aecom and 7N Architects

A document that went before councillors last month stated that "the proposed development is to provide an inspiring and transformative campus that will enable the university to compete in the global context and attract the best staff and students".

It added: "The aim is to create a vibrant, urban, learning and research campus, which is woven into the fabric of the west end and will enable the university to be more outward-looking and foster stronger links to its surroundings.

"It is intended to be a high quality and welcoming environment with facilities, buildings and spaces that engender a busy, sociable, environment at all times of day and evening throughout the year."

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