Plans for the regeneration of Broomielaw, a historic area in Glasgow city centre on the north bank of the Clyde that is key to the further regeneration of both the city centre and the River Clyde corridor, were today (7 February) considered by Glasgow City Council.
The plans include a proposal for a world-class River Park along both banks of the Clyde; an examination of the benefits and negative impacts of the M8 motorway on the area; establishing a vibrant mixed-use riverfront community featuring high-quality contemporary design; creating new public and green spaces; and instilling a collaborative approach to attracting investment and funding.
A public consultation on these plans - which will be delivered through the Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework, currently at draft stage - will begin on 8 February.
Broomielaw is an area with notable existing strengths, such as the successful International Financial Services District; its status as a strategic and highly accessible location which acts as a gateway between the city centre and destinations such as the SEC Campus, Glasgow Airport, the city's West End and South Side; and its tremendous potential in the form of increasing developer activity and interest which may lead to a growing population in the area.
Challenges remain in Broomielaw, with few quality public spaces, sparse and piecemeal residential development, the M8 separates the district from the West End, and the area has an under-developed night-time economy and is heavily car-dominated. In addition, parts of the riverside in the area are an under-utilised asset that must be addressed to attract investment and development.
The Broomielaw district is one of nine in Glasgow city centre identified through the council's City Centre Strategy, with each of these districts to have its own strategy and District Regeneration Frameworks (DRFs) that would see it taking a distinct role in making a more sustainable, mixed-use city centre.
The first of these districts to have such a strategy - essentially a 10-year regeneration plan - was the Sauchiehall and Garnethill District whose DRF was developed over 18 months with significant community and stakeholder engagement. This district features the first Avenues project in the city, the Sauchiehall Avenue, funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which will be complete this year.
The Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework (BDRF) is the second DRF for the city centre, and has been developed collaboratively by a multi-disciplinary team led by Austin Smith Lord and MVRDV, working with the local community, businesses, owners, developers, investors and other stakeholders and organisations. The consultation period between 9 February and 5 April will offer a further opportunity to help shape the plans, after which the final Broomielaw DRF and Action Plan will be produced.
The draft Broomielaw DRF contains a number of recommendations and proposals, with an understanding that resource constraints will limit what actions are taken forward, with this being guided by identified priorities. The final action plan for the DRF will reflect actions that are deliverable in funding, resource and outcome terms.
Seven strategic themes have been developed for the BDRF and associated draft action plan:
(Y)our River Park: this is a proposal to create a world-class linear public space along both banks of the River Clyde. This continuous urban park would transform the river, kick-start development and become a key destination and attraction in the city centre. The aim is to create a quality urban park amenity characterised by water, green and public spaces activate by event and play spaces, recreation and cultural activity for all ages in all seasons, all weather, all day, for all Glaswegians and visitors;
(Y)our Urbanised M8: this aims to maintain the benefits of an urban motorway while reducing its negative impacts. Many consultees have highlighted the convenience and connectivity benefits of the motorway, however the majority of consultees recognised its negative impact - separating neighbourhoods, creating a physical barrier between the city centre, and its West End and North, and exacerbating the area's pollution and traffic congestion. Anderston Cross is an unpleasant experience for pedestrians and cyclists.
(Y)our Great Streets and Spaces: this theme seeks to respond to the car-dominated character of the district and address the shortage of quality green and public spaces. Broken connections need to be addressed throughout the district and investment in public spaces and the physical environment is essential.
(Y)our Great Buildings: this theme promotes actions to respect Glasgow's historic built heritage with the highest quality contemporary design. Clear guidance about the desired qualities of new design will assist development, and the BDRF promotes the development of character-specific areas with an emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist accessibility.
(Y)our Updated Mobility: this incorporates proposals to enhance the city centre's public transport and active travel networks to create a sustainable, walkable city, and will include a review of the City Centre Transport Strategy in the context of the BDRF objectives and the recommendations of the Connectivity Commission;
(Y)our Vibrant Broomielaw: this theme proposes the establishment of a lively, attractive mixed-use riverfront district and a significant uplift in the residential population so that the area becomes more lively, with more night-time economy, leading to more viable amenities and a sustainable, walkable and activated district;
(Y)our Transforming Broomielaw: this focuses on the creation of agile policies and shared objectives to attract investment, secure funding and foster collaborative working in the district. Transforming this district cannot however be delivered by the council alone; this must be a truly collaborative partnership between all stakeholders. Despite the lack of public ownership, GCC will look to work with partners to develop masterplan strategies for both sides of the river.
The Broomielaw DRF will become Supplementary Planning Guidance once it and the city centre Strategic Development Framework is approved by the council. This will allow it to have the status of a material consideration, and it will be referenced and used to make development decisions in the district. The BDRF Planning Policy section provides the context for the Broomielaw district, and provides criteria against which development proposals will be assessed.
The council's GCC City Centre Regeneration Team will ensure that there is a way for residents and other stakeholders to continue to be involved and input to the process as projects are developed and delivered. Engagement is ongoing with the Blythswood and Broomielaw community council.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "These ambitious plans will help the council and our partners to bring Broomielaw to its full potential and allow the area to take its proper place in the life of the city. This is a part of Glasgow that has enormous scope to influence the future development of the city centre and the river corridor, so please take the opportunity to help shape the final plans by taking part in the consultation on the Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework."
The draft Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework can be found at: https://www.glasgowcitycentrestrategy.com/broomielaw-district-regeneration-framework-public-consultation.htm.
The public consultation, which will take the form of an online survey, or comments by email or post, can be found at the city council's Consultation Hub at: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17317 from 8 February.