The Arnold Clark development – Planning Application

Further to previous posts on this subject (in February and April), the planning application for this development is now live and you can read it on the Glasgow Council website: Glasgow City Council Planning Department.

Search using the application reference: 22/01468/FUL

The last date for comments is Tue 19 July (see “Important Dates” tab for the application).

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Brighter Bungo returns too!

Please do your bit to ensure the lanes are in good nick for Bungo in the Back Lanes by coming along for a half hour on Sunday 12th June between 11 and 1. Litter pickers, bin bags and high viz vests will be available outside Zinfandel on Nithsdale Road. Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it could you have a look at your own stretch and spruce it up for the occasion?

It is no longer acceptable to have the Council spraying chemicals to kill the vegetation along the lanes, but we do need enough clear space for our stalls and our visitors. If you are willing to help with a more natural approach to a little vegetation control, we would love to hear from you. Contact Imelda Devlin on 07598 941168 or email: brighterbungo@strathbungo.co.uk

Bungo in the Back Lanes Returns

New residents begin here …….or if you need a reminder …..

Bungo in the Back Lanes will finally be returning to Strathbungo after a 2 year hiatus. This year’s event will be Saturday 18th June, 1-5pm.

BitBL began in 2000 with the aim to bring our lanes to life. We don’t have community facilities within our boundaries but there are almost two acres of back lanes there for us to play with or play on, two acres of performance area, music venues, playground, exhibition space and dance floor! Bungo in the Back Lanes encourages everyone to open up their back gates, set out their stall and sell their wares – whether it’s home baking, barbecued burgers, craft goods, or junk from their attics (which becomes someone else’s treasure). Just set up your own table and get going. Or, if you don’t set up your own stall, take a wander round the lanes yourself and enjoy the variety that will be on offer.

The Strathbungo Society is responsible for the organisation, and arranges for two bars to be run (one in Marywood/Queen, the other in Queen/Regent Park, though the latter may not happen this year due to garden alterations) plus courtesy of Southside Sessions, a live music venue giving a wide variety of local performers a platform for entertainment. This has in the past been supplemented by local residents who have hosted their own live events. The Society also organises a Tombola where you can try your luck and win from a host of prizes, a community zone with local voluntary organisations, and its own stall with Society merchandising.

Visitors – BitBL is a major community event which welcomes people from outwith Strathbungo. If you have not visited before, the Strathbungo back lanes are mainly cobbled, with generally uneven surfaces and contain many potholes. While people walk along them the whole time, there are many potential hazards in terms of tripping and stumbling, so you need to have suitable footwear and look where you put your feet. It is stallholders who are responsible for ensuring that any products they sell meet Health and Safety requirements, especially if providing food.

But Bungo in the Back Lanes is primarily about having fun and getting to know your neighbours and your neighbourhood. Come rain or hopefully shine, take part and have fun!

Can I help?

Absolutely. You might not want to run your own stall but you can still be part of the day. The event is run by a small team of volunteers, and we are grateful for all the help we can get, especially on the day.

Early on Saturday, there’s a team (no, “The A-Team” [Ed]) involved in doing the set up, sorting out gazebos, society stalls, and other infrastructure needed. By early, we are talking 9am, usually starting on the Marywood/Queen lane at the Pollokshaws Road end.

There’s always need for help staffing society stalls. Can you sell a raffle ticket? Then you could be a volunteer on the Tombola. Sell a ticket, give out a prize. There will always be someone to show you the system. Or you could help sell Society merchandise. Or if you have unwanted christmas presents, bottles of drink or other bric-a-brac you could donate it as prizes.

We also need stewards, to help with enquiries and assist people to enjoy the day or direct them to other services if needed (like our first aiders). Again, you will be briefed and have a hi-viz vest so that people know who you are, but it doesn’t stop you walking and enjoying the lanes yourself.

And at the end, there’s the take down. That’s the opposite of set up, when the event has ended. How quick can you dismantle a gazebo, without breaking it of course? Contact bitbl@strathbungo.co.uk if you want to help out.

Whose permission do I need to set up a table?

No-one’s, if it’s in or behind your back garden. It doesn’t cost anything. We are very grateful for core grant support from Glasgow City Council, to meet essentials costs like insurance without which the event could not run. But we ask stallholders, except for children or charities, to contribute 10% of their earnings on the day as a donation to the Strathbungo Society (the Society is a registered charity).

Stewards will issue an envelope for donations to all stallholders which they will collect at the end of the afternoon, or they can be returned to the Strathbungo Society – receipts will be issued on request.

If you are setting up a stall this year, please email us at bitbl@strathbungo.co.uk so we can update the map for the event.

Eating

Residents selling home-made produce (e.g. curries, cakes or biscuits, whatever your secret recipe is) also need to be aware of basic hygiene and food safety.
The most important rules are:

  • you must advise people of possible allergens in your food, perhaps with a sign or chalkboard on your stall
  • you must have suitable facilities for hand washing and for washing equipment between uses (for residents, these can be in your house)
  • you should have a sanitiser spray available for disinfecting your food surfaces; hand sanitisers are also a good idea
  • where appropriate, you need to be able to store food at low temperature (e.g. if you are cooking pizzas using fresh toppings) – cool boxes are allowed but you must ensure they are kept cold enough
  • for hot food, you must cook or reheat food at the correct temperature

To find out more about what is needed, please refer to the following documents provided by Glasgow City Council online:-

  • New Food Business Pack or Allergen chart – although written for food businesses, the principles remain sound for residents selling home-made food

We notify the Environmental Health team at the Council of the event so it is possible that they will inspect food stalls at some point during the afternoon.

See our food safety page.

And drinking..

As noted, the Society runs two bar areas, hosted by local businesses. Laws on the sale of alcohol insist that every bar has to apply to the Council licensing court for a licence for the day. There is no general licence for the event and anyone wanting to sell alcohol would need to go through Council for their own licence. Licences are required to be displayed in all bar areas, and it is a condition of the licence that the bar area requires to be fenced and stewarded to ensure the boundaries are respected and ensure that people are not going beyond the bar area with alcohol. And as a customer, please help by sticking to the licencing rules.

More info

There’s more on our dedicated BitBL pages.

Update on the Arnold Clark development

Representatives from AS Homes and Southside Housing Association (SHA) were kind enough to attend the last Strathbungo Society committee meeting, and elaborate on their plans for the site at Pollokshaws Road and Nithsdale Drive.

Some points to note:

  • In response to concerns raised, the height at the corner has been dropped from eight storeys to seven, though possibly by extending the seven stories a little further along Pollokshaws Road (see sketches). At this end it will then drop to 5 storeys to match the roof line of the next building. On Nithsdale Drive it will drop to 4 storeys near the Mission Hall. They intend to provide “sunlight analysis” diagrams with their planning application, which may help decide if this sufficiently allays fears of neighbours, especially those on the other side of Nithsdale Drive. While they justify the height based on examples of other tall corner buildings in the neighbourhood, we did note that generally those buildings do not cast shadows over neighbouring residents.
  • There will be no on-site car parking, in line with Council expectations. SHA state that car uptake amongst their tenants on other developments is actually very low, even where parking has been provided. The parking (nose-in) on Nithsdale Drive will be retained, and they may provide electric charging points on some of these bays. Secure cycle storage wil open straight out onto Pollokshaws Road.
  • All services are contained within the footprint of the building (bin-stores etc.)
  • The building will be in a mostly red brick finish, to reflect the local red sandstone tenements.
  • They expect it to be a “gas free” development, and are looking at alternative heating options, and solar panels on the roof.
  • The planning application will be lodged with the council in about two weeks from now, and there will then be the usual statutory period if you wish to object or raise concerns. So watch the Council planning portal, and if we hear, we will link to it here.
  • SHA and AS Homes are not involved in the other Arnold Clark future development further along Nithsdale Drive (the old servicing depot).

Continue reading

Queen’s Park North Play Area – petition

We’ve been asked to publicise this by a Bungo resident, who says:

There is a campaign to improve Queen’s Park north play area. It’s in a terrible state and not fit for purpose.

The park serves as an important asset to children living in flats with limited garden space. There’s currently poor separation of play equipment by age group and no inclusive play equipment.

I’ve organised a petition calling on the council to ensure the Scottish Government’s “parks and open spaces funding” is allocated to improving the play area in their capital investment programme 2022-23.

You can find out more and view photos of the play equipment here: http://improveourpark.co.uk/

You can view (and sign!) the petition here: https://chng.it/YQP6kz7PC5

Glasgow Times article here: https://tinyurl.com/yckhpc5h

Your support would be greatly appreciated!

More bike hangers

Another bike hanger has appeared this week in Strathbungo, at the Pollokshaws Road end of Queen Square.

It was originally planned for the other end of the street, but the Society passed on concerns regarding the width of the hangar on the narrow roadway, and so it has been installed at 2 Queen Square, which is slightly wider.

There is clearly a need for these; sadly this one is already fully booked, as is every other one in the neighbourhood. If you want to add your name to the waiting list, or request another one somewhere, you can do so on the cyclehoop website. A space costs £72 per year.

Little Einsteins Nursery

Note: We have been asked to post this by a Strathbungo resident. The Society itself has no knowledge of, or views on, the issues raised.

Hi there,

I’m writing in relation to something that I’m sure hasn’t escaped your attention: the closure of Little Einstein’s Nursery on Nithsdale Road. Publishing on it in the future could be a really helpful thing to do and I would love to assist with that, as for right now I’m hoping we can exercise some Strathbungo community power to avert the permanent closure of this treasured local nursery.

They received a devastating lowest possible grading in their Care Inspectorate assessment last year. As a direct consequence of this, they now cannot find an insurer and have been shut since Monday last week (21st March). Having explored all the UK markets including Lloyds of London (my wife works for an insurance broker and has been supporting this process), it is becoming clear that the insurers are not interested in them at this grade. This is understandable given this is the lowest possible score the CI can award, which presumably is as close to instant closure as can be allowed to operate. This is a ridiculous overstatement and wildly inaccurate reflection of reality. The CI seem ignorant, unsympathetic and unhelpful on the fact that their rating is created a situation where permanent nursery closure is becoming the only possible outcome. If they cannot operate, they cannot make any earnings and will be unable to get reassessed.

We’ve been very impressed by all the improvements the Little Einstein’s team have made since the grading, but unfortunately their published scores remain unchanged. From our perspective, there is no cause for the nursery to be shutting over this. I’m confident our daughter receives above average care today, she loves the place and people, and misses both sorely. The impacts of closure are significant; loss of jobs, disruption and lost earnings for families, and disrupting the happy lives of young people in our community.

I’m frankly shocked by how this has all unfolded and am confident that if those involved could sit down together for a reasonable and considerate conversation, informed by all the relevant facts of the matter, that it wouldn’t be happening. I’m going to write to our MSP today.

One thing I wondered if you could help with is whether through the community network we know any Underwriters? My experience of these people is they are pivotal in the insurance world and that they make balanced and pragmatic decisions, which I’m confident in this case would be to find a way to allow the nursery to continue to operate.

Any other ideas or help of any sort you can lend to this cause will be so gratefully received by everyone effected I’m sure.

Many thanks for all your work and service to the community, I’m an avid reader of the newsletter and proud Strathbungoan.

Neil
neil.a.w.harrison@googlemail.com

Possible futures: Bungo Borehole Network

It is clear that we need to get Strathbungo off gas heating sooner rather than later, but onto what? Improving energy efficiency and insulation comes first, but we need to replace the boilers. One option is air source heat pumps where each property has their own independent system. Another is a district heating system where hot water is delivered directly to properties rather than gas. District heating needs a heat source, Central Glasgow will get a network drawing heat from the Clyde, parts of Southside might be able to run a network off the White Cart, and in some areas (regrettably probably not ours) minewater heat can be used. Strathbungo does not have an obvious heat source but there are still options.

Ground Source Heat Pumps which draw energy from under the ground (1.5-250m) can work better than Air Source Heat Pumps as underground is at a pretty constant temperature year round. They can use pipes laid in trenches if you have lots of space (we do not) or boreholes otherwise. However, the cost of drilling a borehole can be high, partly due to the cost of bringing in the equipment. Drilling lots of boreholes in one go is much cheaper per borehole than drilling them one off. Therefore a network of boreholes in Strathbungo’s back lanes might supply the needs of Strathbungo’s heating.

There are other advantages: such heat pumps can be run in reverse to provide cooling. While Glasgow has historically not had much need of cooling, we don’t live in that world any more. Heatwaves can kill large numbers of people. Consequently ensuring that at least some properties have cooling is an essential matter of life and death as well as increased comfort. We can invite neighbours round to lie next to cold radiators and wait for the weather to turn, as it surely will. Running the pumps in reverse also helps recharge the boreholes, increasing their capacity and efficiency in the winter.

One of the key constraints is the rate at which the ground cooled by the boreholes warms up again as heat moves in from the centre of the earth and surrounding ground. Draw energy out too fast and the ground will slowly cool over the years and the system become less efficient. Charging the boreholes in the summer from cooling radiators/solar thermal panels etc. can enable more homes to be heated off the same borehole network.

The main difficulty is likely to be organisational and financial rather than technical as there is a significant capital cost, complexities around running costs, title deeds etc. and it would only work financially if enough households made a firm commitment.

Kensa has a video of how ground source district heating systems can work.

Strathbungo Eco Group and Loco Home Retrofit are talking to one manufacturer about the possibility of a Bungo Borehole Network. We hope that developing this idea and assessing feasibility can form part of future back lane funding proposals. Loco Home Retrofit will also apply to the new Heat Networks Development Fund to develop this idea. We are looking for people to help manage this project, do get in touch: strathbungoecogroup@gmail.com

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