Author: Fiona MacKinnon

Green Light for Sammy Dow’s


The planning application to create a rear door for Sammy Dow’s,  change the frontage and knock a new entrance gate through the boundary wall, has been given the green light by both planning officers and the Planning Committee.  The window planned for the back has thankfully been dropped.

It has been a monumentally long wait – since April – but it was decided by councillors of the Planning Committee to grant the application on the 19th of August.

Prior to this, nobody on the planning team would even confirm whether it would go to committee. Then when it was recommended by planners and passed to the committee, none of the many objectors was informed of the date and time. This means that Strathbungo residents were denied the chance to go to witness the process. This is despite many requests to the department for notification of the date.

The Planning Portal on Glasgow City Council’s website still lists it as “pending decision” which is an unacceptable delay in letting people know about an important planning application.  I only got access to the report which gives the details yesterday, the 8th of September.

The good news is the fact that councillors seem to have understood and shared our concern that this was really a new entrance/exit to the pub and that the deck was intended as a place for people to smoke. Therefore a stringent condition was attached, by councillors, to the permission :

“For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of clarity the fire exit to the rear shall be used as a fire exit only and a break glass system used at all times hereafter and shall not be used for any other purpose, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Planning Authority”

This clause means unless there is a fire in the building (which we would sincerely hope there never is) the door at the back of the pub should never be open. If it ever is, we must report it to the Planning Department immediately.

Although there will be disappointment at the fact the plan has been granted approval, this condition is the result of strong co-ordinated objection from residents. It proves it’s worth the cost of a stamp or the click of a ‘send’ button.

I would like to thank everyone who lives in the area who helped with the objections.  Thank you must also go to our MSP Nicola Sturgeon, Cllr MacLeod, Cllr Meikle and Cllr Raja who made their views known and supported residents.

You can read the report and judgment by following the links below.

Sammy Dow Planning Report

Sammy Dow Planning Judgement

Sammy Dow – Planning Application – Information for Objections

Rear Elevation14

If you want to object to the Spirit Pub Company creating a new way in and out of Sammy Dow’s, a new gate into the lanes, a raised outside deck and a large new window looking out over the back of Nithsdale Road, Moray Place and Regent Park Square , you need to do it soon…

The last date for objections to be in is Friday the 25th of April 2014 – unless you got a letter from the council about the application, in which case it is the 29th of April 2014.

The proposed deck and stairs leading to a new door into the back of the pub, will create noise and disturbance for anyone in the first block of Moray Place, the homes at the end of Regent Park Square and the homes nearby in Nithsdale Road.  The music will be much louder with open doors and windows…   It is also likely that footfall will increase in the lanes across much of Strathbungo, as people take shortcuts to and from this new entrance and exit.

It’s vital that as many people as possible object to the plans so, if you would like some ideas and pointers, please download the document below.  Feel free to adapt, add, subtract and personalise it.


You can see the application on the city council website – link below.

Objections can be done via the council website if you create a login or you can simply email the planning department.



Sammy Dow – Another planning application

Last year many Bungo residents were relieved to hear that The Spirit Pub Company of Burton on Trent were refused planning permission to create an outdoor deck at the back of the building for smoking and drinking and to give access to the rear court and side lane.  They were also refused permission and Listed Building Consent to change the frontage of the Sammy Dow.

Families living within meters of the pub were understandably very worried about the impact of people being on a raised deck, smoking, drinking and creating noise so close to bedrooms.

The company, which controls 750 pubs across the UK, has now put in another very similar application.

The deck is still in the plan but smaller.  It is now being described as a fire escape.  The worry is that the glass door out will be opened all the time by customers using it as an alternative entrance and exit and that people will stand on this deck to smoke.  This will be a noise nuisance in it’s own right, but the noise from the venue will also be much louder if there is an open door.

New access to the lane is still to be created by removing part of the wall.  They also want to create a large rear window which will look straight into the back of properties on Regent Park Square and Moray Place.  It will also leak noise.  Existing windows on the Moray Place side (which are currently filled with glass bricks) are to be clear glass causing an issue with overlooking and again with noise leak.

There is renewed concern that this new application for an exit at the back of the property will still cause the leaking of noise, will constantly be opened by customers to smoke outside and will cause a huge increase in footfall in the lane as people come and go all day and night at the private side of our houses.

There is nothing in the plans which would prevent these uses for the new deck, stairs and access gate.  It is puzzling that something as basic and workaday as a fire escape (which we all would hope is never needed except in an emergency) is being created in costly materials like glass balustrading and has features like a privacy screen which would surely be redundant.

The date by which you must lodge any objection is Tuesday the 29th of April – so if you want to object please do it as soon as possible.

I intend to share more ideas and information on the relevant grounds for objecting as soon as possible so keep checking the Bungo Blog.

Details of plans are available by clicking the link below.



Sammy Dow’s Planning Application – Still time to object before Friday 28th June

You still have time before Friday the 28th, to put in an objection to the plans by Spirit Pub Group to create a drinking and smoking area in the back garden of the tenement at 69 Nithsdale Road.  They also want to completely change the frontage of this B-Listed building, losing traditional features and adding ugly metal roller shutters.

The intrusion of people on a 2 meter high deck looking into the homes and gardens of residents in Nithsdale Road, Regent Park Square and Moray Place is unacceptable.  There will also be the noise and disturbance on the traditionally quiet side of residential homes – year round.

You can see the plans by visiting the Glasgow City Council Online Planning website :

If you would like some pointers on issues that the planners will consider to be ‘material’ or relevant have a look at this document :


Send your objection via email to the Planning Department at :

It is important that people in Strathbungo make their feelings about this development proposal clear.  If one business gets permission then others could follow and the residential amenity, which makes this a great place to live and bring up a family, will be lost.  The proposal for a hostel in Marywood Square was thankfully rejected and community objections were an important part of that process so please take a moment to respond to this equally disruptive plan.

Moray Place – Tree Update


Network Rail and their contractors Martin,  started work as planned yesterday and accomplished a lot.  It was sad to see the poplars go but this was balanced by the fascination of seeing the huge cherry picker being used to get their staff more than 30 meters in the air to take the trees down bit by bit.

It was also quite sobering to find that the first poplar to be taken down to the ground was rotten and therefore very vulnerable to being toppled in high winds – and we always seem to have a storm in the New Year holiday.

Residents of this part of Moray Place are very happy to have the dangerous trees removed and would like to heartily thank Network Rail for talking to us about the problem and then acting to make both the railway and Strathbungo safer.

The hard work for residents starts now.  Winter will be used to plan for planting to start next year.  Hopefully we’ll make Moray Place green, leafy and safe for the future.



Moray Place – Closure for Tree Work 19th – 21st December

If you were in Strathbungo in the first week of this year, then you may remember the very damaging storms we had.  On the 3rd of January, one of the large poplar trees in the first block of Moray Place was snapped off at the base by the high winds.  It sounded like an explosion and debris, catapulted by the huge tree falling, landed on the surrounding houses.

Thankfully nobody was injured but since then those of us living directly under the poplars have been very concerned about the safety of the remaining trees.

1 – 10 Moray Place residents have worked with Glasgow City Council and Network Rail to assess the condition of the trees and a number, including the poplars have been found to be dangerous.  Although nobody likes to see trees lost from our distinctly leafy surroundings, it has been agreed that selected removal is needed to ensure the safety of residents, road users and the railway.

The issue has taken a long time to negotiate but in the past few weeks things have moved quickly and notice of tree-work was given today.  Procedures were put through fast because it was felt to be urgently needed work.  Signs and cones have been put out in the area.

On Wednesday the 19th of December through to Friday the 21st , contractors will be working on trees in the first block of Moray Place, between Nithsdale Road and Regent Park Square.

The tall poplars have been a distinctive part of Strathbungo, visible from all around the area and we will miss them.  Their height is impressive but also a sign that they are past maturity and detailed assessment reveals they are now too big a risk.

Looking on the bright side, it gives us the opportunity to do some smaller tree re-planting on the verge, which is jointly owned by residents and Network Rail.

Watch this (green) space.




Sainsburys – it’s not local

Posters on the Bungo Blog seem to think that the arrival of Sainsbury is like the arrival of a new local shop and that they can influence what it stocks and how it behaves.

It is an outpost of a corporation that has no interest in being responsive to us or our community.  We are simply another dot on the map and a source of profit.

Sainsbury has a plan to create more and more of these ‘convenience’ stores around the country – opening two new ones every week.*

Competing with the other supermarket giants is hard but I suppose it’s easier to compete with small local shops, so they are stepping into that market with 440 ‘local’ stores so far, taking in over £1billion in sales.*

The operation of Sainsburys is a £21 billion business, comprising of a thousand UK stores, representing about 17% of UK supermarket business.  Profit after tax is around the half a billion mark.*

When Sainsburys make their profit, it makes no difference to the lives of people living in Glasgow.  The largest shareholder is a private investment company owned by the Qatari royal family.  They hold 25% of voting rights in the company.*

I am not advocating that we all knit our own clothes and grow all our own food but we must be thoughtful and realistic about what sort of companies we do business with and what the consequences are.

Buying your loaf or tin of beans in Sainsbury will do nothing to support the men and women retailers of the area who have served us well.  We are lucky to have a good selection of shops to find everything from Arborio rice to handmade ceramics.  Practically all of the list of desired products that was posted on the blog, can be bought within walking distance.  We all know that it does not take much to blight an area and boarded up shops can be the first sign.

The other claim is that somehow all the local businesses need a push to be better.  I honestly cannot think of any instance of bad service or poor quality from people I have known for nearly 15 years.

I would ask everyone to think for a moment if you really want to give your money to the faceless institutional investment shareholders of Sainsbury ?

Or should we instead continue to enjoy going into the local shops ?

Let’s buy our milk and mayo, fresh fruit and chops, greetings cards and flowers, newspapers and lotto tickets, olives and manchego, aspirins and coffee, organic bread and handmade sausages from people we know and chat to, who live here and who are interested in listening to what we want, so that their business and livelihood will survive.  By doing so, we will keep alive the community that we value so much in Strathbungo.