Category: Local interest (Page 1 of 4)

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).

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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

Interested in home improvements?

Energy prices have risen significantly and are set to rise even higher in October. Meanwhile the climate crisis continues to deepen and war criminals fund their crimes with fossil fuel revenue. You might be wondering how you could improve your Strathbungo home to reduce energy expenditure, improve comfort, and save the planet. Working out what to do and finding appropriate tradespeople can be difficult and expensive. However, Strathbungo Eco Group is working with Loco Home Retrofit to coordinate bulk purchasing of advice and works to bring down these costs and make it much easier.

We hope to coordinate the bulk purchase and implementation of energy saving home improvements, from insulation and windows to heat pumps and solar panels.

We have developed form to gather interest which you can find here:

https://forms.gle/ecH5i9NTckoNHDbJ9

If you live outside Strathbungo, do not worry, there will be a form for you as well before long.

Disclaimer: Several members and directors of Loco Home Retrofit are also members of Strathbungo Eco Group.

More on Back Lanes Funding

*** UPDATE – May 2022, see below ***

We previously reported on plans to access council funds for refurbishing back lanes.

The council not only required bids to come from a formally constituted body, i.e. The Society, but also set a very short deadline for the first round of applications, preventing us from conducting a fuller consultation. We therefore set about surveying the lanes and establishing how we could make small but meaningful improvements to the lanes within a budget of £20,000.

For the bulk of the bid we chose to focus on improving access in the back lanes, specifically for active travel, such as those walking and cycling, and sought to identify the areas where this is most difficult. On a wet day it became obvious that where the poor state of the surface combines with a tendency to flooding, lanes can be completely impassable to those on foot. The areas worst affected are the two entrances to the Vennard/Marywood lane from Vennard Gardens, and a short mid-section of the Marywood/Queen Square lane. If our bid is successful we will be looking to find a contractor who can perform patch repairs to these areas to improve access. We will need to seek permission of the owners of the adjacent properties, as the lanes are their property, and we will be approaching them in due course.

While we acknowledge other suggestions were made, we felt it appropriate to concentrate on fixing the worst problems first.

We have also bid for funding for indemnity insurance, previously withdrawn by the council, to cover our Brighter Bungo clean up events, a matter of a few hundreds of pounds.

There will be further rounds of funding, so if we can pull this off, it may allow us to bid for further projects in due course. We will let you know how we get on.

Update – May 2022

The Society has been awarded £20,000 to be spent by mid October. We need the written permission of the adjacent residents, who own the lanes, and are making good progress making contacts. We will also be seeking contractors who might be interested to discuss what can be achieved. If you think you have the skills to help us email our chair.

Proposed development on Arnold Clark site

The Arnold Clark showroom has been a prominent feature in Strathbungo for a century, sitting on the corner of Pollokshaws Road and Nithsdale Drive. It was built as The Queens Garage in the 1920s, and it has operated as a motor showroom ever since. Although the building looks a modern replacement, it is actually the original building with a new fascia.

However the showroom has now closed, and the land earmarked for housing. Today the first proposal for the site has been released by South Side Housing Association and Keppie Design, and they are looking for your comments. Note that while this is just an initial proposal, they hope to lodge their planning application in March or April.

You have a brief opportunity to discuss at this stage. Feel free to discuss on the Keppie Design web site, on here, on social media, or email chair@strathbungo.co.uk if you would rather the Society reflect your views anonymously.

The consultation dates are as follows:

  • 24th February 2022 – 17th March 2022 (21 days): Public consultation period, with website available throughout.
  • 3rd March 2022: A ‘live’ and interactive/two-way consultation event between 3pm – 6pm (3 hours), hosted as a ‘chat box’ function on the website.
  • 17th March 2022: Final date for submitting comments via contact details on the website.

Their sketch above is based off Google Streetview, so here is a more realistic rendition of what is to come, and what it replaces.

Artist’s rendition, superimposed on Google Streetview

The Queens Garage

The Arnold Clark showroom

Update

There’s a proposal gone in for the other part of Arnold Clarks on Nithsdale Drive today, beside the railway line. Not much detail:

Back Lanes Funding – an update

Having reported last month about the council’s fund to refurbish private lanes, the Society have waited for the release of the details of the conditions and the regulations governing the Fund detailing who can apply and specifics of what funds can be used for. The good news is that details were finally released last Thursday. The bad news is that we have until 11 March to make an application. So we have less than a month to take things forward. This short timetable takes us to just before the local government elections, but presents a major hurdle to preparation of detailed proposals that will make a real difference in our community and that have had scrutiny by the local community.

Our original plan had been to organise to make a bid for each lane, forming sub groups around the individual lanes. That would have enabled individual solutions tailored to meet the needs of the different problems in different areas of Strathbungo. However given that the Council’s rules state that applications need to come from not-for-profit, legally constituted democratic groups with independent bank accounts, the time scales now make that impossible, given that processes for setting up individual groups is both time consuming and and subject to timescales imposed by the authorities who oversee those processes. The Society however is already such a group and can make an application covering the whole Strathbungo area.

The maximum bid to be considered is £20,000. Having examined the criteria that the Council see as being relevant for funding applications, the following would apply as problems common to our lanes:

  • Fly Tipping
  • Lane Surface Water/Drainage Issues
  • Enhanced biodiversity

Looking at the Strathbungo area, we know what the problems are but lack the expertise at this stage to specify solutions or to cost them. For example, drainage and pot holes are a common issue but dealing with them to ensure that we apply sustainable solutions that will last will require a full survey of the lanes. This should provide a costing of repairs and refurbishment. Given that there are promises on the table that the fund will continue going forward, that would allow future bids to be realistically prepared.

The Council also specify that there must be an element of ongoing future management attached to plans. In Strathbungo, we have a history of engagement in the environment, with regular Brighter Bungo clear ups taking place throughout the year. Pre-covid, those activities took place with cover from the council’s Public Liability Insurance. Unfortunately that cover has now been withdrawn. The Society believes that we should apply for money to cover the cost of Public Liability, enabling us to continue to have regular community clear-up days with the safety of volunteers in mind.

In addition, we would like to identify some immediate short projects that could be part of any bid to enhance the amenity of the lanes. Any suggestions should be addressed to treasurer@strathbungo.co.uk. To be included in the bid, they are needed by the end of this month, February, and where possible have some indication of likely costs.

The Society is committed to engaging as many local residents as possible in this process and will be holding a public meeting as well as ensuring that all residents are aware of the project.

Jane Carolan
Chair
Strathbungo Society

Splitting Strathbungo?

The Boundary Commission for Scotland began its 2023 Review of UK Parliament constituencies in Scotland in January 2021 and published its initial proposals in October 2021. These were open for comment for two months. One proposal directly affects Strathbungo, proposing to redraw the boundary through the middle of the Squares. In their map below, the red lines show their proposed boundary, while the blue represents the existing boundary.

You can find the details at https://www.bcs2023review.com/ – just put in your postcode to go to the relevant part of the map. You will need to use “Boundaries” tab to select the layers you want to see, e.g. old boundaries and constituency names.

The Commission is now inviting further comments  (you can comment on the previous comments, for example) and is holding public meetings in its second consultation, which runs to 23rd March 2022.

You can see the previous comments made here (use the search term “strathbungo” to find the 9 comments made) and add to them. You can attend a public meeting and ask to speak. The Glasgow meeting is at Doubletree by Hilton, 36 Cambridge Street, Glasgow G2 3HN on 23rd February 2022.  Their press release says:

“Each hearing will begin at 10am and include three sessions depending on demand. These sessions will run from 10am – 12pm, 2pm – 4pm and 6pm – 8pm.
The public are asked to email bcs@scottishboundaries.gov.uk to book a speaking slot. Please note that the Commission cannot guarantee you a speaking slot at your preferred time and you may be asked to choose a different slot or submit your representation in writing.”

If you would like to add your voice to views on the splitting of the ‘Bungo, do please contribute comments or book a slot at one of the hearings.

 

 

 

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