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 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


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


  1. Andrew Wilson

    Other than cost implications, which is the developers liability, I’m unsure why they cannot be pushed to extend the sandstone tenement style on Pollokshaws Road to create a facsimile of the current structures rather than another modern look building. There are examples in Glasgow where planning permission required such a tradtional style to match existing. A modern style will stand out like the other Southside Housing building on March Street and the New build on Allison Street. I fear if this modern style is allowed on this site it will also be allowed in due course on the Nithsdale Drive site, the former Vauxhall fast fit site, which must not be allowed as this other site is within the conservation area, unlike this one.

    • John

      Conservation area stops short, I’m afraid. Even if it didn’t, it would be replacing an ugly building…

  2. Michael Hoare ARB

    In my own view, the block is not well-proportioned. It is ‘top heavy’. It should be designed to be more in keeping with the surrounding tenement vernacular.

    I also feel there is no aesthetic need to increase the height of the block towards the street corner. I assume it has been done to tie in with the tenement height on Pollokshaws Road while also providing more units (crucially, more ‘penthouse’ corner flats with a higher sale value).

    My view is that this scheme should undergo further design development as, based on the sketches, I don’t think it will improve the streetscape at this site.

  3. Ross

    actually I like the top heaviness of the structure as a distinctive focal point on entry to strathbungo from the north.

    If they redesign the top (and corner) to have an artistic quality to reflect it’s prominent focal point, I think it’s a good development.

    The garage is not particularly in keeping with the area and has been an eyesore for decades.

  4. Heather

    In due course, those with views on the proposal (for or against) are best to make them known to Planning via the council’s Online Planning tool:
    Meantime, note that there will be online consultations as shown in the notice.

  5. Emma McCrossan

    I was dismayed to find out the garage had been sold to property developers, having just bought my flat in Dec 21 on Nithsdale Drive. The light issue closely followed by the parking issue are the biggest concerns for me.
    Being on the ground floor this proposal will block out a large proportion of any natural light we currently get into the living room. This is where I spend most of my day working from home.
    I also don’t believe this won’t bring more cars into the area. This is something they are not giving provision for, whilst also taking away provision that is currently there. The street is alway busy with cars, it’s not just residents that park here.

    • Emil

      Get a bke

      • Heather Alexander

        Hardly a helpful comment as the person was talking about light blockage, not just parking!


          Thank you heather, I think the ‘right to light’ issue is my biggest concern, it’s one that will affect all the flats on that part of Nithsdale Drive, and not just on the ground floor like me.

      • Emma McCrossan

        I’d happily get rid of my car and get a bike (bke?) if I wasn’t disabled, but thank you for your enlightened input.
        I also drive a tiny Fiat 500 so I’m hardly taking up a lot of parking spaces or spewing out lot of emissions.
        I’m just genuinely concerned considering the current lack of space I might have to walk a larger distances to find a space, which for me is a problem.
        I hope you get to enjoy your able-bodyness for years to come my friend.

        • Emma McCrossan

          For clarity, the above comment about my personal circumstances (that I’m now annoyed have been brought into question) is addressed to Emil.

  6. Claire Thomson

    That’s pretty hideous!

    Perhaps if they rounded the end so it was more in keeping with the other end of Nithsdale Drive and also a nod to the old AC frontage that might be quite cool and less brutal.

    Having that so much higher than the tenements surrounding just doesn’t seem acceptable

    • Emma McCrossan

      Totally agree Claire, and there is plenty of precedent re. planning applications that support the view that this design (at the very basic level in terms of structure) is just not in-keeping with the area. Meaning that plenty have been knocked back for this very reason.
      I’d also like to state that I don’t oppose building social housing at all, I very much welcome that. However the affordability of duplex penthouses (if that is indeed what in contained in the upper floors) doesn’t seem like social housing to me.
      Am I mad in thinking that the usual ‘guise’ for property developers is to say it will be ‘social’ but I never actually materialises that way?
      I suppose what I’m concerned about is that property developers have a track record for rampant profiteering. However, I admit that is a very broad brush statement, so will need to do more research into the companies involved.

      • Heather Alexander

        The client is apparently South Side Housing Association, but as yet they have not responded to my request for some clarifications that the developer could not answer (such as, does a “car-free lease agreement” mean that tenants will be required to have no car – and be breaking their lease agreement if they have/acquire one – or are simply being informed that there is no parking provision). I suspect the latter, personally, since they are providing “accessible” ground floor flats and those residents may well need a car (& would have to apply to the council for a marked disabled parking space on Nithsdale).

  7. Claire Thomson

    I will mention in relation to the light concerns – the development on the other AC site on Allison St hasn’t blocked out as much light as I thought it would… on Allison St side at least, not sure about Niddrie Rd as the sun falls in a different direction for that – but this proposal is also a lot taller!

  8. Fraser Jamieson

    I’ve seen comments that this is a social housing development proposal? Interested in the allotment of 1 bedroom vs 2 + bedroom considered in this context. As a (preferable) lone tenant, supply in the former’s regard, via my experience, is pretty scant. Policy-wise, would like to see more inclusion/discussion with this case and other future builds. Someone pls point out further info, or if none exists currently, when it would be and where relevant documentation can be found.

    • Heather Alexander

      Hi Fraser,
      I attended the “chat” consultation with the developers and received some info that may help:
      – yes, the development is for “social rent” (their words)
      – it will be a “car-free lease agreement” but they did not know how/if that would be enforced, or if it is simply letting tenants know that there is no parking provided
      – the current plans “indicate” (their word) 14 1-bed flats, 32 2-bed flats and 11 3-bed flats
      You can download the design document from the Keppie Design website (, and you can comment on the proposal via a form on that website until 17 March.
      Hope that’s useful.

  9. Toby Stead

    I have submitted my comments, can’t imagine they are much different to everyone else’s.
    It would be interesting to see if the plans change in any substantive way – I can’t tell if this is just a box-ticking exercise or if they genuinely mean to take our concerns on board.
    Think it’s pretty important to hold them to the commitment of affordability – this is usually the first thing out the window once approval is granted.

  10. Claire Thomson

    That’s interesting – the proposal for 134 is by Arnold Clark?

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