The Victoria Forum held a successful and very well attended public meeting on 22nd February to take input from Langside residents on the masterplan for the Victoria Infirmary redevelopment. Discussing in small groups, 120 residents identified a diverse range of strong opinions and insights into how the site can best contribute to Langside.
The Glasgow City Plan requires a master plan to be developed for the site. The Scottish Government’s good practice guidance states that this should be in collaboration with the local community and include an analysis of the wider social and economic context and needs of that community. In other word is it not just for the site alone, nor is it just about design.
You can read the report here, and the key results are summarised below:
- Housing: Residents largely desire a mix of tenure and house sizes. The interest is to rebalance this part of the Southside which is mainly tenement flats for sale or private rent. This will allow families and older people to stay in the area as well as be attractive to newcomers.
- Getting Around: On-site parking is paramount but there are also serious concerns about the lack of safe pedestrian road crossings. Residents would like the developer to avoid unnecessary disruption during construction.
- Community Facilities: There is opportunity to create a new civic space for the Battlefield area, community meeting spaces and young children’s play areas should not be missed.
- Economy and Jobs: Some analysis is needed to ensure that new commercial units do not adversely affect existing retail provision. The demand for start up and studio spaces need to be assessed and met. Local recruitment and training during the construction period should be incorporated into any planning approval
- Heritage and Design: The community wants to see the retention of some of the buildings, good quality and sympathetic design and materials. Reference to the history of the site is also important
The event showed that local residents have a wealth of knowledge and many constructive ideas to offer to the developer and the City Council. We are passionate about the site and the once in a lifetime opportunity this redevelopment offers to benefit the wider community. We think if more such participatory exercises are undertaken at all the critical stages of the Masterplan and Planning Application process the outcome will be one we can all be proud of.