Save The Botanic Gardens Garage



Public Meeting
Exterior Photos
Interior Ground Floor
Interior Upper Floor
Interior Basement
The Botanic Gardens Garage is the oldest motor garage surviving in Glasgow, and quite possibly anywhere in the UK. Built in Vinicombe Street from 1906 - 1912, it was designed by David V. Wyllie, and has a distinctive façade of green and white glazed terracotta tiles.




July 2013 Update

A new planning application has been lodged with Glasgow City Council. Copies of the plans are currently on display in the Garage windows. The full detailed planning application can be seen online here, with the list of relevant documents here.

"Use of vacant garage as shop (Class 1), gymnasium (Class 11) operating 24 hours per day, seven days per week and community office space (Class 2) and associated external alterations | 24 Vinicombe Street Glasgow G12 8BG"

Public comments on the plans will be considered regarding the application if received before August 27th 2013.


Older News: January 2011
Statement from Local resident and representative of the group Save the Botanic Gardens Garage, Sam Maddra:

"We are delighted with the Scottish Ministers decision, and having read the full independent report, it clearly vindicates all of the arguments we have put forward since Arnold Clark Automobiles first announced their original plans to entirely demolish this highly significant historic building. 

We hope that the company will now do as we have urged all along: place the property on the open market at a price reflecting its current condition, in accordance with national policy.  This would allow prospective restoring purchasers the opportunity to undertake a more sympathetic approach. The building continuing to lie empty is in no-one's interest, but it is clearly not necessary to demolish many of the most interesting and historic parts to breathe life back into this fantastic structure.

In the meantime, it is important to ensure that the fabric of the building is not allowed to deteriorate any further, and we will continue to monitor the building closely, while pressing Arnold Clark and the council to find a positive way forward."

Press Coverage:
The Herald: Bid to redevelop listed west end garage defeated

January 14th 2011 Update

The Scottish Ministers have issued their decision on the planning application, based on the independant scrutiny of the planning reporter, as detailed below.

The Ministers have accepted the Reporter's recomendation that the application for Listed Building Consent be refused, and "Accordingly, Scottish Ministers hereby refuse listed building consent for the partial demolition and internal and external alteration to the Botanic Gardens Garage".

The decision letter can be read here: Page 1 -- Page 2

More details, and the full report explaining the decision, is available on the DPEA website here.
Historic Scotland will likely update their page on the application, featuring their written submission to the reporter in the near future as well. It can be found here.

Developers Arnold Clark now have 6 weeks to decide if they wish to appeal the decision in the Court of Session.

July 2010 Update

Application to demolish the Botanic Gardens Garage called in for independent scrutiny by Scottish Ministers

"Scottish Ministers have come to the view that the case for substantial demolition of the listed building had not been adequately made in support of the application and have therefore called in the application for their own decision.
The case will now be considered by a Reporter [...] who will carefully consider the case and provide a recommendation for Ministers."

Full Press Release
Information on Historic Scotland Website

Press Coverage:
BBC News: Ministers to decide on historic Glasgow garage proposal
The Herald: Ministers to rule on art deco demolition
Feburary 2010 Update
At a meeting of the Planning Committee on Tuesday 9th February 2010, local councillors voted by 8 votes to 7 to pass the controversial plans involving demolishing large portions of the A-listed garage. The plans now pass to Historic Scotland for final oversight.

Prior to the meeting, the Friends of Glasgow West circulated a letter highlighting the severe flaws in the application. Sadly 8 councillors saw fit to ignore these severe flaws, and vote for the application to be granted despite it failing to meet any of the four tests needed to justify demolition of a listed building.

Press coverage:
Fate of Listed Garage in Balance (The Herald)
D-Day for garage development bid (Evening Times)
Planners agree to controversial demolition of art deco garage (The Herald)
Controversial plan is approved (Glaswegian)


 


October 28th 2009 Update
Interim Engineering Appraisal on the Botanic Gardens Garage, recently commissioned from John Addison of Addison Conservation and Design, by the Friends of Glasgow West.
Full details here [PDF]
 

October 7th 2009 Update
Friends of Glasgow West have written to Arnold Clark to request access for the building so that a proper independant valuation and structural assessment can be made. This is an essential first step in establishing if re-using the building in its current form is economically viable.
Full letter here.
 

August 17th 2009 Update:
After a long period of apparent inactivity, Arnold Clark have submitted revised plans for the garage. Press coverage of the revised plans can be seen on the BBC News website here.

According to the architects involved:
We wish to advise you of minor revisions to the proposal since the submissions made in July [2008]. The revisions have been made in response to feedback from Officers of both the Development & Regeneration Services Department and the Heritage & Design Department of Glasgow City Council at a number of key meetings with them.
The revisions to the scheme include a reduction in the number of flats proposed as part of the development (reduced from 23 to 20), as well as amendments to the configuration of the flats proposed. The amenity space to be provided as part of the proposal has also increased from 110.9 sq.m to 424.6 sq.m.

The current reponse of the Save the Botanic Gardens Garage group is as follows:
“While we welcome the retention of further historic fabric, and especially the restoration of the frontage section, as a step in the right direction, we can't comment in detail as we've not been consulted on the revised plans, and haven't yet been able to view them in any detail. 
As per national policy, we will also still be expecting to see evidence that the building has been marketed to restoring purchasers before any demolition should be considered of this unique and historic building.”

The application reference numbers to quote in any correspondence with the council planning department are:
08/02142 & 08/02143
We would encourage anyone that's interested to view the plans and submit their comments within the next few weeks.


October 25th 2008 Update:
Detailed information on How To Object - Click here.

October 2008 Update:
The Save the Botanic Gardens Garage group would like to invite you to a meeting on Tuesday October 21st, at 7.30 pm, in Hillhead Library to discuss Arnold Clark Automobiles' new proposals for the partial demolition of the Garage and the redevelopment of the site.

Please see this flyer for further information on the meeting, the garage campaign to date, and how to register your objections to the proposal. 

For further information please email us:

August 2008 Update:
Arnold Clark have now submitted their new planning application for the garage. This is described as:
Retention & refurbishment of category "A" listed building including partial demolition of rear element, erection of 4 storey residential blocks forming 23 flats & within retained elements. 575.6sq m retail space, 423.4 sq m class 2 office space & 219.7 sq m class 3 restaurant with associated parking & Amenity space. 
The application reference numbers to quote in any correspondence with the council planning department are:
08/02142 & 08/02143
We would encourage anyone that's interested to view the plans and submit their comments within the next few weeks.
For further information please email us:
 
June 2008 Update:
Arnold Clark representatives will be holding a public consultation of their revised plans for the redevelopment of the A-listed Botanic Gardens Garage on Wednesday 18th June in their office on Vinicombe Street, adjacent to the historic West End landmark. This will be open from 5 pm onwards.

We would encourage anyone that's interested in the future of the building to attend and give their comments. We would also welcome anyone interested in the building to come along to one of our Save the Botanic Gardens Garage meetings, and give us their views on Arnold Clark's revised plans. For further information please email us:

 
May 2008 Update:
Following on from the meeting at Hillhead Library last summer the campaign to Save the Botanic Gardens Garage has achieved a number of small victories. 

In October, Arnold Clark announced that they were withdrawing their application to demolish the garage, and the demonstrated public opposition played a large part in this decision.  However, in their subsequent press release Arnold Clark acknowledged that they would shortly be resubmitting their application with some small amendments.  That is to say, their intention remains to demolish the majority of the existing buildings and replace them with a four-storey complex that would include flats, cottages, and a retail unit. 

In light of this, and research that confirmed that the Botanic Gardens Garage is the oldest surviving multi-storey car park in the UK, the campaign successfully lobbied Historic Scotland to get the garage’s listed status upgraded from a Category B to a Category A. This means that Historic Scotland acknowledge the building’s national and international significance, in terms of its engineering and architectural design, and its historic context.  However, this does not guarantee the building’s future and the garage remains on the Scottish Civic Trust’s Building at Risk Register.  Furthermore, Arnold Clark could resubmit their planning application at any time.

The aims of the campaign to Save the Botanic Gardens Garage are presently threefold:
to promote an imaginative viable reuse of the Botanic Gardens Garage;
to safeguard and protect the building rather than allow it to be demolished;
and to ensure its maintenance and ultimate renovation.

As a group we meet monthly to co-ordinate the campaign to preserve this highly significant building, and interested parties are more than welcome to attend. 
For further information on the relevant times, dates, and the location of the meetings, please email us.

Older News (26/12/07):
Historic Scotland upgrades garage listing to Category A:
The Botanic Gardens Garage has been upgraded to a Category A listing by Historic Scotland,  recognising the building’s national and international rarity and architectural significance. 
Updated Historic Scotland Listing Description here.
Save the Botanic Gardens Garage Press Release 26/12/07 - Word - PDF - Text.

Press Coverage:
BBC News Website (28/12/07): New listing for historic garage
The Herald (27/12/07): Historic garage threatened with demolition is given lifeline with upgrade to A-list status
Evening Times (27/12/07): Historic garage may be saved by A-list status
STV News Website (28/12/07): Glasgow garage designated site of national importance

The Garage is now on the official Buildings At Risk Register, maintained by the Scottish Civic Trust. The entry for the Garage is here.

The transcript of an interview with Mr Nigel Kennedy, whose grandparents built the garage, can now be read here.

Arnold Clark have withdrawn their application to demolish the  Garage. This is excellent and very welcome news. The building is now safe in the short term, but we still need to persaude owners Arnold Clark that the way forward is in restoration and re-use, not simply a revised version of their original plans, to ensure its long-term survival.
The Herald (5/10/07): Sir Arnold Clark puts brake on garage flat plans

The recent public meeting in Hillhead Library had a turnout of over 100 local residents. A report summarising the meeting is available [PDF format, 1.5Mb; text format 32K]. Photos can be seen here.
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Building History:
The building is comprised of three different sections, all designed by David Valentine Wyllie for Mrs Annie K Kennedy (nee Wilson) between 1896 and 1911. David Valentine Wyllie was a prolific architect who designed both industrial and domestic buildings all over Glasgow. The first part of what was to become the Botanic Garage building complex, was built c.1896.     [Read More.....]

Recent Press Coverage:
Evening Times 07 August 2007 [Link]
Scotsman 03 August 2007 [Link]
BBC News Online 02 August 2007 [Link]
Evening Times 10 July 2007 [Link]
Local News for Westenders, September & November 2007

Contact Us
Send us an email at info@botanicgardensgarage.org

© 2007 - 2011, Save the Botanic Gardens Garage