Dear Jordanhill: ‘Our sympathetic scheme will build on legacy of landmark campus’

By Ian Marland at

A housebuilder has penned an open letter in defence of a controversial development.

Cala Homes (West) says its planning application for the former Strathclyde University campus in Jordanhill will “protect and enhance greenspace”.

Jordanhill campus plans letter

Enhance: the open letter says the development will build on the legacy of the campus

And the £100m plans, it says, will retain the Category B-listed David Stow building and open up playing fields to local schools.

In short, its scheme will establish one of the city’s most desirable and well-designed residential developments.

The housebuilder has issued the letter after its proposals were referred to a pre-determination hearing by councillors last week.

In the letter, Cala states its commitment to building on the legacy of the landmark 31-acre site, which is now derelict after being unoccupied since 2012.

The letter refers to recent independent research that found construction of the site would create almost 200 new jobs for Glasgow and deliver a £5m economic boost to the city.

Jordanhill campus plans letter

Boost: Cala says 200 new jobs will come from the £100m development

A so-called matters specified in conditions planning application was lodged with Glasgow City Council in March.

Jim McIntyre is managing director of Cala Homes (West).

He said: “Cala is an award-winning homebuilder with decades of experience in delivering high quality residential developments and we fully intend to extend our strong reputation with a sensitive approach at Jordanhill Campus.

“Currently, many of the buildings are derelict and much of the land is brownfield.

“I firmly believe our proposals represent a significant improvement and will enhance a community asset.

“They would create a great place to live.

“We look forward to presenting our exciting plans next month, and to continuing to work in partnership with the community to deliver a successful development within the heart of Jordanhill.”

Jordanhill campus plans letter

Assurance: the housebuilder says its development will be high quality

The decision to close the 31-acre former teacher training college was taken by owners Strathclyde University in 2006.

The site has been vacant since 2012.

Following what Cala Homes says was extensive consultation with the local community and Glasgow City Council, the university gained planning permission in principle for a residential developer in 2013.

Cala’s proposed development includes more than 400 properties, designed by award-winning architects 7N.

Central to the proposals is the retention of the university’s Category B-listed David Stow building.

Graham House and Douglas House, which don’t have listed status, would also to be conserved and converted under the plans.

More than 40 per cent of the site would be retained as greenspace, says Cala, and the plans contain a net provision of more than 350 new trees to enhance the existing woodland.

About 5,000 square metres of children’s active play spaces would be created.

Jordanhill campus plans letter

Open: 40 per cent of the site would be retained as greenspace, says Cala

And the existing playing fields would be given to Glasgow Life to ensure the community and all local schools benefit, says Cala.

New public footpaths and cycleways would make the campus accessible to all, it adds.

Liana Canavan, sales and marketing director at Cala Homes (West) said: “We want to dispel the misconception that we plan to overdevelop the site.

“We’re seeking to develop mostly on the footprints of existing buildings and to create a more designed central parkland area than currently exists on the site.

“These plans include cycle paths, walkways and areas of open space which will enhance this site for current and future communities of Jordanhill.”

* Cala’s open letter can be found here