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We'll block bid to build flats in Conservation St
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ANGRY residents are battling plans to erect a five-storey block of flats on one of the most architecturally important streets in Glasgow.
A campaign has been launched over the bid to build 22 modern flats opposite an A-listed row of 19th Century houses on St Vincent Crescent in the west end.
Residents say the idea should not be considered as the crescent is in a conservation area, which also covers parts of Minerva Street, Corunna Street and Argyle Street.
Dating back to the mid-1800s, the crescent is one of only two examples in Glasgow of architecture by Alexander Kirkland - the other is the suspension bridge across the Clyde from Clyde Street to Carlton Place - and is regularly compared to the famous Royal Crescent in Bath.
It overlooks bowling greens originally incorporated into the design of the area as "pleasure grounds".
More than 30 years ago, landowners Stobcross Estates made an agreement with Glasgow City Council that buildings proposed for the pleasure grounds should be limited to one storey only.
The new flats - which would be built on the site of the MNS print shop opposite 26A St Vincent Crescent - would be slightly taller than the houses on the crescent and 18.4metres from them.
The legal minimum distance for privacy is 18metres.
Campaigner John Mackay, a chiropodist who lives at number 36, said the residents were united against the plans and have the backing of Historic Scotland and the Scottish Civic Trust.
He said: "We think it's terrible. This is a modern stone building with a lot of glass frontage and is so out of context it shouldn't be allowed.
"It wouldn't be a one-off. Before you knew it, somebody would make the bowling clubs an offer they couldn't refuse to build on the greens."
Local councillor Malcolm Green, who is backing the residents, wants a policy drawn up to restrict future developments.
A council study of St Vincent Crescent is already under way and could become binding within six months.
Cllr Green said: "I hope, in view of that, the council will reject this application. We need to plan for the future as well as deal with this application."
Planning consultants Turley Associates are taking the plans forward on behalf of city centre-based developers, the Halladale Group.
Their application is expected to be considered next month.
Architecture expert Neil Baxter said: "St Vincent Crescent is a magnificent composition. I am not against building in that area but it would require great care."
Brian Muir, director of Turley Associates, said: "We are aware that our planning application is being considered by the council."