New Threat to Kelvin Wildlife Corridor by Otago Lane Developer - November 2012

Developer Hugh Scott has now applied for the Kelvin River Wildlife/Green corridor to be repealed.

His company Highlander House has submitted proposals to GCC to end the Kelvin River wildlife corridor, which runs along the river bank linking Kelvingrove Park to the Botanic Gardens.

Recently Labour councillors on the council's planning applications committee voted unanimously to grant plans to build an unprecedentedly large building complex on Otago Lane. Residents and business owners have been exploring legal options to challenge the decision. Amongst breaches of protocol and planning policy it appears the designated corridor was completely ignored as an issue in the report to the planning committee, along with the relevant rules protecting green space. This provides strong grounds for taking the decision to grant to judicial review. It seems that the developer plans to neutralize this as an issue by seeking annulment of the wildlife corridor, another backdoor tactic. From past experience, the DRS cannot be relied upon to protect the heritage and wildlife of this city. Support is needed to protect the River Kelvin environment and Otago Lane.

Please show you object by sending letters and or emails. Remember to include:

The proposal's designated number: PROP0049
The grounds on which your comments are based (e.g. Scottish Planning Policy 11). Below are relevant environmental policies links:

A sample letter can be found here, to help you draft your own.

Please send your letter to:
Development Plan Team, D.R.S., GlasgowCity Council, 231 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RX
Or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For more info please see the council consultation document link:

Keep informed of further information either here on the Otago Lane Facebook page. or visit

Otago Lane is under threat from plans for a 3 block housing development, 7 floors high -

a huge change to the much-loved lane's character and life. A creative, social and cultural hub, unique in the city, would almost certainly be lost. The natural wildlife corridor of the River Kelvin will suffer yet further loss.

John Kraska's  video "sound-slideshow" takes a stroll down Otago lane-memory, shows glimpses of the organically evolving riverbank-gardens/brief history of environmental improvements, and the vibrant energy of cultural defence and protest - the Save Otago Lane campaign has been supported by thousands of citizens, as well as city councillors and Members of the Scottish Parliament.

On 29th August 2012 the Glasgow City Council planning committee visited Otago Lane and directly after they met at the City Chambers and voted to approve the housing development.


Video: Otago Lane - A Really Special Place - Support the Quirky! 

HD: HD video version.

"GLASGOW- sad and stern"

 " While a blue hyacinthine haze
    Is dreaming round the roots!
    In thee, O City! I discern
    Another beauty, sad and stern."

 from: "GLASGOW", Alexander Smith, 1857.

The Bank of the River Kelvin at Otago Lane  that will be destroyed if the proposed development proceeds. Seen beyond, the Unite hostel has already commandeered (eliminated) the wildlife corridor. The Kelvin River and its own banks are not private assets to be exploited, canalised or destroyed for private gain; they are surely part of Glasgow's common good, of Nature's bounty - a gift for All, and vital to the the city's collective health and well-being.


c.1851 "high buildings in... lanes". Ex-Bailie Smith says NO!! 

"Glasgow, past and present, illustrated in Dean of Guild Court reports and in the reminiscences and communications of Senex, Aliquis, J.B., etc"


...we have to state that, .... a most important matter was introduced by Mr. Hannan, the Sub-Dean. He stated that for some time past he had observed, with much anxiety and uneasiness, the numerous applications which had of late come before them for the erection of high buildings in narrow streets and lanes, and in all of which there was the greatest indifference exhibited as to the provision for light and air. He thought that the Court should make some effort to remedy this evil, which would, in due course, tell bitterly on the comfort and health of the population. This important matter had at one time been brought under the notice of the Town Council by ex-Bailie Smith, and he believed that the proposal then made, if carried out, would have a most beneficial operation, and would not in any way interfere with the fair scope to which builders were entitled."

Ex-Bailie Smith was in all probability "Bailie David Smith, Civil Engineer"(same source), surveyor and map-maker who then owned that ground that Otago Lane stands on. Otago Street was formerly Smith Street. Smith conveyed ground towards the West End (Kelvingrove)Park project adding to the already acquired lands known as Woodlands and Kelvingrove,  Those parts of the lands of Gilmorehill, Clayslaps, and Kelvinbank, which now form part of the park, were not comprehended in the original scheme. 

And.... who knows where the "Love Loan" forded the Kelvin?