Glasgow CDP Consultation – Making Representations

The Glasgow City Development plan consultation ends on Friday 27th June so you will need to make representations before 4pm on that date.

I strongly urge all petition supporters resident in Glasgow to make a representation to the City Council seeking for the re-zoning of Govan Graving Docks.

You can make representations using the forms and resources at

With regards to the Graving Docks this site is under housing policy proposal no. H015 which is on Page 15 of the ‘Location Plans of Housing Proposals’ PDF at

You can use the same process if you wish to make representations on any other aspect of the City Development Plan consultation.

With regards to the Graving Docks I suggest completing the form ( as follows:
(You can either print or submit the form via e-mail)

Section 2: Proposed City Development Plan

Section 3: Proposal Number – H015

Section 4: Seek a change (objection)

Section 5:
I would like the Govan Graving Docks site to be re-zoned to disallow residential development, to disallow filling in of any of the docks and to restrict any permanent new build on the site to small commercial units on the quay between No.3 dry dock and Govan Road. The site should be designated as a heritage conservation area enabling a shipbuilding/maritime heritage park to be created. The dry docks should be restored to working order so that the water levels can be controlled and the pump house should be secured against further deterioration until it is renovated.

Section 6:
It would be best if you write a submission in your own words, rather than have everyone copy and paste the same text, but as an example here is a draft of what I intend to submit:

This is the last remaining historic dock complex in Glasgow that has not been filled to make way for modern developments. When the dry docks at Govan were built they were capable of accommodating the largest ships in the world and represent an important feature of Glasgow’s maritime industrial history. Thus they should be protected from any redevelopment that would destroy the historic character of the site. A housing development on this site would permanently destroy the last opportunity to create a major showcase of the history of Glasgow’s docks and maritime industries.

Far too much of Glasgow’s architectural and industrial heritage has already been destroyed to make way for modern developments that have had mixed successes.

The site is Grade-A listed and identified in the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland as being at risk. I fail to understand how residential development could be undertaken without alteration of the site beyond what the Grade-A listed status would permit. The capacity of housing envisaged in Proposal H015 would likely necessitate the filling in of the dry docks and/or the basin. Furthermore the quays may not all have the load bearing capacity necessary to allow major construction on them without extensive excavation and reconstruction beyond what would be allowable for a Grade-A listed site.

Almost 1,000 people have now signed an online petition calling for the site to be restored as a shipbuilding heritage park. I have developed a detailed concept of what a heritage park would involve – parts of which have already been published and it is my intention to publish and submit a White Paper on a heritage park development in due course.

The White Paper will outline the scope for tourism, education and job creation opportunities that a heritage park at Govan Graving Docks would entail. As well as accommodating a major permanent exhibition of the maritime and shipbuilding history of the Clyde – the park could include landscaped gardens, nature reserve areas, space for market huts, street food stalls and commercial units created along the Govan Road edge that would accommodate bars, café, restaurants, small shops, offices and creative spaces with a stipulation that they would be given priority lease to new local businesses.

It is envisaged that the basin to the West of the docks could be used to accommodate a marina for residential and visitor moorings and this could be developed as a model for sustainable living. The land adjoining the basin should be used to create a nature reserve / ecology park area. Furthermore the entire park could be developed as a model for sustainable development by incorporating nature reserve areas, installing solar charged lighting as well as solar panels on roofs of huts and marquees. There should be an overall strategy for the park to be a carbon-neutral development.

The heritage park campaign seeks for the dry docks to be restored to working order so that the water levels can be controlled. It is anticipated that graving work on historic preservation ships could be done in one of the docks (most likely No. 2 dry dock) in a way that would showcase the skills involved in the context of a visitor attraction. It is anticipated the largest dock (No. 3 dry dock) could be used to accommodate floating gardens, bird rafts, small barges for work spaces and stepped gardens on the dock wall while the existing stairwells could provide access to pontoons.

The pump house should be restored creating a visitor centre and café. This could include archive video footage / photographs projected on large screens and interactive media covering the history of the graving docks, their use and the wider maritime industry on the Clyde. A new promenade quay wall should be constructed along the riverbank behind the pump house. Currently the wall alongside the river is crumbling and in a very poor state.

It is hoped a trust organisation would be established to run the heritage park as a non-profit venture and include the local communities and wider stakeholders in the remaining maritime industries in the West of Scotland in shaping its future.

I can see no benefit to Govan or to Glasgow from a redevelopment of the site that would consist primarily of luxury apartments, especially when there is plenty of derelict land elsewhere of little historic interest that is opportune for such use – e.g. below Glasgow Harbour on the North bank. By contrast a heritage park as a thriving urban quarter that takes maritime history as it basis would attract visitors and encourage more beneficial forms of investment in the surrounding area rather than merely lining the pockets of property speculators (something we have already seen very negative economic consequences of). While developments like the flats at Glasgow Harbour are desirable in a contemporary context, it is unlikely that people will be inspired by them in a hundred years time.

The first priority for Govan Graving Docks must be to suspend any prospect of development until the heritage park concept has been fully explored and to rule out housing or other construction in the dry docks entirely. If the heritage park proposal cannot proceed in the short-term then the site should be made safe for public access by installing balustrades and covering the open shafts in the quays – leaving the site as a fallow community space until its future has been decided.

I am of the opinion that the owners of the site have allowed it to deteriorate in violation of the statues on maintenance of Grade-A listed sites and Govan Graving Docks is not the only site they have allowed to deteriorate.

There is evidence of subsidence throughout the site and on the quays. The wall along the river behind the pump house is crumbling and appears to be at risk of further collapse. There are also cracks in the walls above the arches of the pump house that appear to be a result of subsidence and this may need to be supported to prevent risk of any further structural damage or collapse pending renovation. Shafts inside the pump house are rusted filled with water, which is likely to have risen through remains of the hydraulic mechanisms. The source of this water needs to be determined as well as whether the structure is watertight and whether any leakage could damage the foundations of the pump house.

The Council needs to act to counter the widely held belief among citizens that it is allowing the city’s architectural heritage to deteriorate to an extent that necessitates demolition, to make way for new build, as well as to dispel rumours and innuendo of corrupt property deals and deliberate destruction of listed buildings that abound in online forums. There seems to be a widely held impression that the planning process in Glasgow City is a joke, takes no real account of public opinion and is not fit for purpose. I hope the current CDP will be taken as an opportunity to prove this wrong.

It beggars belief that a city known the world over for shipbuilding and which at one time built many of the largest ships in the world does not have a major legacy and tribute to this heritage.

Further information and resources for a heritage park proposal can be found on the campaign blog at

There is also a petition calling for the creation of a heritage park at Govan Graving Docks at




One thought on “Glasgow CDP Consultation – Making Representations

  1. Mr Kenny Macleod.

    It is vital to a City with the aspirations of Glasgow that such a historic site should not be left to deteriorate further with Glasgow’s shipbuilding heritage. The City Council require to show imaginative and energetic leadership with a site of such potential to the redevelopment of the riverside. We have a great Transport Museum and the renovated graving docks would be a great addition to this


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