Tag Archives: maritime

Planning History of Govan Graving Docks

In 1989 the former Glasgow District Council served a repairs notice on Windex Ltd – the project lead for a proposed residential and commercial redevelopment of Govan Graving Docks that was refused planning consent in 1990.


This sets a clear precedent that raises questions of why, despite continued deterioration of the site, Glasgow City Council will not serve a repairs notice on the developers who presently own the site.

Clear grounds for the serving of a repair notice are laid out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act

One of the reasons given by the council for not doing so is the risk that the council would be left with the liability for the site. However this was not a concern in 1989 so why is it a concern now?

Why is convenience a material factor in deciding which regulations are to be enforced?

This and many other issues are addressed in a damning 20-page report released by the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative this week.



Statement by The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative Limited: Govan Graving Docks

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative has been incorporated as a Limited by Guarantee (non-profit) company with the aim of working to secure and protect the future of Govan Graving Docks as a heritage asset.

While the organisation is focused purely on Govan Graving Docks at present, it may expand to support and raise the profile of wider maritime heritage assets on the Clyde in the future.

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative Limited has issued a press release this afternoon and this has been circulated to several local and national newspapers and magazine publications.

Statement by The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative:


Consultation on the Future of Govan Graving Docks

Glasgow, Scotland, Wed 17th June 2015

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative is preparing to launch a consultation on the future of Govan Graving Docks. We will be conducting this in collaboration with a number of local organisations and academia.

We wish to invite a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties to comment and give views on what they wish to see done with the derelict dry dock complex. Through this we hope to be able to exert considerable influence over the plans of the developers, New City Vision Group, who own the site as well as shape an alternative vision for the future of the docks.

Govan Graving Docks is a Category A-listed site and the only remaining dock complex in Glasgow. It is a monument to the people who built it and thus there exists a moral duty of stewardship over their legacy. It is a maritime asset of local, national and international significance and any development on the docks must be sympathetic to this.

Our position is that the graving docks should become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and that any construction of permanent buildings should be restricted to low-rise on the edge of the site along Govan Road.

The long-term objective of The CDPI is that the graving docks site will be restored to create a shipbuilding heritage park and we wish to engage a number of parties across academia, the maritime industry and the public both locally and nationally in shaping a possible vision for this. Part of the strategy development will include competitions for architecture, design and engineering students to design buildings and installations in the park and exploring options for the restoration of the dry docks to working order so we can accommodate vessels in them.

We are also very concerned about the recent fires in the A-listed pump house building at the Graving Docks and while we understand the police and fire service have spoken to some of the youths involved, more needs to be done to secure this building against vandalism and further deterioration.

The CDPI is also interested in hearing from corporate sponsors and consultants that can support our objectives. We are also interested to hear from potential volunteers who can support the ongoing project to save the docks. We also need to raise funds to support our ongoing work.

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative is a company Limited by Guarantee.

For more information or to get in touch with the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative please contact iain@cdpi.org.uk


Heritage Park Concept

A 3D concept created using Sketchup to help visualise how a shipbuilding heritage park on the site for Govan Graving Docks might look.

I will send a copy of the Sketchup file (and Heritage Park Explanatory Notes PDF) from which these images were created to anyone who wants to view it it for non-commercial use.

The site topography was created by drawing over an image exported from Google Earth and so the dimensions and proportions are for conceptual illustrative purposes and not fully accurate.

Click on the images to view Larger versions:

Model 2D 1

Arial view of the entire heritage park as it would look from Glasgow Science Centre Tower. A bridge from Pacific Quay forms the gateway to the park and along a path flanked with grass and trees. At the bottom-left corner is a fenced nature reserve area.

Model 2D 2

Drydock 3 accommodating house boats and flats/commercial units along Govan Road. in the foreground a large shaft that exists in the quay has been converted into a pond with rafts for plants and birds.

Model 2D 3

Arial view of the canting Basin and nature reserve area in the foreground from the West side of the park. Fenced nature reserve with bird pond behind the canting basin.

Model 2D 4

Drydock 3 and market huts on the quay. A bridge has been included joining the quays across the middle of the dry dock.

Model 2D 5

Pump house building (visitor centre) and a floating bar in drydock 1. A decked area on 2 levels at the head of the dry dock.

Model 2D 6

Arial view over the dry docks. Marquees to accommodate exhibitions are on the quay between drydocks 1 and 2. A restored ship as a floating conference/banqueting facility and restaurant in drydock 1

Model 2D 7

View of drydock 3 containing house boats, pontoons and floating gardens. On the left hand quay food stalls and on the right hand side block of flats with commercial units on the basement level opening onto the quay. Though not illustrated a stepped garden could be included on parts of the walls of this dock. The existing stairwells have been utilised for pontoon access.

Model 2D 8

A new quayside on the river Clyde and an open grass area behind the pump house for recreation.

Model 2D 9

House boats in the canting basin marina and a fenced nature reserve area with bird pond

Model 2D 010

Food stalls and picnic tables on the quay next to drydock 3