A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build student flats in Glasgow's West End has crossed a major hurdle.
But local residents are furious they were forced to drop a challenge to the latest legal move as it could have left them thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Last year, Glasgow-based Logan Factoring and Management was granted planning permission to build 114 student flats on the site of the Pewter Pot pub in North Woodside Road.
Almost 350 people objected to the development which would be just outside the West End conservation area at Lansdowne Crescent.
However, it got the go-head on the casting vote of the chairman of the city council's planning committee.
The site of the planned flats includes part of the garden of a neighbouring house.
But the title deeds for the garden included a clause which could have stopped building work going ahead.
As a result, the developer approached the Lands Tribunal for Scotland and requested the deeds be changed.
Neighbours were notified and took legal advice on the process, but learned that if they lodged a valid objection which was thrown out by the Lands Tribunal they could be liable for extensive legal costs.
As a result, residents decided not to risk lodging an objection.
However, if no valid objection is received, the Lands Tribunal will automatically grant the developer's request to vary the title deeds and work can go ahead.
Steve Bailey, chairman of the Lansdowne Watch action group, said: "The government changed the system to put an end to frivolous objections, but the way the legislation now works is outrageous. It is aimed at the rich and prejudiced against ordinary people.
Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White plans to raise the objectors' concerns when the Scottish Parliament returns after the recess.
She said: "We need to look at the legislation and get something through Parliament. When recess is over I will see if there is anything we can do."