Architect meets public to discuss George Square plans

AN architect today outlined his plans to change George Square at a public meeting in Glasgow.

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More than 40 people from across the city attended the event at Gandolfi Fish Restaurant in the Merchant City to voice their views.

The meeting was called by John McAslan, who won a controversial design competition organised by the city council to redesign the area, only for the planned £15million revamp to be scrapped.

On Saturday, the Evening Times revealed the architect's latest vision for the Square.

Mr McAslan insists he has not come up with a definitive new design, only a sketch aimed at encouraging discussion.

Today, the Glasgow-born architect presented the plans at a public meeting. He presented a model, refreshed sketches and a film that showed what he called the "character of the Square".

Among the concerns raised by the audience were the original proposed removal of the statues and a need for more "soft texture" and grass areas.

Other residents said they wanted George Square to be used more as a "civic square" rather than for commercial uses, such as wedding and car shows.

Mr McAslan said: "Today's meeting is all about having a discussion about George Square with the people who have attended.

"The key points discussed were to do with the space, the Tarmac finish, and the planting.

"We also looked at the issue of the statues and if they should be relocated or kept as part of the Square."

The architect's design was chosen by a panel of judges last month after an international competition.

But within minutes of the winner being announced, council leader Gordon Matheson said the Square revamp plan had been scrapped.

He insisted the public did not want radical changes and, instead, only a minor upgrade would be carried out.

However, Mr McAslan previously said he would not walk away from the chance to improve the area.

Next Monday, he will meet Mr Matheson.

The architect said: "The point of today's meeting was to open a discussion and see if we can progress to a point where there is a consensus about key points and finishes.

"I will now present the ideas discussed to Councillor Matheson next week, and show him the people feel strongly about George Square.

"It is clear from today's meeting there is strong support for changes to be made to the Square."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "The people of Glasgow have made it clear they do not want a radical redesign of the Square.

"We will carry out refurbishment work in time for the Commonwealth Games."

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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