ANGRY residents are calling on the council to reject plans to demolish a B Listed building and replace it with a block of student flats.

They say proposals to flatten a B-listed building in Glasgow’s busy shopping district should be thrown out.

As the Evening Times reported earlier this month, developers have applied for permission to knock down the eight-storey block on the corner of Argyle Street and the single-storey Cairns pub in Miller Street.

They want to replace those with a a nine-story building with shops at the ground and basement and more than 130 student flats on the upper floors.

But Christy Mearns, Scottish Greens candidate for the council’s upcoming Anderston/City by-election, raised concerns about knocking down a listed building.

Dozens of people have signed a petition to “save Glasgow’s heritage” and stop demolition plans.

Ms Mearns said: “It is worrying that the city centre’s heritage could be lost. We should be trying to protect it.

“Demolishing a building that has historic and cultural significance, in an area that is slowly being eaten up by new builds, would severely disrupt the character and identity of this historic community.

“This building forms an integral part of the heritage of the city but it also holds a prominent place being on the high street itself.

“This is a prime retail district which should be better reflected in the type of development.”

The plans are the latest in a long-line of proposed student accommodation in the city.

Ms Mearns questioned the need for more short-term housing.

She said: “At a time when there’s a shortage of social housing for people we need to ask: do we need another student flats development?”

Tam Coyle, chairman of the Merchant City and Trongate Community Council, added: “It seems like the building has been left to get run-down, I don’t see why the facade couldn’t be saved.

“The amount of students developments is incredible, I don’t see why we need another block.”

Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White called on the council to consider a moratorium on student housing.

She said: “This area needs people and families and all we seem to be getting is student accommodation.

“My concern is also with losing the architecture from the city centre.”

Rorie Henderson, of developer Salmon Harvester Properties, defended the plans.

A 12-storey block was originally proposed but it was changed to nine-storeys.

Mr Henderson said the building had been badly neglected and their plans could “bring vitality” back.

He said: “We have been working closely with Glasgow City Council, our neighbours and other local stakeholders to rejuvenate this important but blighted corner plot on Argyle and Miller Street.

“Whilst we are dealing with a grade 2 listed building, the previous owner let the building fall into wrack and ruin and it has remained vacant and uninhabitable for many years.

“The new mixed use planning application, if granted, will help to rectify the buildings obsolescence providing new retail and student accommodation to bring vitality and life back to this part of Argyle Street.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The plans will be considered in due course.”