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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Campaign to save historic garage
Botanic Gardens Garage
The garage was built in 1912 by David Valentine Wyllie
Plans by the UK's biggest car dealer to demolish a historic garage in Glasgow's west end have been condemned by local campaigners.

Arnold Clark want to knock down the Botanic Gardens Garage, built in 1912 by David Wyllie, and erect 35 flats.

Campaigners believe the building was among the first custom-made garages to be built in Scotland.

A spokesman for Arnold Clark said the proposed development was sympathetic and in tune with the local area.

Glasgow City Council is expected to rule on the planning application in the coming weeks.

Over the last five years increasing traffic and congestion in the west end, combined with the deterioration of the building, have rendered it uneconomical and unsuitable
John Clark
Arnold Clark

Clad in distinctive green and white terracotta tile, the building is currently B listed.

Save the Botanic Gardens Garage group claim its architectural and historic significance make it irreplaceable.

Sam Maddra, who initiated the campaign, said: "It is remarkable that this beautiful building has been in continual use as a garage from its opening 95 years ago until 2006.

"The council should do all that they can to preserve and celebrate it."

'Modern building'

Arnold Clark, who have owned the building in the city's Vinicombe Street since the 1960s, used it as a vehicle servicing area until October last year.

John Clark, from the company, said: "Over the last five years increasing traffic and congestion in the west end, combined with the deterioration of the building, have rendered it uneconomical and unsuitable to operate as a garage.

"Our proposed development is sympathetic, productive and in tune with the ambience of the surrounding area."

Historic Scotland said any decision to demolish the garage would only be reached if it could be proved that all other practical avenues to save it had been exhausted.

Ranald MacInnes, Historic Scotland's principal inspector, said: "The garage is especially interesting as it was architecturally dressed to suggest the very up-to-date use of a parking garage.

"It fits in well with other modern buildings of the day, including the Western Baths, the Salon Cinema, and even the former Kelvinside Church which was successfully converted."




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