Save Glasgow’s Steps!

The steps to the Royal Concert Hall in Buchanan Street are a popular place to watch the world go by.  Even on wet days you’ll find scores of people eating lunch, having a chat, busking, or staging protests.  Stand at the top of the steps and you have a beautiful view of steep, bustling Buchanan Street, the rooftops of Glasgow’s grand city centre buildings, and the hills in the distance.

But all this could be gone if property developers LS Buchanan Ltd get their way.  As part of a major development of the shopping centre, the steps are to be demolished and replaced with a huge glass ‘rotunda’. [1]

Cities and towns across the UK have seen a dramatic reduction in public space. [2] Our urban spaces are being privatised and closed off at an alarming rate, and Glasgow is no exception to this.  But residents are fed up with it. [3]

38 Degrees members Ben and Stephen started a petition on the Campaigns By You site, quickly gaining the attention of the public and the press.  The planning consultation closed on Friday 5th December, by which time they had gathered 12,688 signatures against the removal of the steps.

Handing-in the petition at Glasgow City Council

Stephen, Ben and other campaigners held a street stall at the steps on Friday and were flooded with passers-by wanting more information, outraged residents writing their own letters of objection.  By the 5pm deadline they had 243 written submissions to present to the Council.

The proposal to remove the steps is backed by leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson, and his colleagues.  However other councillors are backing our campaign to save the steps.  Now the decision lies with the planning committee.

We’ll keep the pressure on them over the next few weeks, showing how strongly people in Glasgow feel about this issue.

Though the petition has been handed in, you can still add your name and comments:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-steps

And have a look at the campaign’s facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/saveourstepsglasgow?fref=ts

NOTES

[1] Evening Times: Land to be Snapped up for Expanded Galleries:
http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/land-to-be-snapped-up-for-expanded-galleries-175657n.24989503

[2] See Anna Minton’s fantastic book on the issue of public space and private control in our cities – Ground Control (2012)
http://annaminton.com/groundcontrol.htm

[3] STV Glasgow interview passers-by on the steps issue:
http://glasgow.stv.tv/articles/297738-call-to-save-iconic-glasgow-royal-concert-hall-steps/