Milestone in £250m landscape-led Sighthill regeneration

More than 20 hectares of parkland, open public spaces, allotments and active travel routes will be created as part of a new 1000- home development in Glasgow.

Boulevards and low-rise housing will replace Sighthill's tower blocks. Image: LDA
Boulevards and low-rise housing will replace Sighthill's tower blocks. Image: LDA

Glasgow City Council has signed an agreement with Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and Keepmoat Homes to build 800 of the homes, alongside retail and commercial property at the city’s Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA), which means building work on this major phase can now start.

The £250million Sighthill TRA is the biggest regeneration scheme of its type in the UK outside of London. LDA Design has been involved with the project from the start, and designed its landscape-led masterplan. The practice will now work with Keepmote Homes to progress the scheme.

LDA Design has been working with Glasgow City Council on what it calls ‘advanced infrastructure’ for the site, which will see a network of active travel routes, open public spaces, allotments and more than 20ha of new parkland delivered in advance of the Keepmoat development.

The parkland, with its lochans, burns and wetlands, will provide better flood protection and improve local biodiversity. It forms part of an advanced urban drainage and water management scheme. Planting will include species associated with post-industrial pioneer landscapes, reflecting the site’s industrial heritage. Canal-side terraces will offer a space for café society.

LDA design director Kirstin Taylor said: "This is a key moment in the history of Sighthill. We are delighted to have the opportunity to further progress the plans to create a welcoming place to call home that is well connected to the rest of the city."

Sighthill TRA is one of eight regeneration programmes across the city, and the first to benefit from the £1bn Government investment which came with the Glasgow City Region City Deal. More than 140 new GHA homes were delivered in 2015.

When complete, the regeneration will also deliver a new community school campus, a new ‘street in the sky’ footbridge across the M8 motorway due to be built late next year and a new road bridge across the railway to link Sighthill and Port Dundas, due for delivery later this year.

LDA said that good connectivity is key to the area’s success. The TRA replaces a housing estate of 20 10-storey tower blocks built in 1969 which once housed more than 7,500 people who built a strong community. But by the mid-1980s the area was suffering from high unemployment, crime and drug abuse and was labelled a sink estate. LDA's masterplan included a pedestrian-focused boulevard which aims to serve as a civic spine, connecting homes with new play spaces, plazas and transport links.

Taylor added: "This was once a very close knit community. In developing the masterplan, we wanted to create an accessible, social and safe place to live with a distinct identity that builds on this historic spirit of togetherness. As far as I am aware, it is the single largest landscape-led regeneration scheme in Scotland."

Glasgow City Council convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm councillor Kenny McLean said: "The signing of this agreement between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association and Keepmoat Homes is another milestone in the regeneration of Sighthill.

"The transformation of the area will serve as an example of what can be done in urban regeneration, with the creation of a fantastic neighbourhood immediately beside the city centre. We can now anticipate this work starting and being able to watch the skyline of both Sighthill and Glasgow change over the years. I look forward to working with all our partners on the Sighthill TRA on this exciting project for Glasgow."

The regeneration of Sighthill is being delivered by Transforming Communities: Glasgow, a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association and the Scottish Government, with additional funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

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