Proposals for major new residential development at Portcullis House launched

Portcillis House residential development launched

PROPOSALS for an exciting new residential development on the site of Portcullis House at Charing Cross in Glasgow has been announced. Should plans be approved it would deliver the tallest building in Glasgow City Centre.

The Watkin Jones Group, a leading developer and manager of residential for rent has revealed proposals for the former HMRC building on India Street, located at the city’s west end. The firm completed the purchase of Portcullis House from Mapeley Investment Group in August 2020.

The Watkin Jones Group has outlined its intention to demolish the existing building and construct a build-to-rent (BTR) and co-living development of up to a maximum of around 30 storeys, comprising up to ca. 825 units overall. The proposals will also include generous amenity and ancillary facilities, activating the street level areas with potential retail, café and co-working space .

The developer has formally submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) to City of Glasgow Council, informing it that it intends to submit a planning application for the development following a minimum 12-week consultation period. 

Completing the work in 2024, the regeneration of this brownfield site will form a significant part of an overall renewal of the west end of the city centre.

BTR is a relatively recent model for new residential buildings in the UK, where all the properties are built for rent, not for sale. Residents are offered long-term security of tenure, with the flexibility of renting and have access to wider on-site amenities that extend beyond the traditional boundaries of an individual housing unit.

Co-living is a type of community providing flexible housing for people with shared intentions, such as sharing meals and discussion in the common living areas, and with a significant level of interaction between residents through high quality amenity and social spaces, and programmed events and activities.

There is extremely strong demand for this type of accommodation in Glasgow, providing high-quality rental accommodation in a highly sustainable location at the city’s west end, with easy access to transport links, amenities and places of work, and delivering much needed homes.

The Watkin Jones Group is undertaking extensive consultation with local representatives, community groups and politicians in order to shape these proposals. With COVID-19 the Scottish Government has suspended public consultation events and it is intended that a digital consultation event will be held on 26 November, between 3 and 8pm, to give local people the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Consultants will be available to answer any questions and receive feedback through a two-way chat system during these hours. Feedback can also be submitted via the website.

The event can be accessed on the day of the event at:

Any representations or suggestions for changes to the proposals shared during the online event will be included in a Pre-Application Consultation report to accompany future applications.

Hard copies of consultation boards and feedback forms, or further information, can be obtained by phoning 0131 202 3259 or in writing to: Orbit Communications, 4 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JE or by emailing:

The Group has extensive experience of working in Glasgow, completing nine managed student accommodation developments over the last nine years totalling approximately 3,500 student units. It also has another student accommodation development in build (Cathedral Street) which is due to complete in 2021.

The Watkin Jones Group has undertaken major BTR schemes throughout the UK, completing its first purpose built scheme in Leeds in 2016. It is also a developer of co-living, with two applications going through the planning application process.

Iain Smith, Group Planning Director from Watkin Jones commented:

“We’re thrilled to be announcing our exciting scheme for Portcullis House. The site is in a prime urban location with excellent access to amenities and transport links.

“BTR and co-living offer high-quality rented accommodation at competitive prices to a wide-ranging demographic. There is huge demand in Glasgow for this model which offers long-term security of tenure, combined with the flexibility of renting.

“Should we receive planning permission our residents will not only be able to rent an apartment but will also have an abundance of common amenities at their disposal, ideally suited for modern living.

“These proposals will greatly assist in the regeneration of this part of the city and we are consulting extensively to ensure that that the public have an opportunity to input their views and shape our ambitious proposals.”

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