Glasgow City Council has approved the first phase of plans to knock down the city's St Enoch Centre.

The shopping mall opened in 1989 and was extensively refurbished to include a cinema, which opened in 2022.

However, developers Sovereign Centros want to demolish the shopping centre and replace it with office space, a four-star hotel and new retail and residential units.

The demolition would take place over four stages, with key buildings retained, in order to maintain income on the site.

The buildings which will be retained are the A-listed Buck’s Head building, the B-listed former Debenhams and unlisted properties at 135-255 Argyle Street.

Now Glasgow City Council has approved the first phase of plans, with a report saying the “potential transformational benefits” to the city centre “cannot be underestimated".

It continued by saying the plan "represents a significant opportunity to repair part of the city centre that currently exists as a mainly inward facing block with little engagement or connectivity to surrounding streets".

The decision gives developers planning permission in principle to knock the structure down, but more detailed plans will have to be submitted before any work can begin.

Sovereign Centros plans to develop the site over 15-20 years, which they say will maintain “flexibility” for the site, allowing the project to “respond to future demands and market trends.

They had sought 20-year planning permission but council officials have reported “given the potential for policy change throughout this period, ten years is considered to be appropriate”.

Stuart Patrick, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, said: “Glasgow has witnessed seismic changes to consumer and visitor habits in the past three years and it’s vital the city landscape is given the space to grow and adapt if it is to survive and thrive in this new environment.

“Today’s approval for the Sovereign Centros plans creates the opportunity for Glasgow to do that by establishing a new, dedicated space for retail, leisure as well as residential living in a large city centre district which was previously largely closed off from its surrounding streets.

“The implementation of these plans will be one of the key building blocks to future proof the city and increase our prospects of attracting local and international investment.”