EUROPE's biggest hotel group have shelved plans to open a boutique hostel in Glasgow city centre. 

Accor intended to transform the B-listed Ashfield House on Sauchiehall Street into a 89-room hostel.

The six-storey Edwardian Baroque red sandstone building, adjacent to the Glasgow Dental Hospital, dates back to 1908 and was designed by T. L Watson and Henry Mitchell.

It would have been the first UK property under Accor's JO&JOE brand - a new 'open house' concept targetting millenials that 'blends the best of private rental, hostel and hotel formats'. 

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Planning permission for the hostel was originally granted (subject to conditions) by Glasgow City Council back in June of 2019. However, the three-year planning consent lapsed in June of this year. 


This plans would have seen the building converted and refurbished to become a hostel providing 89 bedrooms, a bar/restaurant at ground floor and a rear terrace.

In response to the news, Labour MSP for Glasgow Paul Sweeney called for the creation of a new urban development company to take charge of driving capital investment into the many historic properties along Sauchiehall Street.

He said: “It has been obvious for several years, before the pandemic, that the city centre section of Sauchiehall Street is in a state of decline. First we had the fires at the Glasgow School of Art, ABC and the former Victoria’s nightclub block, then the closure of anchor retail stores like BHS, Watt Brothers, Biggars, Dunnes Stores and now Marks & Spencer.

“It is all the more tragic and frustrating to witness this when you realise the huge potential this street has to be the anchor-point for a new inner-city neighbourhood.

"There have been promising schemes like the hotel conversion scheme for the B-listed Ashfield House of 1908, and the office building at the former BHS building at the corner of Renfield Street, but we are yet to see any progress to construction. Sadly we are now in the position where the three year planning consent period has lapsed on Ashfield House.

“To get a grip of this decline and recover Sauchiehall Street to its former grandeur and popularity, we are going to need much more than passive measures like new paving and planters.

"We need a new urban development company to take charge of driving capital investment into the many historic properties along the street and build a new mixed use community in the city centre.

"We already have an example of this model in the work done by Clyde Gateway out in the east end, and that’s why I am calling for a similarly influential corporation to be set up to focus on developing property assets in the city centre district; an area which now has more vacant and unused floorspace than the 3.5 million square feet in New York’s Freedom Tower.”

It comes after Glasgow City Council refused an application to develop the vacant former Watt Brothers department store on Sauchiehall Street into a hotel. 

A spokesperson for Accor declined to comment.