Four under threat tower blocks are not fit for purpose and cannot be made larger to meet current minimum floor space standards, according to a report.

A study into retrofitting Glasgow's Wyndford flats by MAST Architects said the demolition of four multi-storeys is the best option.

Social landlords Wheatley Homes Glasgow are proposing to demolish the towers which are made up of 200 bedsits and 400 one-bedroom homes.

Read more: Wyndford flats: campaigners lobby city chiefs over demolition

MAST Architect’s report is the latest study to be carried out into plans by Wheatley Homes Glasgow to demolish the blocks and build around 255 larger family homes for social rent and 45 for mid-market rent as part of a £73million regeneration.

The Herald: Wyndford flats were built on the site of the former Maryhill barracksWyndford flats were built on the site of the former Maryhill barracks (Image: Newsquest)

A report last month by environmental and sustainability architect, Dr Richard Atkins, stated ‘there is little or no basis on which to argue for the retention of the existing blocks on the grounds of either energy efficiency or CO2(e) emissions.’

The original review of the Wyndford blocks by structural engineers A J Balfour over two years ago also concluded the buildings could not be safely reconfigured.

The A J Balfour report stated: "The practicalities of cutting through thick concrete walls will be difficult and significantly disruptive, thus compromising the structural integrity and stability of the blocks. Consequently, the works are not feasible from a structural standpoint."

However, campaigners fighting to save the Ernest Buteux-designed buildings believe retrofitting is the greener option.

Read more: Glasgow tower blocks’ demolition brings community spirit in the sky to an end

Wynford Residents Union commissioned the carbon analysis report into the environmental and climate impact of demolishing the blocks.

The report found the impact of the demolition and rebuild is nearly twice that of retrofitting – at approximately 22,465 tonnes CO2 emitted, against 12,098 tonnes CO2 due to retrofitting, which is 46% higher.

Wheatley Homes Glasgow Tenant Chair Bernadette Hewitt said: “All three reports, by highly respected leaders in their field, confirm conclusively that demolition of the four blocks and the £73million regeneration of Wyndford, including the building of 300 fantastic, new, super energy-efficient affordable homes, is the best option for both the community and the environment.

“A small group of activists with alternative agendas may not agree, but the vast majority of tenants are right behind the plans.”

The Herald: Former Maryhill barracks in GlasgowFormer Maryhill barracks in Glasgow (Image: Newsquest)

Michael Jarvis, from MAST Architects, led the latest study looking into retrofitting the four blocks.

He said: “This is about creating buildings and living standards which give tenants a better quality of life. These blocks are simply not fit for purpose and provide unacceptable living standards in the modern age.”

The Glasgow Standard sets out minimum requirements for all new-build housing funded through Glasgow City Council’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme. It outlines the standards and specifications the Council requires housing associations and/or private developers to achieve in Glasgow.

Mr Jarvis added: “Retaining and retrofitting the bedsits and one-bedroom flats would not meet the minimum internal space standards set out by the Glasgow Standard.

“Although the Glasgow Standard is not typically retrospectively applied to existing buildings, if a significant investment were to be made retrofitting these blocks, these standards should be met as closely as possible to ensure the retrofitted building provided a high quality of space for tenants.

“The space standards of the apartments are very poor, with the bedsit apartments only 38m². The one-bedroom apartments are 47m², which is approximately 5-8m² smaller than the average new-build one-bedroom apartment.

“Living space is also very limited with the combined living and kitchen area of the one-bedroom apartment 4m² smaller than the minimum required.”

Campaigners have called for the four tower blocks in Wyndford to be retrofitted, citing the example of Cedar Court in the Woodside area of Glasgow.

However, Mr Jarvis believes it is wrong to make such a comparison. He added: “You need to compare apples with apples, which these two are not. Cedar Court is made up of family-style housing called maisonettes. They are all two-bedroom properties, with their own private balcony, compared to the cramped one-bedroom and sub-standard studio properties at Wyndford. The properties at Cedar Court were not structurally modified and the units are far more generous and spacious to meet the space standards.

“Each multi-storey block has to be reviewed on a case-by case basis and, in this case, these two multi-storey blocks are poles apart.”

The report by MAST Architects also highlighted poor levels of natural lighting, with the windows in the bedsit apartments overshadowed by the balconies above, poor Wi-Fi and mobile phone connection caused by the thick reinforced concrete walls; and a lack of privacy as balconies are shared by the three apartments on each level.