Residents of the Wyndford estate in Glasgow have written to the Scottish Government to request an environmental impact assessment ahead of the planned demolition of four tower blocks on the estate.

The flats are to be razed and replaced by 300 new homes,with owners Wheatley Group planning to invest £73 million.

Members of the Wyndford Residents Union have been fighting the plans, believing that retrofitting the existing buildings would be the 'greener' option.

The plans to demolish blocks 151, 171, 191 and 120, were also criticised by leading figures in the architectural world.

Scots architect Professor Alan Dunlop described Ernest Buteux’s vision for Wynford as embodying the spirit of architect Le Corbusier.

The Herald: Wyndford Flats Protest -William Doolan with fellow residents. Picture by Stewart Attwood.

Members of the Wyndford Residents Union had hoped heritage watchdog Historic Environment Scotland would bestow listed status on the tower blocks.

However, the body's report concluded: "While the blocks have some importance in the context of post-war housing provision, our assessment concludes that they are not early, unusual or rare examples of their building type, and that they have also been substantially remodelled.”

As part of their ongoing campaign to save the buildings, the group has written to the Scottish Government to request an environmental impact assessment. 

Glasgow City Council had previously decided that an environmental impact assessment was not required.

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It was decided that the potential cumulative environmental effects were "not sufficient" to warrant a full assessment.

Glasgow City Council stated that the demolition would affect the local area only, and is "unlikely to have significant effects on the environment".

There will be a screening option for the site when proposals for redevelopment are put forward.

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In a letter to Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, Minister for local government empowerment and planning, the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland on behalf of the Wyndford Residents Union have asked the Scottish Government to look again at the decision on four grounds.

The Herald: 171 is one of four tower blocks in Wyndford that are earmarked for demolition. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

The first is that an error of law was made in GCC's response to the request for an environmental impact assessment, in that the phrase "an Environmental Impact Assessment is unlikely to be required for the development of land unless the new development is on a significantly greater scale than the previous land use, or the types of impacts are of a markedly different nature, or there is a high level of contamination" is not stated in the The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 and thus is "a material error of law".

They also allege a material error of fact in relation to the same wording.

Thirdly, the Wyndford Residents Union allege that the council's decision is irrational as its screening checks highlighted several potential environmental impacts, referring to a report which stated the proposed demolition would result in the release of ‘embodied carbon'.

Finally, the residents allege that GCC failed to provide adequate reasons for its decision.

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: "The council is aware of the matter, and reject the allegation that there have been errors in dealing with the environmental screening.”

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Wheatley Homes told the Herald that 99 per cent of residents had "happily moved out of the tower blocks into much more suitable, attractive and quality homes and communities of their choice".

The social landlord described the flats as "no longer fit for modern day living nor meet the type and quality of housing people have a right to expect and demand" when informing residents of the plans in December 2021.

Wheatley says more than 250 of the new homes will be for social housing, with the rest for affordable housing, and a large number will be much-needed homes for families.

If it goes ahead as planned, the demolition of the existing flats is expected to take around two years.

An initial 'soft strip', which will see all internal non-load bearing walls, partitions, linings, floor finishes, ceiling finishes, and services removed will be followed by a controlled demolition of the concrete frame of the buildings.

A 150-metre exclusion zone will be erected around the tower blocks before the demolition is carried out.

In January arrests were made after activists occupied the flats.