Plans to introduce an entry fee at Glasgow's Kibble Palace should not go ahead until the impact on local people is more fully explored, councillors have said.

The local authority announced its intention to start charging visitors at the B-listed, Victorian glasshouse as part of February's budget measures, claiming it could raise around £185,000 a year.

However, there is likely to be a delay to its implementation, if it goes ahead, after councillors agreed to request a full consultation.

The decision was made after an impassioned speech by campaigners, who lodged a formal petition with the local authority opposing the charge that was signed by more than 2,000 supporters.

The Herald: Floraidh and Hamish with their mum Cathleen enjoying a visit to the Kibble PalaceFloraidh and Hamish with their mum Cathleen enjoying a visit to the Kibble Palace (Image: Keep the Kibble Free campaign)

Glasgow paediatrician Lucy Reynolds said she would "prescribe visits to the Kibble"  describing it as an "extraordinary social asset".

READ MORE: 'Beguiling' Glasgow glasshouse named among city's best free attractions after council agrees entry fee

The doctor interviewed parents, children and older people who visit the glasshouse in the Botanic Gardens regularly as part of the  'Keep the Kibble Free' campaign.

She said it was used mainly and frequently by local people, who would be forced to pay around £150 a year under the plans.

The Herald: A Glasgow paediatrician has said she would 'prescribe visits to the Kibble'A Glasgow paediatrician has said she would 'prescribe visits to the Kibble' (Image: Newsquest)

She said nurses had told her they regularly take patients from Gartnavel Hospital to the Kibble and said children, in particular those with Autistic spectrum disorders, derived huge benefits from visits to watch the fish and wander amongst the exotic plants.

She said: "Tourist visits make up a very small proportion – each tourist visits once.

"The vast majority of visits are by local people (ie from Glasgow or just outside) and they visit repeatedly. That’s very different from the supposedly “similar” attractions such as the private Botanical gardens in Dundee and Edinburgh.

"I’m a paediatrician, specializing in seeing children with disabilities and developmental concerns. We have never been busier.

"Paediatricians across the world are desperately concerned about “the extinction of experience” as children spend more and more time looking at screens. I would prescribe visits to the Kibble Palace if I could

"Like a vitamin, you don't get the benefit by taking it once. It's the people who visit often who are deriving the most benefit. 

The Herald: Dr Lucy Reynolds, a developmental paediatrician said children derived huge benefits from visits to the glasshouse Dr Lucy Reynolds, a developmental paediatrician said children derived huge benefits from visits to the glasshouse (Image: Lucy Reynolds)

"It's not worth gambling what would be lost."

READ MORE: Charging 'non-Glaswegians' to visit the city's museums 'back on the table'

She referenced a speech by Glasgow's former Lord Provost Liz Cameron when the Kibble re-opened after a £7million renovation.

She told of her "delight" that the glasshouse "in its magnificent Victoria splendour would be returned to the people of Glasgow and visitors."

She said the Kibble also contained privately funded memorial benches and that introducing a fee would be tantamount to asking relatives to pay to remember loved ones.

Fiona Douglas, who lodged the petition, said campaigners were acutely aware of the financial pressures the council was facing but suggested that "more creative" responses could be explored such as a cafe, pop-up shop or confining the charge to people who live outwith the city.

READ MORE: Mark Smith: 'Sorry but Glasgow should charge entry to all its museums and galleries 

Irene Loudon, community council rep for the petitions committee, said the economic benefit of introducing a £3 charge (£1.50 for children) was "a drop in the ocean" compared with the dreadful cost of the social impact."

She said: "It's part of our heritage. It would be criminal to let this go forward at such an enormous cost to the spiritual health of the people of Glasgow."

The amendment was proposed by Green councillors Anthony Carroll and Holly Bruce.

Councillor Caroll said:  "I’m pleased that all parties were able to support our amendment calling for the City Administration Committee (CAC) to bring proper community consultation & equality impact assessment to the Kibble Palace Fee decision.

"The Kibble Palace is a key asset in our city for free access to our animal & plant life, with a vibrant local community using it. Scores of young people have their first experience of nature there - it’s been a hub for social connections for many, and I include myself as one who has taken someone there as a free date.

"I’d urge CAC )(City Administration Committee to support our call for proper community consultation & equality impact assessments, as well as explore other revenue-raising options before any idea of a charge is brought in.”

Denise Hamilton, head of city services for the council, said it was currently scoping out how the charge would be administered, given the building is listed and would be required to be staffed.