YOUR article on the state of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s organ casing (“Sturgeon to demand answers over fate of Mackintosh organ found lying in pieces”, March 27) underlines the need for constant vigilance in preserving our heritage.

Tomorrow, Glasgow City Council will demonstrate whether it has the vision to safeguard our built heritage when the planning committee meets to decide an application to build a large unwieldy block of student flats on the corner of Dalhousie Street, adjoining Mackintosh’s world-renowned Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

The proposed box-like development in its close proximity and dominating height will substantially obscure the south elevation of the Mackintosh building from view and block out daylight to School studios. The design concept is wholly unsympathetic to its setting against such a building of world renown. It is ironic that, when every effort is going into restoring the Mackintosh building after the fire, the council seems intent on approving an adjacent 180-bed student housing development, which GSA director Professor Tom Inns has strongly criticised.

The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS), the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, the New Glasgow Society and other Glasgow heritage groups have also lodged objections. The AHSS supports developments that are sensitive to their surroundings; this proposal is detrimental to a vital part of Glasgow’s heritage and should be turned down.

It would also seem that one section of the council is working to undermine another. Whilst planning is proposing to adversely affect part of our Mackintosh heritage, the excellent efforts of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau to attract international events to our city has chalked up another significant success.

In June, some 600 delegates will attend The Society of Architectural Historians’ Conference in Glasgow.

This will be only the second time this conference has been held in Britain.

The City Marketing Bureau cited the Glasgow School of Art as one of the buildings that helped attract the conference to the city.

The planning committee should, therefore, refuse the proposals for student accommodation at 294 Sauchiehall Street.

Iain Wotherspoon,

Chairman, AHSS Strathclyde Group,

Tobacco Merchants House,

42 Miller Street,