BUSINESSES on Hillhead’s historic Otago Lane are calling for clarity from developers on plans to build three residential blocks.

Permission to build the flats was recently granted by Glasgow City Council’s Planning Committee after a seven-year battle by campaigners.

However, shops on the lane say they weren’t notified when permission was renewed despite years of objections.

Kenneth Shand, co-owner of Tchai Ovna teahouse, said: “We weren’t consulted, which I think we should have been since we’ve put in so many objections over the years.

“We accept that planning permission is pretty final, but there are things we assume he’d have to do before building like submitting a drainage assessment as we’re by a river.

“We’re still waiting for building work to begin since permission was granted.”

Otago Lane has long been a key cultural hub in Glasgow’s west end, home to Tchai Ovna, long-running bookstore Voltaire and Rousseau and music store Mixed Up Records.

Millionaire developer Hugh Scott’s proposal to build flats on the street was first accepted in 2012, prompting protests (see video below) and hundreds of objection letters.

After a lengthy legal dispute forced Tchai Ovna to close its outside area and relocate its entrance, the tea shop managed to avoid closing its doors.

Mr Shand said: “Mixed Up Records leased us an entrance, which meant we didn’t have to move.

“One nice thing about the protests, despite the consequences, has been that it’s brought the community together.”

However, businesses remain worried that they’ll still be massively affected by some of Mr Scott’s proposed developments.

Peter Ashby, owner of Mixed Up Records, said: “His plans will change the look of the place – it won’t be as green or open.

“He also wants to take away the parking spaces at the end of the lane, which we use a lot for customers coming and going and bringing stuff to the shop.

“There has been a complete disregard for what goes on here and we can’t do anything now until we know exactly what happens.”

Mr Scott was contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.

Photo: Akuppa John Wigham – Tchai Ovna in 2011 pre-dispute. Flickr Creative Commons.

Video: Save Otago Lane – City Chambers Protest 2012 – “Leave Our Lane Alane” by InternetAndDigital after the development was initially granted.

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