Why Oppose Housing Plans – Surely We Need New Housing?

A small number of people have questioned the reasons behind the campaign and why we are challenging plans for housing development at Govan Graving Docks. Surely we need new and especially affordable housing?

Yes we agree that new housing is always needed but there are other disused sites not far from Govan Graving Docks that would be far less complex and more cost effective to build housing on. Including several acres of land that used to have houses on it along Broomloan Road.

People need more than just homes to live in. Rewarding and sustainable jobs, learning and recreational facilities are needed as well. It is also of great cultural importance to maintain connections with our past. In terms of present and future opportunity of creating a major maritime tribute on the Clyde – Govan Graving Docks is the only remaining site where this could be done on a a major scale. This is an opportunity that would be lost forever if a major housing development were allowed to go ahead on the docks.

To grant planning consent for a major housing development on the docks would be tantamount to a declaration by Glasgow City Council – that Glasgow has completely abandoned its industrial and maritime heritage – with no intention to ever revive it.

Consultation and outreach work previously carried out by CDPI found the general public and the local community in Govan are overwhelmingly opposed to a private housing development on Govan Graving Docks and for the most part don’t even want to see the site become social housing.

Experts have expressed scepticism that the graving docks site is even at all viable for housing. A view that is unquestionably supported, by the objection to the NCV Ltd planning application, that was lodged by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Govan has already lost the iconic shipyard cranes from its skyline. Dry docks like the iconic masterpieces of Victorian engineering we have here will never be built again. Govan Docks Regeneration Trust aims to ensure that the last dry docks in Glasgow are not lost as well.

Background of the Graving Docks Campaign

The Campaign to restore Govan Graving Docks as a heritage asset was launched in 2014 with an online petitition, that has now attracted almost 12,000 signatures, calling on Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to support the creation of a heritage park on the site and block proposals for a major housing development by NCV Ltd.

In tandem with the petition a starting concept for a heritage park was formed and presented in a 36 page white paper published in August 2014. Since then the vision of restoring the Govan docks has evolved further through networking and feedback from a diverse range of people and groups interested in the docks, as well as wider research into maritime heritage carried out by the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative (CDPI).

With planning consent for the housing proposals likely to be refused, as well as new proposals coming forward to return the docks to use for ship repair, CDPI is now divesting most of its role, relating to Govan, to the Govan Docks Regeneration Trust charity.

The campaign has attracted media attention from sources including BBC Radio Scotland, STV Glasgow News, Glasgow Live, The Sunday Herald, The Evening Times, The Times,  The Scotsman, Vice, The Big Issue as well as the Maritime Journal and a number of other niche publications.

Govan Graving Docks Documentary

In 2017 the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative commissioned Govan-based social enterprise Fablevision Studios to produce a short documentary film about Govan Graving Docks.

The production team interviewed members of the CDPI team, expert historians, artists, former dock workers and others about the docks and what the site means to them. We hope this short film will inspire you, as it has inspired us and many others, to be optimistic about a bright future for Govan’s historic A-listed graving docks.