Residents ‘locked out’ after Glasgow School of Art fire consider legal action

Workmen remove bricks fire damaged beyond reuse as they dismantle the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Workmen remove bricks fire damaged beyond reuse as they dismantle the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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Residents and business owners who say they have been refused access to their properties following the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) fire are considering legal action.

Lawyers say it is unacceptable those affected have been locked out for almost 10 weeks as efforts continue to stabilise and preserve what is left of the renowned Mackintosh building.

Govan Law Centre (GLC) said is looking to identify “public interest litigation” against Glasgow City Council, the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Kier Construction on behalf of 33 displaced households in Garnethill and 55 Sauchiehall Street businesses over their “abysmal” treatment.

Flames tore through the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed building on June 15, the second devastating fire to hit the art school.

Since then, residents and business staff have been refused entry to collect items including passports, car keys, medicines or clothes, GLC said.

Read more: Glasgow School of Art bosses ‘hopeful’ of positive future for gutted Mackintosh building

Mike Dailly, solicitor advocate at GLC, said: “Glasgow City Council senior officers, Glasgow School of Art and privileged elites appear more interested in saving the MacKintosh building than saving the community of Sauchiehall Street and Garnethill, which have been around a lot longer and are a special part of our city’s heritage.

“Ordinary residents and local businesses are suffering and have lost a lot of money. It’s unacceptable to be locked out of homes for so long.

“Residents and businesses no longer trust that the local authority is putting their needs first.

“The local authority exposes itself to judicial review and claims if it places the interests of the GSA before the community, and GLC will explore every avenue of challenge available to the local community.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The council has acted under Section 29 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 in order to protect life.

“Our priority remains getting residents and businesses back to their property safely.”

Read more: Work to dismantle the Mack continues following Glasgow School of Art fire