Housing plans revealed for historic Govan Graving Docks

Fresh plans to build a large scale housing development on a historically significant dry dock complex have been revealed.

Govan Graving Docks were abandoned in 1988. Housing is now planned for the Grade A-listed complex. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
Govan Graving Docks were abandoned in 1988. Housing is now planned for the Grade A-listed complex. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

ZM Architecture and New City Vision hope to create 750 homes in a series of buildings ranging from four to 15 storeys in height at Govan Graving Docks, a huge site built to service ships that has lain empty since 1988.

Campaigners believe the Grade A-listed complex should be preserved as a maritime heritage park, but developers have promised to retain public access to the site if their plans win approval.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Comprising three dry docks and associated piers, it was built in stages from 1869 by the Clyde Navigation Trust to satisfy the huge demand for ship repair services.

Govan Graving Docks were abandoned in 1988. Housing is now planned for the Grade A-listed complex. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

The term graving refers to the now obsolete process of coating the bottom of boats with pitch. At its peak, more than 500 men were employed to prepare ships for another gruelling season of crossing the oceans.

The Buildings at Risk Register describes it as an “outstanding complex, unique in Scotland,”.

New City Vision plans to restore the individual docks and connect the site to the nearby Glasgow Science Centre with a new public footbridge.

Read More

Read More
Campaign to preserve Glasgow's maritime history heats up
The site comprises three dry docks and associated piers and was in regular use until the late 1980s. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

In a statement, the developers said: “There will be public access anywhere without buildings – that’s over 80% of the site, including the water in the docks.

“The areas around the three docks, the basin and the river will all have public access. There’s a huge opportunity to use them for different things; going for a walk, community gardens, natural river edges, café kiosks, play areas, tai chi, restoring old boats – or just sitting and enjoying the view.”

A planning in principle application for the waterfront site is expected to be filed in April.

But there remains a vocal campaign group against housing being built on the site.

New City Vision said it would retain public access to the site post-development. Picture: John Devlin

The Clyde Docks Preservation Trust believe the Govan site should be preserved as a reminder of when Glasgow was Scotland’s leading port.

“It’s Glasgow’s last remaining historic dock complex, so to cover it with bland waterfront flats you see elsewhere would be unfortunate,” said trust founder Iain McGillivray.

Govan Graving Docks were abandoned in 1988. Housing is now planned for the Grade A-listed complex. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
The site comprises three dry docks and associated piers and was in regular use until the late 1980s. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
New City Vision said it would retain public access to the site post-development. Picture: John Devlin