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£30million Floating Village Plan For Prince's Dock
Sun 24th Oct 10 - 16:28

£30m Floating Village Plan for Prince’s Dock 

By Steven Vass, Glasgow Herald 

YOU might have thought that houses belong on dry land but on Clydeside one unusual property developer has other ideas. 

Floating Concepts, based near Manchester, is proposed to convert the derelict docks behind the Glasgow Science Centre and IMAX cinema near Govan into a £30 million floating village.  The proposal would see the 12.5-acre Canting Basin become a waterborne development including homes, offices, restaurants, and a 230-berth marina. 

Prince's DockIt is one of two proposals before dock owner Scottish Enterprise, which will reach a decision next month. It was seeking proposals that would make the basin a centre for water-based activities and associated businesses. 

The Floating Concepts idea, designed by Glasgow-based ZM Architecture, involved a horseshoe-shaped floating concrete path and illuminated canals of water about 30m from the quayside on each side.  The buildings would be connected to the path, with each anchored through a Finnish stress absorption system designed to cope with all tides.

David Beard, owner of the company, said: “We wanted the design to use the water in all its various dimensions.  Glasgow has got a beautiful river but it doesn’t have a waterfront destination.  The great coastal cities have put a lot of emphasis on their waterfronts, which is what we are seeking to create here.”

 The business plan depends on pre-selling 80 marina berths that would pay for the cost of the necessary infrastructure.  The focus would be on motor boats, with a further 150 berths sold to home-owners and to other organisations for entertaining visitors to the city.

 Once the company has pre-sold between 80% and 85% of a segment, it would then secure bank loans to pay for about 60% of the construction costs. 

Of the 30 residential units, Beard said: “There will be flats, duplexes and houses.  The idea is to have an eclectic mix made with very different materials, different window treatments and balconies and a broken line of roofs so that they look as if they are chance-grown rather than developed by an architect.” 

He rejected any concerns that home buyers might be wary of the area following severe drops in value in apartment blocks across the river, arguing there would always be demand for properties on the water. 

If Floating Concepts wins the tender, it would then need to secure planning permission, after which it would take three years to complete. 

Floating Concepts is part of Harbourside Marina plc, also owned by Beard, which owns and operates the 350-berth Liverpool Marina.  It is co-developing plans for the south docks that are also expected to feature floating structures.  It is also in the early stages of developing proposals for floating offices at Salford Quay and for a site in Cheshire. 

A spokeswoman for Scottish Enterprise said: “Both proposals are very distinctive, offering significant economic development opportunities for this prime waterspace.  We envisage the Canting Basin as an active and lively hub for tourists, businesses and local residents alike.”

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