The council’s plans to redevelop and extend a key Helensburgh site to form its new office headquarters in the town were approved today.
The planning, protective services and licensing (PPSL) committee gave the green light to the proposal to transform the former Clyde Street School site into new council offices and community facilities.
The only outstanding issue to be resolved before the project can go ahead is to secure listed building consent from Historic Scotland.
Under the plans, the former school buildings – which are category B-listed and have lain empty for a number of years - will be retained, refurbished and extended.
Douglas Hendry, the council’s executive director of customer services, said: “At present, the council has several offices across the Helensburgh area, each of which has significant operational costs. The existing arrangement also means that people trying to access council services have to visit different places in order to do so.
“So we expect that this new building, once operational, will have a major impact not just on our operational costs but also on our customers, because virtually everything will be under one town centre roof.
“Once it is operational, many staff who are currently working outwith the town centre will be based in the heart of Helensburgh, which has obvious potential benefits for local businesses. We anticipate that nearly 140 employees will be working out of this office, which is a significant number of people coming into the town centre every working day.
“The fact that the new building will include community facilities is a response to suggestions from the public during the consultation period, and I am confident that many groups and individuals will find themselves able to benefit from the new facility in some way.”
The building incorporates both indoor and outdoor space for community purposes, and a café will be created in the central area of the original school. It will also include a marriage suite and gallery space.
The extension to the former school building will be attached by a glazed link, with the main body of the extension being oak-clad on the street and side elevations. The back of the building, which faces the shore, will be glazed so as to make the most of the view across the open space behind and onto the Clyde.