GLASGOW City Council has approved the first phase of plans to knock down the St Enoch Centre.

The shopping mall first opened in 1989 and was refurbished to include a cinema that opened in 2022.

However, developers Sovereign Centros want to demolish the complex and replace it with office space, a four-star hotel as well as new retail and residential units.

The process would take place over four stages, with key buildings retained in order to maintain income on the site.

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Those which would be retained include the A-listed Buck’s Head building, the B-listed former Debenhams and unlisted properties at 135-255 Argyle Street.

Glasgow City Council has now approved the first phase of the plans, with a report saying the “potential transformational benefits” to the city centre “cannot be underestimated”.

It continued to say that the plan “represents a significant opportunity to repair part of the city centre that currently exists as a mainly inward facing block with little engagement or connectivity to surrounding streets”.

The decision gives developers planning permission in principle to knock the structure down, but more detailed plans will need to be submitted before work can begin.

Sovereign Centros plans to develop the site over the next 15-20 years, which they say will maintain “flexibility” for the site, allowing projects to “respond to future demands and market trends”.

They had sought 20-year planning permission but council officials have reported “given the potential for policy change throughout this period, 10 years is considered to be appropriate”.