St Andrew's College demolition is underway

IT'S the end of an era in Bearsden with the demolition of the landmark student flats on the skyline at the former St Andrew's College.

Built by famous architects Gillespie Kidd and Coia in the mid 1960's, the residencies were a lesser known example of their post-war work but were recognised as demonstrating the firm's worthy architectural reputation and were accredited A listing category.

Despite that listing the buildings had their critics for their design and were dubbed the "henhouses on the hill".

It was in 1969 the college opened as Notre Dame and in 1998 it was re-named St Andrews College — and it was in that year the residential blocks were listed as category A.

Amalgamation with Glasgow University then took place in 1999 and following relocation of the teaching college to Glasgow in 2002, the Bearsden site was declared surplus to the university's requirements.

At that point the then leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, Charles Kennedy, pledged to retain at least part of the site for education given the college had been the "jewel" in the authority's educational crown.

The university went into partnership with Bett Homes and after protracted negotiations over many years, a proposal was eventually granted permission for a new Bearsden Academy in a mixed use development to include houses and commercial.

Historic Scotland did not object to the builder's application for demolition of the student blocks b although the Twentieth Century Society stated all listed blocks should be retained and reused.

Muse Developments argued the residencies could not readily be reused and East Dunbartonshire Council granted permission for their demolition.

As well as houses and flats development at the site is to include a residential home for the elderly.