you're reading...
Financial Integrity, Football

Doubts on Impairment on Westhorn Land

Westthorn Estate History

The Glasgow History website on Westthorn says:

Into the 20th century a considerable portion of Westthorn remained under cultivation, but the westernmost portion was more subject to commercial and public development.

The location of the present Celtic FC Supporters Association Social Club and the land to the rear used by Celtic as a training ground, was previously a brick works utilising clay dug locally. Further towards the river, where the present recreation grounds are, was Westthorn Pumping Station. This Station, with two large reservoirs sitting 60 feet above the river, was constructed late in last quarter of the 19th century to provide a water supply to mills and factories near the river. This portion of Westthorn was joined with Glasgow in 1891.

The Scottish Corpus site says:

River Supply Works. — The River Supply Works were erected in 1876
and 1877 on the lands of Westthorn, situated about two and a half
miles above Glasgow Bridge, to supply the millowners and others
along the banks of the river Clyde with water pumped from the river, and
were rendered necessary in consequence of the removal of the weir. The
machinery consists of two pairs of compound tandem horizontal engines of
about 100 horse power each, with double acting pumps, and four Lancashire
boilers with economiser and feed pumps. Each engine is capable of pumping
200,000 gallons of water per hour into reservoirs, which are about 60
feet above the level of the river.

The following 1882 map provides some confirmation:

Westthorn Brick field 1882

There are the Glasgow Corporation Water Works reservoirs on the Westhorn land that Celtic bought. And the reservoirs were built 60ft above the river – the ground was not disturbed – keeping the seal obviously to stop leaks. It looks like GCC retained that land until sold to Celtic. There has been no brickworks on this land:

Site of former belvidere hospital

Note, on the old map, to the north is Brick Field which is not on Westhorn. It’s on Celtic’s Barrowfield ground. And it says Field in 1882. Possibly this is just for a supply of clay for brickmaking?

Brickworks in the area

Canmore has an entry for a Westhorn brickworks for James Goldie & Sons and the location the map implies it’s on the latest Westhorn land that Celtic bought but I would suggest it’s on Brick Field. That is if it does exist, it’s closer to London Rd. The manuscript entry also says ‘this category of works is filed with ‘general/not located’ and the evidence is scant with ‘all the rest of his artefacts have disappeared since his death’.  The Westhorn/Westthorn estate stretched between Belvidere and Dalbeth and this icon seems to be in the wrong location.

Another doubt is that Mauldslie Brickworks, on the old map, is not on Canmore if you pan left on their site when Mauldslie/Springbank Brickworks it’s mentioned on most sites dealing with Parkhead. Neither is the Springfield Foundry which is under the Helenvale flats. So Canmore appears very accurate.

Also on a speciality Brick Spotting website on the list of Scottish Brickworks James Goldie & Sons has no listing for Westhorn/Westthorn but two others in Shawfield Toll and Langside Road. Same on another Scottish Brick website.

James Goldie & Sons at Westhorn/Westthorn doesn’t appear on any old business directories either – maybe it was, as said above, that Brick Field was as only a source of clay.

James Dewar & Sons Whisky Plant & Bond

Glasgow City Council suggests that the blast zone causing the 84% impairment on Westhorn arises from this whisky site.

From the Westthorn history above it says the eastern part of the estate remained in cultivation right into the 20th century. Plus there is an interesting press release, from October 2013, came from Beam Inc., (Jim Beam?) a US company which now owns the whisky site, where they claim that:

The original site opened in 1953 after being converted from the original Westthorn dairy farm.

So where the council claims the blast zone originates from was a dairy farm – most likely in existence throughout the 19th and early 20th century.

Building on Blast Zones

It’s claimed that residential property cannot be built on blast zones therefore that impairs the value of land. Have a look at the old map at the bend of the river. Here we have Mauldslie Brickworks. Anything been built on it? Well Glasgow City Council are building houses on it – it’s Springfield Rd, London Ave. and Melbourne Pl. and it’s where the Commonwealth Athletes Village is:

Springfield rd Melbourne pl london ave

Entry in The Streets of Parkhead  © Peter W. Mortimer on Springfield Road:

springfield rd parkhead entry

On the same page of the website, there is also an entry on London Road, at 1323 London Rd was the Springfield Foundry where the Helenvale Flats are built. So Glasgow City Council has been building on blast zones all over Parkhead.


So Glasgow City Council’s blast zone appears to be coming from a former dairy farm.

Would the council even have given permission to build a brickworks next to the Water Works reservoirs?

And even if a brickworks is assumed on the old Brick Field site then how could a blast zone propogate through the whole area that had a Water Works on it to give an 84% impairment on the Westhorn/Westthorn land? 

It has been shown by Glasgow City Council – if there was a blast zone on land it doesn’t appear to have stopped them building on it therefore it shouldn’t give an impairment of 84%. Only 16% is viable land? Jackanory, Jackanory – tell a story.

Glasgow City Council need to come up with a better reason/excuse for the ‘impairment’ on Westhorn. Therefore they should release the relevant Geotechnical report. This will be pursued beyond any EU case – it’s better to come clean, stop digging & step out of the trench or impairment they have created.

FoIs need to be issued to find out the planning decisions and usage of the land in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, on the land north of Westhorn and the whisky site.

Environmental Information Request

Perhaps Glasgow City Council will respond to EIR requests for environmental specifics on Westhorn and the said neighbouring land. Every Scottish public body has to respond to such requests. Details on the regulations are contained in this link.

  ©footballtaxhavens.wordpress.com 2014 CC-by icon



14 thoughts on “Doubts on Impairment on Westhorn Land

  1. I noticed yesterday on a FOI request that someone had asked if Rangers had bought any land from GCC. GCC said that there was a deal but Rangers never went ahead with it. Would a FOI get info on how much land and for how much money Rangers would have had to pay . Would be interesting to see the difference in price Rangers would have been made to pay compared to Celtic. Here’s the link to the Rangers FOI.


    Posted by gary platt | February 4, 2014, 1:38 pm
  2. something else you might be interested in from scotland allotment design webpage. to the right of the allotments it says agricultural land is this not the land celtic bought ? If so doubt it would be classed as agricultural if it’s contaminated. go to page 93 on the link. http://www.sags.org.uk/docs/ScotlandAllotmentDesignGuide.pdf

    Posted by gary platt | February 4, 2014, 2:03 pm
  3. perhaps you would get more info from the District Valuer an HMRC body which apparently valued the land. They might be a bit more forthcoming

    Posted by John McMahon | February 4, 2014, 4:02 pm
  4. http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/saw045962

    Fook all built on it in the 50’s


    Posted by drew p cock | February 4, 2014, 4:15 pm
  5. I and a few others have copy of all the land surveyed at the clyde gateway and it suggests that the land is not contaminated enough to allow such a high discount. westhorn land is listed as occasional inorganic land.

    Furthermore It suggests that land in a worse condition and with a higher level of contamination in the same area was bought by the council for a lot more money, with homes built on the land all over the area including the commonwealth areas.

    Posted by Alan Parker | February 5, 2014, 12:50 pm
  6. If you would have looked at the Ordnance Survey of 1892-94 you would have found the Westthorn Brickworks and the huge claypit on the land at Westthorn ,i think your analysis is incorrect

    Posted by chancer67 | February 8, 2014, 7:45 pm
    • Brickworks is on RHS of the Barrowfield block a 150ft, according to the scale, from the Westhorn boundary, if its the same boundary today. Claypit not contaminating the reservoirs of the time so not contaminating now. Impairment of 84% throughout the Westhorn land – pigs arse.

      Posted by footballtaxhavens | February 9, 2014, 12:47 pm
      • You mention blast zones in your article,but i think you have got your information mixed up.Blast zones were introduced to the planning process for all Local Authorities after Buncefield,they come under the COMAH regulations and they impact on land near major causes of explosion or fire,Westhorn is impacted by this because of the proximity of John Dewar bonded warehouse that shares a boundary with the land at Westhorn,there is an exclusion zone of 150 metres for planing applications,that makes the land at Westhorn almost half of the original size.

        Posted by chancer67 | February 9, 2014, 3:30 pm
      • Thanks for the info but if half then the impairment would be 50%. under PADHI http://www.hse.gov.uk/landuseplanning/padhi.pdf the impaired 50% could still be built on – could be temporarily occupied premises like offices &/or car parking. So the impairment should be < 50%. Land valued at £4-5 million so with Cfc paying £675,000 they still go it for 1/3rd of it's true value £2-2.5 million.

        So the GCC, must have been after 1952 photo, when approving the planning for the bond should have been compensated – if it's halved the value of their land?

        Posted by footballtaxhavens | February 9, 2014, 11:47 pm
  7. http://nora.nerc.ac….SoilOR08002.pdf
    At the top of page 40 there is a table relating to Westhorn suggesting that the land contains Bismuth.
    This is a general geotech report as far as I can make out and not done for the land valaution as far as I am aware.
    When I checked this substance out on wikipedia it seems to be a heavy metal with little toxicity.

    Posted by Toad | February 11, 2014, 11:21 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: