Background

Last year the council agreed to sell Park Quadrant to Leeds-based Expresso Property Ltd for £6.3million.

The developer plans to build 98 modern one, two and three bedroom flats on the land that has been public gardens for the past 150 years.

Designed by the renowned Glasgow architect Charles Wilson in the 1850s, the Park area is acknowledged as one of the finest examples of town planning in Europe.

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Located on the northern edge of the A-listed Park Circus, the Quadrant was in Wilson’s original plans but was never completed and his ‘masterplan’ for the area was amended when Lynedoch Place was built to overlook the Quadrant.

The land was compulsorily purchased by the council back in 1981 and it’s remained untouched ever since.

It has been the subject of two previous failed planning applications, in 2002 and again in 2007.

The former was the subject of a public inquiry that resulted in a multi-million pound proposed development for 100 flats and six mews houses by Stewart Milne Homes, being thrown out after the Scottish Executive deemed it was inappropriate for the area.

Expresso Property was one of 11 developers to bid for the latest project. The council promised the bidding process would be ‘design-led’ but chose Expresso Property over other bidders who had higher scores for design.

Since the winning bid was chosen, the proposed development has been scaled back but the bidding process was not rerun.

Earlier this month the price of the land was reduced by £500,000 to reflect that and the council agreed to accept a one-off payment of £400,000 in lieu of its agreed share of future profits from the development which is expected to be worth more than £40million.

We believe the proposal is wrong for a number of reasons and we want the council to kick-out the planning application when it’s considered in the Spring of 2016.

  • We think the council is trying to cash-in on a valuable asset because it’s struggling for cash in the current economic climate. We understand times are hard but you don’t flog the family silver at the bottom of the market.
  • We believe the bidding process for the development was mishandled and that the wrong proposal won.
  • We believe that Expresso Property is a small, young and inexperienced company with no track record in delivering such an important building project on this scale.
  • We believe that the proposal has little support and that it’s a bad deal for the people of Glasgow.
  • But above all, we believe this proposal should be thrown out because it’s plain wrong.

We’re furious at the veil of secrecy that has accompanied the planning application. Despite agreeing to sell the land to the company last summer, the council has failed to properly consult with local residents and we’ve been forced to make several Freedom of Information requests just to keep up with what’s going on.