German government wades in to £35m Glasgow flats project

Park QuadrantThe German government has objected to plans for 98 homes at Park Quadrant in the West End of Glasgow.

A planning application for the £35 million project was lodged last month by Leeds-based developer Expresso Property, which acquired the land overlooking Kelvingrove Park from Glasgow City Council for £6.2m.

However Angela Merkel’s representative in Scotland has expressed his opposition to the plans which he branded “inappropriate” and “clumsy”.

In a letter to Glasgow City on behalf of the German government, the German consul general in Scotland, Jens-Peter Voss, claimed that the building work would impact on diplomatic functions at the neighbouring Goethe Institute, Germany’s cultural institute in Scotland.

The institute runs language courses for hundreds of students every year as well as lectures, exhibitions and other cultural functions.

Staff at the institute and at Alliance Francaise, a private higher education establishment teaching French which occupies the same building, are said to be strongly opposed to the plans.

The city council has received more than 200 formal objections to the £35m proposed development.

Mr Voss said the town houses at two and three Park Circus were represented by the German Consulate under international law and he feared their functions would be negatively affected by noise and air pollution from the building project.

He said the scale of the proposed six-storey development would intrude upon the privacy of students, visitors and staff at the Goethe Institute.

A report commissioned by Mr Voss on behalf of the institute said it benefits from a central location in one of the most prestigious conservation areas of Glasgow, chosen because it accords with the institute’s “noise sensitive”activities.

The report states: “This peace is likely to be disrupted very significantly during construction, to the point where the Goethe Institute and the Alliance Francaise may not be able to fulfil their functions satisfactorily.

“Increased noise can also be expected from the occupants of the proposed 98 flats, and associated equipment, such as fans, heat pumps, etc.

“The Goethe Institute will also suffer from a reduction in air quality resulting from the mature parkland being removed and replaced by a large underground car park ventilated towards Park Circus Lane, its garden ground and rear elevation.”

Councillors are due to rule on the latest proposals next month.

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