CAMPAIGNERS have criticised Glasgow City Council for a "lack of transparency" over plans to develop one of the city's most prestigious addresses.

A-listed Park Quadrant, in the city's West End, is considered to be one of the finest examples of town planning in Europe.

But the Victorian development within Park Circus - which overlooks Kelvingrove park - was never finished.

There are now plans to complete the row of houses after the city council agreed to sell the sought-after land for £6.3million to a developer which plans to build 111 homes.

But an action group fighting to protect the heritage of the Quadrant, has hit out at the lack of public consultation.

The group is concerned that Leeds-based developer Expresso property was selected as the preferred company out of 11 bidders without input from councillors or local people.

Tom Johnstone, from the Park and Woodlands Heritage Group, said: "We are outraged. The decision to sell Park Quadrant to Expresso Property which intends to build 111 flats was taken behind closed doors before members of the public had a chance to get involved."

Expresso Property's proposal was favoured by planning officials and the Glasgow Urban Design Panel.

The proposal was then presented to the Glasgow City Council's executive committee which agreed the sale of the land in May with cross-party support.

But the plans are still subject to planning permission and are currently in the pre-application stage.

Park Quadrant was acquired by Glasgow City Council through a compulsory purchase order in 1981.

Plans to build 107 flats at the site collapsed in 2006 amid the worldwide financial crisis.

City Property, the council’s arms-length property organisation, put Park Quadrant up for sale in October 2014.

Its marketing brochure describes the Park Circus as “probably the most iconic of Glasgow’s Victorian Cityscapes”.

Mr Johnstone said: “We are deeply concerned about the planning process which appears to have fundamental flaws.

“It is a joke to say that a public consultation is being carried out when the decision has already been made."

Park Circus, which has a lay out similar to the New Town in Edinburgh, is part of a planned development created by distinguished architect Charles Wilson in the 1850s.

The homes - some of the most expensive in the city - were mostly sold to rich merchants.

It is understood that the money from the sale of the homes, which are now some of the most expensive in the city, was used to purchase two country estates. And these were combined to create Kelvingrove Park.

The development of Park Quadrant was halted, however, after the City of Glasgow Bank collapsed.

In its bid to restore its "missing piece", Expresso Property has pledged to strike a "sensitive balance between old and new".

Mr Johnstone said: “We are not saying that Park Quadrant should never be built on but we urge Glasgow City Council to go back to the drawing board and have a full and frank public debate about how the land should be used."

The action group have suggested that the land could be used for sport and recreation facilities, or a social enterprise project, rather than homes.

After Expresso was named as the preferred bidders, Stephen Hampshire of the firm said: “We would be honoured to be selected to restore the ‘missing piece’ of Park Quadrant, one of the most prestigious addresses in Glasgow.

"The involvement of our team, which also includes the award-winning Glasgow architects Holmes Miller and Savills Scotland, ensures that our proposed design achieves a sensitive balance between old and new, and will meet current demand for beautifully designed residential property in the best locations in Scotland.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said the process of narrowing down the 11 bids followed a "standard model".

He added: "In this case, there was a clear recommendation for the (Expresso) proposal – after consideration of design, financial and planning issues – before it was presented for consideration by the Executive Committee."