Empty flats to make way for new homes?

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MARYWELL Gardens is set for redevelopment should a proposal from the Angus Council director of neighbourhood services be approved.

In a report due to be read to the neighbourhood services committee, Ron Ashton has asked for approval to demolish three blocks of empty flats and build five new houses on two of the sites with the third site being landscaped for the time being.

The Angus Council Housing Division has had trouble letting the flats at Marywell Gardens and in 2004 the decision was made to close down the three blocks at 15-35, 49-69 and 32-52 with any remaining tenants being rehomed.

Each block comprises 11 flats but it has been decided that modernising these flats will not achieve the desired outcome as there are too many flats in the area for the current level of demand.

Although two of the blocks will be developed into two three-bedroom houses and three two bedroom houses, the block at 32-52 is to be landscaped.

Mr Ashton explained: The third block is in a relatively dull and damp position, shaded by trees on private land and options here are further restricted by the presence of large Scottish Water sewers in close proximity and the Gairie Burn.

“This corner has been included in the recently revised Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) flood risk map for Kirriemuir, which would bring concerns about redevelopment as housing.

“It is therefore proposed to demolish this block of 11 flats to ground level and landscape the site.

“Further consideration of future development options will continue but are unlikely in the short-term.”

He continued: “The final scheme will, therefore, provide five new high quality two and three bedroom houses to current standards of energy efficiency and would be very attractive to future tenants.

“These would be classed as ‘New Supply’ houses and would be protected from the tenant’s Right to Buy.

“The cleared site of the third block would be landscaped with regard to supporting biodiversity and kept as a possible future development site.”

At present a total of £511,000 has been set aside in the regeneration scheme of the HRA Financial Plan for works at Marywell Gardens.

It is anticipated that the proposed development will cost £800,000 and so a funding shortfall of £267,500 is evident.

To get around this a total of £267,000 could be reallocated from the general new build provision of £1,547,000 which would cover the new development cost.

Mr Ashton concluded: “The demolition of the three blocks of flats at Marywell Gardens, Kirriemuir, and the construction of five new-build houses will provide a much-needed boost to the type of housing available in the area and regenerate this area of Kirriemuir with high-quality new accommodation for rent.”