Partial demolition of former Wellbrae primary school

20161107- Wellbrae School Partial Demolition
Work has started on a partial demolition of the fire damaged school. 

� Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES 

No use without payment.
20161107- Wellbrae School Partial Demolition Work has started on a partial demolition of the fire damaged school. � Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES No use without payment.

Heavy equipment moved in on Monday to make safe the former primary school at Wellbrae which was ravaged by fire two weeks ago.

Massive machinery was called in to make safe the remaining structure as further assessments are planned to determine the future of the building.

Mr David Shepherd, a director of Taylor-Shepherd Homes Ltd. which had intended to develop the 135-year old, C-listed building into 16 flats, confirmed on Monday sections of the building identified by a structural engineer as being immediately dangerous were being taken down.

He added: “Once this process has been completed the building will be assessed in terms of future viability.”

The loss of the original building has been lamented by Mrs Isobel Ross, former chairman of Forfar Community Council whose home overlooks the school site.

During her tenure on the community council she made repeated calls for some community use to be found for the building, which closed eight years ago.

She had hoped a community centre could be set up, with the former classrooms being let out to various groups and organisations.

She said: “It’s an outright shame that this has happened; we will have to wait and see what happens now.

“It was a lost opportunity when the school closed; it is such a sad state of affairs eight years on to see what has happened. Every time I open my back door and look across at it tears come to my eyes. What a sad, sad time.

“On a personal viewpoint, five generations of my family attended that school - my grandfather, father, myself, my son and daughter and my granddaughter.

“We were evacuated from our house on the Saturday but I cannot praise the emergency services highly enough.”

Three 12-year-old boys and two 11-year-old boys have been charged in connection with the fire and a report will be submitted to the Youth Justice Assessor for consideration.