Plans to expand Forfar Sheriff Court

Investment plans for Forfar Sheriff Court.
Investment plans for Forfar Sheriff Court.

Plans were put in place on Thursday to create a new justice hub in Forfar as part of a major shake-up by the Scottish Court Service.

At a meeting of Angus Council’s corporate services committee, councillors approved recommendations to sell Forfar Sheriff Court annexe to the SCS, following a national shake-up of the courts systems earlier this year.

The SCS plans to turn the building into an additional court room as part of its new justice hub.

The plans were recommended for approval by communities director Alan McKeown in a report which went before councillors.

Mr McKeown said: “The Scottish Court Service, which currently own Forfar Court, have approached Angus Council with a request to purchase the sheriff court annexe as part of their reorganisation of court provision within Angus.

“Angus Council’s agents, Messrs J & E Shepherd, were instructed to provide an open market valuation of the property, which has now been agreed by the Scottish Court Service.

“Provisional agreement has been reached to sell the building at the valuation of £135,000, subject to the relocation of the current staff. It is proposed that they are moved to other Angus council buildings within Forfar.

“This is anticipated by the end of the year.”

The sale of the annexe has paved the way for a number of moves for council staff.

The community safety team will move across the road to the Mart in a move which will help the council as part of its reduction of buildings count.

Mr McKeown stated the cost of relocation would be neutral apart from the receipt from the SCS which will be used to fund new housing at some point next year.

The re-development of Forfar Sheriff Court was announced earlier this year with the SCS confirming nearby Arbroath Sheriff Court will cease operations next May, with all business moving to Forfar.

The SCS will have to spend around £1.3 million to bring Forfar Sheriff Court up to working standards when Arbroath closes.