End in sight for Newmonthill flats

Newmonthill.
Newmonthill.

ANGUS councillor Bill Middleton has expressed his delight at the go-ahead for the transformation of a Forfar housing scheme which has blighted the landscape for a number of years, writes Janet Thomson.

At a special executive sub-committee meeting of Angus Council’s neighbourhood services on Monday, the fate of the Newmonthill blocks of flats was sealed when councillors agreed to their partial demolition.

The five blocks will be demolished down to ground level to be replaced with 16 three-storey, three bedroom terrace houses and two, two-stored, three bedroom accessible houses constructed in terraces on the original footprints of the demolished blocks of flats.

The overall costs of the project is some £3,230,000 comprising £495,000 from the Scottish Government Affordable Housing grant; £300,000 from the Housing division’s Affordable Housing Account and £2,435,000 from the HRA Capital budget. The houses are to be owned and managed by Angus Council as affordable rented accommodation.

In his report to committee, Colin McMahon, director of corporate services said that, as part of the Scottish Government’s affordable housing programme, Angus Council has made a number of successful bids for grant funding. This will allow the council to provide urgently needed new affordable rented housing to meet current and increasing future demands.

Addressing Forfar Community Council last Thursday evening, councillor Middleton said he was delighted with the progress and, if all goes to plan and the go-ahead was given, the houses should be completed by September, 2013.

He said: “I have lost track of the number of years ago that it was that Frank Ellis and I stood up there with the director saying we had had so many problems with damp, condensation, vandalism, drug abuse, the whole thing. A decision was taken at council that we would no longer allocate them, empty them all, demolish the lot and re-build.”

Councillor Middleton listed a number of initiatives including solar thermal hot water heating, high levels of insulation, air tightness requirements reducing the loss of heat through drafts and whole house ventilation including an element of pre-heating income fresh air to reduce heating costs.

He added: “I will be delighted to see these new houses as they are desperately needed.”