Housing proposal for former school

Chapelpark Primary School, which could be converted into affordable housing.
Chapelpark Primary School, which could be converted into affordable housing.

Proposals to convert the former Chapelpark Primary School into affordable homes have been welcomed by the chairwoman of Forfar Community Council.

At the time of going to press on Tuesday, elected members were expected to approve the proposal to transfer the building from Angus Council’s education account to its housing revenue account.

Although vacant since 2008 the landmark building, which had been valued initially at £200,000, has been on the open market since 2010 although it has attracted little interest and no offers from potential developers.

Community council chairwoman Isobel Ross this week welcomed the move, saying that it would be better to see the building used rather than see it “rot away and demolished”.

She continued: “Councils can access money from government departments that individuals can’t and I think it could be turned into something nice in the centre of town instead of building out on the outskirts. How long can a building stand without being used? I’m sure the council would have to pay for the basics for maintenance and keep it wind and watertight.

“I’d be quite happy to see this happen, providing the outside of the building is kept as it is.”

Repair and maintenance costs over the last four years have amounted to £16,823, with yearly energy costs amounting to £7,500. In his report Ian Cochrane, head of technical and property services, pointed out that estimated additional running costs do not take account of the building’s “inevitable deterioration” or risk of vandalism.

He added: “Taking all factors into account and having particular regard to the advice regarding future market expectations, it is considered that appropriation of the property to the housing revenue account at nil value is the best value option for the council.”