Welcome for Chapelpark housing plan

Angus Councillor Glennis Middleton
Angus Councillor Glennis Middleton

Chapelpark Primary School’s future as affordable housing was this week welcomed after the scheme was approved by councillors.

Proposals to move the building from Angus Council’s education account to its housing revenue account were put before elected members at last week’s communities committee in a report by Ian Cochrane, head of technical and property services.

Forfar councillor Glennis Middleton this week said she “very much welcomed” the move that would bring the B-listed “iconic” building back into use after six years of lying empty.

She said: “It’s central to the community and will provide much-needed housing.

“It’s unfortunate that a previous decision to sell everything off at any cost has led to such a delay in utilising this really very beautiful building and I’m delighted that we can now make very good use of the building and indeed the whole site.

“I think it’s an excellent use for it.”

Although vacant since 2008 when it closed as part of the local authority’s £50 million Forfar/Carnoustie Schools project the landmark building, which had been valued initially at £200,000, had been on the open market since 2010.

It had attracted little interest and no offers from potential developers due possibly to the estimated redevelopment costs of between £3.7 million and £4 million.

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

Redevelopment of the building will be funded mainly by the council’s Housing Revenue Account, Affordable Housing Account and from the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply programme. Subject to approval from statutory consultees, including Historic Scotland, work could begin next year.