Exciting plans for Newmonthill

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A Forfar councillor has spoken of his vision for a troubled housing estate in the town, and is calling for a “round table” meeting with fellow councillors and council officials in an attempt to take the plans forward.

The Newmonthill flats have been an eyesore for some years and previous attempts to breathe new life into the area have stumbled.

However, Angus Councillor Colin Brown has exclusively revealed to the Forfar Dispatch and Kirriemuir Herald that he has written to his fellow Forfar councillors, inviting them to a meeting with council officials to discuss the exciting plans for the future regeneration of Newmonthill.

Speaking to the Dispatch on Monday, he said the plans will include the partial demolition of the current blocks of flats to create rented accommodation for families.

He has spent some time working on the proposals as he is concerned about the supply of houses for rent for young couples.

It is envisaged that some 23, two and three bedroom family units will be built in a council led project.

It is hoped the redevelopment could begin in early 2012.

Councillor Brown said: “Newmonthill was emptied some little while ago with a view to providing comprehensive regeneration of the area.

“But this has, unfortunately, been affected by Scottish Government cut-backs in investments for social housing.

“An attempt by the council to work in partnership with housing associations, unfortunately, came to nought as a result.

“However, the housing division of Angus Council has been working on proposals for the regeneration of the area to provide housing for Forfar.”

Councillor Brown has been involved in working with the director of neighbourhood services and the head of housing to bring forward preliminary proposals based on an innovative system, re-using sub-structures.

These are now at a stage where he would like to share these initial concepts, both with his fellow Forfar councillors and the community council to determine local reaction, before taking forward a report to a future meeting of the neighbourhood services committee.

He continued: “I know Councillor Bill Middleton was extremely interested in the renovation of this area, and I have made it high priority with officials to bring forward proposals which I believe are exciting and innovative and will allow us to replace housing on the site at a far lower cost than traditional methods.

“This will ensure we bring much needed housing to the people of Forfar at reasonable cost, whilst not in any way sacrificing the quality of the living environment.

“I have today written to my fellow Forfar councillors inviting them to a meeting where we can hopefully work together, for the benefit of Forfar and future investment in the area.

“I really do see this as a legacy for future generations of those needing social housing in the Forfar area.”