£26m Arbroath regeneration plan makes progress
The masterplan involves the demolition of 140 properties with early designs indicating scope to replace these with approximately 128 new build houses and “own door” flats of no more than two storeys.
The estimated clearance and redevelopment costs amount to £26.2 million with £7.5m anticipated from the Scottish Government towards the outlay.
A report to Angus Council’s policy and resources committee this week described the current three and four storey blocks of flats and maisonettes as “not viable” in the mid to long term having, for some time, been showing signs of low demand and poor customer satisfaction levels.
Councillors were told that the new homes are not intended as a stand-alone scheme but as a catalyst for wider regeneration to be delivered by developing a multi-disciplinary partnership of key stakeholders from the public, private and voluntary sectors.
It is also envisaged that the overall investment package will include external funding over and above the Angus Council Housing Revenue Account (HRA) contribution, by enabling a variety of partner interventions and capitalising on funding opportunities from external agencies.
The report by head of housing, regulatory & protective services, Stuart Ball, states: “Although the properties meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and are structurally sound, they are an unpopular design.
“Families, single people, and elderly households are all housed within blocks which have a lack of defined private space and poor quality environmentals, such as shared deck access, communal refuse areas and low quality amenity open space. As such they do not meet the aspirations of new and existing customers.
“Furthermore, the properties are seen as a place of last resort and this contributes to the higher than average deprivation score on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.
“Consequently, the properties have become stigmatised which further contributes to low demand and the subsequent negative impact on resources, both financial and staff, which means that the stock is not viable in the mid to long term.”
The redevelopment proposal is identified as a priority in the emerging Arbroath Locality Plan as well as the Aspire Arbroath Action Plan which was developed to address the priorities identified from the recent Town Centre Charrette.
A programme of consultation will now be undertaken with the tenants and residents affected by the proposals as well as other stakeholders. Following this, the masterplan designs will be refined and reported to committee to seek formal approval to initiate the redevelopment project.
If approved, the Timmergreens regeneration would contribute towards the council new build target of 350 units over the next five years.