Affordable housing work starts on Forfar school site

Chapelpark1Work has started on Angus Council’s £4.7 million scheme to convert a former primary school in Forfar into affordable housing.

Local contractors Andrew Shepherd Construction Limited moved on to the site last week to begin the first phase of the project which will eventually provide 25 flats and four terraced houses.

Unveiled by the council back in March, the project will breathe new life into the much-loved local landmark building and is part of a wider long-term strategic programme of housing improvements in the south of Forfar.

A council spokesman said: “This enabling works contract involves the stripping out and removal of internal wall and ground floor ceiling finishes, internal doors, service installations, asbestos removal and other preparatory works.

“It will allow a full inspection of the existing structure so that design details can be finalised for the conversion of the old school buildings into affordable council housing for rent.

“Demolition of external shelters, the play area, removal of external fire escape stairs, and other minor items also form part of this contract.

“This initial work is due for completion at the start of October and is the initial stage in the transformation of this iconic building into much-needed high quality affordable housing, as part Angus Council’s Housing Supply Programme.”

The proposal includes conversion of the main building into 12 one-bed and four two-bed flats, with a central access created for the first time in the facade of the B-listed school.

It was built in 1815 to a design by Montrose architect David Logan, who also drew up the plans for the original Montrose Academy.

Conversion of the annexe building which sits on the corner of the site adjacent to Couttie’s Wynd will see the creation of six one-bed, two two-bed and one three-bed wheelchair-accessible flat.

The project will be completed with four four/five-bed terraced townhouses in a scheme with 35 car parking spaces and landscaping in the playground of the former school.

More than £3.3m will come from the council’s housing revenue account, alongside £1.3m in Scottish Government grants towards affordable housing.

The scheduled completion date is March 2017.

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