Green light for first phase of housing plan at former Angus prison
Developers hope to turn the former HMP Noranside estate, which was a working prison until 2011, into 48 homes.
The plans include the demolition of cell blocks and farm buildings, while the B-listed Noranside House and the stable block would be redeveloped.
The Courier reports that Angus development standards councillors have now approved the first homes in what will be a four-phase redevelopment of the 10-hectare site by Tulloch Farms.
Meeting in Forfar, they followed an official approval recommendation relating to the conversion of the C-listed Noranside stable block into three dwellings, along with five new homes on the western side of the site.
Tree and wildlife issues had emerged during consideration of the proposals but, despite some felling having to take place, planning chiefs have expressed confidence that the plan will ultimately lead to an improved natural habitat for species including rare red squirrels.
The first phase tree survey around the old steading – which previously served as the prison’s thriving farm base – has indicated that 11 specimens will have to be felled, the majority described as being of poor quality.
A further 57 trees will be cut down in the interests of woodland management and safety, and they will be replaced by native replanting.
Officials said: “The new houses are all designed in a manner which reflects the rural vernacular… and are generally narrow with a wide frontage.
“The steading conversion is considered to be acceptable in terms of impacts on the listed building.”
The report added: “The details submitted with the application provide for an acceptable layout and design that is consistent with the development plan.”
Phase two will involve demolition of the prison buildings and conversion of the main house into three homes.
The overall scheme also includes restoration of Noranside’s historical walled garden.