Historic Dundee tenements to be demolished ‘as soon as possible’

Historic Dundee tenement blocks at the centre of a much-criticised decision process in 2017 are now set to be demolished.

Historic Dundee tenements to be demolished ‘as soon as possible’

The Blackness Road flats set for demolition. Image credit: Google Street View

The 26 properties which make up 219-245 Blackness Road, 16 of which are council flats, were originally built in the 1890s during the city’s heyday as a jute giant.

Dundee City Council took a decision in October 2017 to demolish the tenements and replace them with “good quality, energy efficient affordable homes”, with the total cost of the project coming in at an estimated £4.5 million.

The local authority has now revealed to Scottish Housing News that the demolition project will begin “as soon as possible”.

A council report which recommended the demolition was criticised by campaigners who said it was “seriously misleading” and highlighted a lack of consultation among the affected tenants.

Former housing convener Jimmy Black, who led calls for the local authority to reconsider its decision, had argued that the cost of repairing the stairwells, which has been put at between £880,000 and £1.2m, is preferable and cheaper than spending £4.5m to demolish the tenements down and rebuild on the site.

Mr Black also questioned a council report which recommended the demolition as “seriously misleading” and highlighting a lack of consultation among the affected tenants.

He said that although the report submitted to the committee claimed that a majority of “residents” favoured demolition, it was made clear that six private landlords who do not live there were counted as “residents”.

Private tenants’ views were not counted at all, and a majority of council tenants in the blocks opposed demolition, added Mr Black.

Anne Rendall, convener of neighbourhood services, then conceded that the council “should probably have consulted” the Dundee Federation of Tenants Associations (DFTA) over the decision.

The Scottish Government granted a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the 10 privately-owned flats in late 2019.

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