Strathmartine Hospital’s redevelopment could finally be underway next spring.
The pledge came from developers behind plans to create more than 200 homes on the fire-ravaged and vandal-hit site.
But concerns remain around pressure on Strathmartine primary school and the “unacceptable” trip older children will face to Forfar Academy.
Developer targeting spring 2021 start
Alan Bell of developers Chamberlain Bell told the full council: “We are ready to start in the spring.
“We will have the first activity on the listed building and site infrastructure to open up the rest of the site.
“The development is dependent on the rate of sales for the new build, my guess is that would be a four or five year period.”
In 2o18, Scottish Ministers granted permission for 26 flats in the derelict hospital’s listed buildings and 198 new builds.
We will have the first activity on the listed building and site infrastructure to open up the rest of the site.
Alan Bell of developers Chamberlain Bell
The masterplan has been altered to create a dozen family homes in the converted old property.
Developers gave assurances an adopted footpath will be built to the village.
Concerns raised over education provision for development
However, Carnoustie Independent David Cheape said the authority need to “think out of the box” on the education question.
“Of course we want to see this development up and running.
“But I think we need to consider school provision and capacity at Strathmartine primary.
“I am staggered to think we as a council are just sitting back and saying we’re prepared for children to make a 32-mile round trip to Forfar Academy.
If we don’t agree this we might as well condemn the residents of Strathmartine to another 17 years of vandalism, fire-raising and the site going to rack and ruin.
Councillor Alex King
Arbroath SNP councillor Alex King said: “We have an opportunity here.
“I have every confidence this company can deliver what they are talking about.
“If we don’t agree this we might as well condemn the residents of Strathmartine to another 17 years of vandalism and the site going to rack and ruin.
“The main problem with the education system is that Dundee City Council will not talk to us to agree a cross-border allocation for schools.
“It’s a situation that’s been forced upon us,” he said.
Sidlaws councillor labels plan a ‘Catch-22’
Monifeith and Sidlaws SNP representative Sheila Hands said the council was in a “Catch-22” situation.
“The site is not safe so something does need to be done.
“But my immediate thought is that we’re shaving off a square peg to fit in a round hole.
“My constituents are not getting a very fair deal compared to other housing developments in Angus,” she said.