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Strength of Edzell feeling wins full Angus Council debate on Inglis Court

Inglis Court in Edzell
Inglis Court in Edzell

Edzell’s voice will now get a full hearing in the continuing controversy around the future of the village’s Inglis Court housing complex.

The 1970s sheltered flats are empty and earmarked for demolition.

They are lined up for replacement with 21 affordable new homes in a £3.5 million Angus Council scheme.

But a 750-signature petition convinced Angus scrutiny committee councillors the strength of feeling deserves a debate involving all of the authority’s 28 elected members.

Inglis Court.

It could take place at the next full Angus Council meeting on September 9.

The scrutiny and audit group also told officials to suspend any other decisions relating to the once thriving complex until the discussion takes place.

Community leaders say the move is the best they could have hoped for in their fight to save the flats and see them returned to sheltered accommodation.

Inveresk Community Council warned councillors the community would be “seriously hacked off” if the huge volume of signatures on the petition was ignored.

Village protest

An open-air public meeting was held at Inglis Court earlier this summer. Pic: Paul Reid.

They were gathered locally in less than a fortnight following an open-air protect meeting at Inglis Court in July.

It now remains to be seen if the local views will force a complete u-turn on the Scottish Government-supported affordable housing plan.

That was agreed as far back as 2018 and given council planning approval earlier this summer.

Critics claim knocking down perfectly good houses is a waste of public money.

Those in favour say the multi-million pound scheme will deliver much-needed homes in a community with a bulging social housing waiting list.

Angus scrutiny convener Alex King moved the full council referral at the scrutiny committee’s meeting this week.

Options

It was one of five options presented by officials, including noting the petition but taking no action.

Local resident Sarah Turner was allowed to speak at the virtual meeting, but warned by the chairman not to stray into the detail of why Inglis Court should be re-opened in its original role.

She said: “It’s a bit frustrating because it seems no-one is interested in that – the human side.

“Everyone is so angry, so upset and very, very cross with Angus Council about how this actual procedure has happened.

“I wish someone would listen, rather than drowning us in policies and politics.”

There had been anger at a previous meeting when a ruling by the Angus Provost prevented a full discussion of the issue.

Scrutiny convener Mr King said: “I think you’ll find when I put this option to the vote that we are listening.

“If we send it to full council he (the Provost) cannot refuse to hear it.

“What we’re trying to do is in the best interests of Edzell.”

Debate welcomed

Local councillors welcomed the referral.

Former authority leader and Brechin/Edzell Independent Bob Myles said: “A deputation to full council would be more appropriate and will get a hearing at that point.”

Inveresk Community Council chairman Gus Leighton said: “Debate at a full council meeting was the best we could hope for, so I’m glad that was the outcome.

“So, thus far, the petition has had the effect we hoped.

“We can only keep our fingers crossed that they debate it honestly.”

Developer ups ante with £400k 11th hour bid to save Inglis Court in Edzell from wrecking ball

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