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Rocketing construction costs kill off redevelopment of Gables in Forfar after project bill rises by more than £2million

Plans to redevelop The Gables have been dropped. Pic: Graham Brown/DCT Media.
Plans to redevelop The Gables have been dropped. Pic: Graham Brown/DCT Media.

Multi-million pound plans to redevelop a Forfar home for adults with learning disabilities have been dropped in a shock move.

The Gables on Arbroath Road was to be the subject of a £3.5 million supported housing transformation scheme.

But care chiefs say it is no longer viable.

Rocketing construction costs have taken the estimate for the scheme to £5.7m.

The Gables
The Gables is around 40 years old. Pic: Graham Brown/DCT Media.

Caledonia Housing Association planned to build 21 new homes on the site of the former 19th century poorhouse.

The ground was transferred by Angus Council to the Perth charity in 2020.

It was done to help the association comply with Scottish Government grant conditions for the ambitious proposal.

But the pandemic delayed the project’s scheduled start date.

Unexpected decision

Angus Integration Joint Board decided to pull the plug on the project this week.

And a search for alternative accommodation for Gables residents is already underway.

The council-run home has operated for around 40 years.

In 2019, inspectors praised the quality of care there.

But the building is outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

The Gables
The Arbroath Road site was the location of Forfar’s 19th century poorhouse. Pic: Graham Brown/DCT Media.

Assurance to residents

The IJB said keeping the Gables is not an option.

Angus Health and Social Care Partnership said: “The welfare of our residents is of paramount importance, as any decision we take will have the greatest impact on them.

“Now this decision has been taken, it is important that we move swiftly to provide them with certainty and the best possible solution for all concerned.

“They will all remain at the centre of any plans going forward.

“We will have full regards for their needs and views and ensure clear and consistent communication and engagement with them.”

Top level meeting

The death knell was sounded when council officials met with the Scottish Government last month to discuss the cost of the project.

The partners declared it unviable due to major cost increases.

AHSCP said the Care Inspectorate has been informed.

An options appraisal to identify suitable alternative accommodation for residents is being undertaken.

AHSCP said that given the close ties residents have with one another, there is a preference for the right premises to be found for them to be together in the Forfar area.

They also hope to retain the existing staff team in any new home.

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