A deal on the so-called “ransom strip” near Dundee’s Western Gateway, which has held back safety improvements to the Swallow roundabout, is finally within sight.
There have been repeated calls for an upgrade to the roundabout to allow pedestrians to better navigate it.
However, a privately-owned strip of land nearby has held back proceedings.
Developer Springfield Properties has confirmed an agreement is in place to buy the land, paving the way for the much-needed work.
It will also allow them to build more homes in the Western Gateway community.
The roundabout is the only feasible way for Western Gateway residents to leave the area.
This is potentially dangerous on foot due to the lack of pedestrian crossings and footpaths.
The deal between Springfield Properties and the landowner — who has not spoken publicly during the saga — is not finalised, but a preliminary offer has been agreed for the first time.
How has the community reacted?
Planning consent from Dundee City Council imposed a deadline of June 29 for Swallow Roundabout upgrades to be complete.
This was extended to March 31 next year under coronavirus-related legislation.
News of an expected sale has been welcomed with a cautiously optimistic tone by local residents.
Bill Batchelor, chairman of the Western Gateway Community Group, said it was imperative Springfield get on with the work as soon as the sale is complete.
“It’s brilliant that it’s moving forward, but now they need to deliver it. Especially given the fact it’s already behind schedule.
“But it’s not quite a done deal yet.
“It’s important this safety work is done. People are taking their lives into their hands trying to walk out of the area. The only safe way to do it at the moment is by car.”
What do Springfield have to say?
Peter Matthews, Springfield centre managing director, said they are “very pleased” a price has been agreed.
“We have worked hard with the landowner on this and are progressing our agreement now.”
Peter added that Springfield is “committed” to improving safety for the community.
Springfield recently won the right to build 37 more homes in the area.
Conditions on that permission also included upgrading Swallow Roundabout so it can deal with the expected increase in traffic brought about by an expanding Western Gateway.