A bid to retrieve £3million of Tay Cities cash for a zero-carbon Arbroath housing project has been thrown into further doubt by the announcement of next month’s snap general election.
Amid fears other projects in the £700million programme could be placed in jeopardy, Angus officials will have to wait for the outcome of the Westminster vote before securing a Secretary of State showdown over the seven-figure sum.
The £3m was originally earmarked for a 2,500-home plan on land at Arbroath’s 45 Commando Royal Marine base, and council leader David Fairweather said he believed the money would stay locally.
It has emerged Angus officials were working on an Aspiring to Grow initiative to build 100 new zero carbon homes, as well as kitting out 50 existing properties in the town with smart technologies.
The council described the £3m as “seedcorn” funding for the £18m scheme.
It said a number of sites were being investigated as possible locations, with talks also having taken place in an attempt to lever private sector finance.
A council spokesman said: “The Angus: Aspiring to Grow Project set out how new-build and existing affordable housing could be re-imagined, or re-modelled towards achieving smart, zero-carbon homes through a large-scale demonstrator development of 100 new homes and upgrading 50 existing homes.
“It would have delivered a key innovation element for Component 2 Low Carbon Network of the wider Mercury programme, and have been developed using the £3m as seedcorn funding to deliver on UK Government clean growth targets.
“Angus Council and Scottish Government funding had been identified and we had engaged with interested private sector partners in relation to the project.
“We were confident of demonstrating the clear advantages and marketability of smart technology and zero-carbon products, while still achieving profit margin, to private sector developers and other public sector authorities.”
The council said it hoped to create 30 new jobs and 10 apprenticeships through the project.
The spokesman said: “It would also have presented valuable research and evaluation opportunities, working together with academia and business and offered space for implementing R&D developments, a centre for learning, training and re-skilling, supported by skills projects.”
Council leader David Fairweather and chief executive Margo Williamson had sought a meeting with the Secretary of State and Angus MP Kirstene Hair to discuss the situation.