Unloved Forfar flats are being torn down to make way for a new social housing development at the town’s Viewmount.
Over the next few weeks a total of 34 unattractive, low demand flats will be demolished after the doomed properties proved unpopular with people seeking social housing in recent years and were felt to impact negatively on the surrounding area, including the historic Reid and Steele parks.
They will be replaced by a mix of two and three-bedroomed properties, built to Scottish Building Standards’ silver sustainability standard, which measures the energy efficiency of new homes.
Also included in the plans are four adapted properties for people with disabilities.
A £650,000 grant subsidy from the Scottish Government has been secured to supplement Angus Council funding for what the authority said was much-needed affordable housing, with construction of the 11 new-build homes due to take place between January next year and March 2018.
Communities convener, Councillor Donald Morrison said, “This housing development will help us to meet the high demand for this type of social housing in Forfar and increase choice for people with disabilities.
“We believe that everybody has the right to good quality housing and we’re delighted that demolition is now underway and that the refurbishment of the park entrances will further enhance the area.”
Work will begin shortly on phase one of the Steele Park entrance refurbishment, including a new entrance to Reid Park from Viewmount, a new footpath from Steele Park to the existing footpath at Reid Park, and car parking spaces for 21 vehicles.
Completion is expected by the end of November and access between the Steele and Reid parks may be limited during the works.
A week-long consultation with residents about the proposed car park layout and what they would like to see at the play park area took place recently.
Angus Council supported the consultation by Viewmount Voices and Glenview Action group, which involved drop-in and outreach sessions as well as seeking the views of children at the park.
A spokesperson for Viewmount Voices said, “We are delighted to see the flats coming down and look forward to seeing the new houses develop.”
A group has now been formed to carry out more detailed consultation about the play park and the equipment that the community and its young people would like to see.
Communities officer Jennifer Anderson said, “The group is looking at funding options to deliver these improvements and its members have been working hard to engage with the whole local community, who are delighted to be involved.”