Council seek to replace Brechin community centre with affordable homes

© Google Maps
The Damacre Centre in Brechin.

Approval to demolish a former Angus community centre and replace it with affordable homes will be sought at the first Angus Council meeting of the new year.

The Damacre Centre in Brechin closed in early 2016 following the opening of the £26 million community campus in the town despite a petition from 20 groups to keep the building open.

Earlier this year Angus Council declared the Damacre Road building surplus to requirements and the site, which was valued at £100,000, was transferred to the housing revenue account for affordable housing.

On January 4 the council’s development standards committee will consider a proposal that would see a terrace of four two-storey homes facing Damacre Road and three two-storey semi-detached blocks to provide six dwellings off Wilson’s Park.

The plans, which have been recommended for conditional approval, would see the creation of two two-bedroom, seven three-bedroom and one four-bedroom homes.

A total of 19 letters of objections have been received in relation to the plans.

Concerns raised include the loss of a historic building, the adverse impact on existing residential amenity and it being an unsympathetic development in terms of design in close proximity to the conservation area.

In his report to councillors, the council’s head of housing, regulatory and protective services Stewart Ball said the development would not have unacceptable impacts on amenity and privacy of occupants of nearby properties.

He added: “The traditional building is not unattractive but it has been the subject of fairly extensive alteration and is of no significant architectural or historic interest.

“Historic Environment Scotland has indicated that the building is not worthy of listing and the council’s archaeological advisor has offered no objection to the loss of the building subject to a condition requiring a standing buildings survey prior to demolition.

“The building is set back some distance from Damacre Road and public views are partially screened by the modern annexe that sits between it and the roadway.

“It is not a significant feature in the wider townscape and is located in an area where there are a significant number of buildings of greater historic or architectural interest.

“In these circumstances the loss of the existing building is not considered to give rise to any significant issues in terms of the historic or built environment and is acceptable.”

Mr Ball recommends that conditions relating to landscaping, surface water and road layout are attached to the planning permission.

The Brechin scheme could play a small part in meeting the authority’s projections that around 400 new homes could be delivered over the lifetime of its 2017-22 Strategic Housing Investment Plan to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing across the county.