Fresh speculation has emerged around the future of Forfar’s former Lochside Leisure Centre amidst growing anger over its demolition delay.
Months after the bulldozers were due to move in, suggestions have emerged developer interest has been shown in rescuing the facility.
Once branded a “monstrosity” by Forfar administration Independent councillor Colin Brown, the building remains boarded up as Angus Council finalises plans which would pave the way for the wrecking-ball to move on site.
However, opposition councillor Lynne Devine, SNP member for Forfar and district, said she was “fed up” with the constant delays.
She said she was given assurances five months ago at a meeting of the local authority’s policy and resources committee the £500,000 demolition would begin “almost immediately” members agreed the building should be flattened.
She stated the building should have been demolished at the same time as the Forfar Community Campus opened in February 2017.
Angus Council has stated it is in the process of “finalising arrangements” for the demolition, a process that also involves the disengagement of water, sewerage and electricity supplies.
Ms Devine said: “God knows what is happening with the demolition.
“I was told in May there is a timeline for this and that, if we gave our say, it would be done.
“I am so angry because basically, as soon as the new community campus was there, it should have been taken down.
“It’s such an eyesore. I am getting nowhere with the council – I have asked and asked and asked.
“The money was there in the budget. I have no idea why it should take so long given the campus was there two years ago.
“It doesn’t take all that time to sort out the utilities.
“I saw the council response in the paper which said utilities needed to be sorted out before the demolition, then I heard there was interest in the building.
“But I want it gone, I want it flattened.”
Ms Devine had backed the demolition’s delay during the summer months, when the adjacent caravan park was full of visitors.
She continued: “They couldn’t do it in the summer, I understand that, but it is now practically winter. Is anything going to be done? I am fed up with it.”
In March, Mr Brown urged Angus Council to demolish the building as a matter of urgency to avoid “devastating consequences”.
He too maintained the building should have been demolished when the leisure centre closed.
At the meeting of the policy and resources committee in May, Ian Cochrane, Angus Council’s head of infrastructure, said the building had previously suffered subsidence with ongoing settlement.
A number of potential opportunities had been explored but the building, ultimately, would need to be demolished.
Following the demolition the area will be returned to grass, including some realignment of the paths around the building.
However, the continued delay has led to speculation in the town that the building may be saved at the eleventh hour.