Smaller than ideal flats may be the compromise required to ensure that one of Dundee’s longest-running housing sagas comes to an end.
Developers have resubmitted plans to the city council for 36 flats and four semi-detached houses on Eliza Street in Stobswell.
The site, between Dura Street and Molison Street was cleared some years ago but has lain vacant ever since, attracting fly-tipping and vandalism.
Now Edenlaw West Limited and Hillcrest Housing Association hope to fill the site with “much-needed homes”.
Initial enthusiasm from the community was tempered by concerns about the design of one-bedroom flats, raised by the Stobswell Forum which worried they would be “prison like” and “poky”.
Edenlaw, however, will take its designs before Dundee City Council unchanged in the belief that they offer the best possible solution for the site.
In its planning statement it states that all houses and flats proposed meet with Hillcrest Housing Association’s guidelines.
While the one-bedroom flats do not satisfy the minimum size required by the council’s local plan, Edenlaw believes it is not possible to build bigger homes and deliver “a fully funded commercially viable scheme”.
Planning permission was granted back in August 2005 for the redevelopment of the site, together with the refurbishment of tenements, shops and a children’s nursery.
Part of that refurbishment has taken place, but the new build element was shelved because of the economic downturn and lack of funding.
Since then, the developer believes housing needs have significantly worsened, with new housing provision slowing dramatically and waiting lists lengthening.
As a result, it hopes its current proposals will find favour with council planners and councillors, despite concerns about elements of the design.
It has amended the proposals since 2005 to take into account the changing nature of housing need in the city but has declined to make any further changes.
Bosses at the firm have pointed out that the size of the smaller properties has proved acceptable at the site of other developments, such as those at Alexander Street, where Hillcrest is also a partner.
A spokesperson for Edenlaw West Ltd said: “The proposed development removes an ugly gap site with all its consequential problems from the Stobswell area and addresses urgent housing needs with a tailored mix of one bed, two, and three bed flats and houses.
“With appropriate parking and a generous landscaped courtyard it makes a positive contribution to the amenity of the immediate neighbours as well as respecting the setting of the listed Clepington School.”
The plan will go before elected members later this year.