Way’s paved for flats demolition

One of the high-rise blocks that could be due for demolition
One of the high-rise blocks that could be due for demolition

A £3.2 million cash injection from the Scottish Government will pave the way towards the demolition of 12 landmark high rise blocks in Cumbernauld.

Securing the cash marks an important milestone - as it will finally allow landlords Sanctuary Cumbernauld to buy out around 100 flat owners by the end of March. All these owners have have indicated their willingness to sell up.

Soon, some 31 households will be on the move to new brand new energy efficient housing in Seafar’s Fleming Road.

The new complex is expected to open its doors within the next two weeks.

Scottish Government housing minister Keith Brown, pictured right, said: “This funding represents significant Scottish Government investment for Cumbernauld. It is good news for local people looking for affordable rented housing.“

The minister added: “We are determined to increase Scotland’s stock of good quality affordable housing while helping to safeguard jobs and provide new employment opportunities,” he added.

Delighted Sanctuary Group’s director of development, Peter Martin, said that the cash allowed the company to remove a key obstacle. He said “This grant allows us to buy out those keen to exit but on whose flats no banks will offer a mortage.”

Mr Martin added: “The vast majority of residents support our plans- which if approved, will give a £70 million plus shot-in-the-arm to the local economy, sustain jobs in construction and create new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities for the local community.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the Scottish Government, North Lanarkshire Council and residents as we try and bring these exciting plans to fruition.”

Local MSP Jamie Hepburn also sees the cash as a boost. He said:“I welcome that those who have been waiting to sell up and find another home will now be given the opportunity to do so.

“This will of course be welcomed by those in such circumstances too.’’

However not everyone is in favour of the plans - and some residents who do not wish to move have formed their own pressure group to resist the move as they are happy to stay where they are.

They argue that the properties remain robust - and that the alternative housing that is on offer is nowhere near the size of their existing homes.

We contacted Derek Condon of the Registered Factored Owners Association for their reaction, but no comment was forthcoming at time of going to press yesterday (Tuesday).