Abronhill school site key to the future?

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More light has been shed on the controversial planning application which could see the former Abronhill High School turned into housing.

Because planners insist that the project for 60 homes could entirely transform this ‘satellite’ of Cumbernauld - which has a bigger population than Kilsyth.

The decades-old secondary shut last June as a result of council cuts and became subject to a merger with Cumbernauld High, This caused an outcry in the town.

However, Elaine McHugh who is head of housing services has told us that the plan came about after Abronhill was earmarked for the £172 million Building For The Future whic aims to bring 1150 affordable new homes to North Lanarkshire.

Ms McHugh confirmed that moves were now afoot to bring this to Abronhill.

She said: “This will be subject to a full site investigation and relevant planning application in due course.

“The council is the largest local authority landlord in Scotland and face a desperate need for more affordable housing, particularly in the Cumbernauld area.

“The Abronhill site is in the heart of the local community and if selected as a new site, will provide much needed homes for local people,’’ she added.

However, this has drawn a mixed reaction from MSP Jamie Hepburn who said that more than housing was needed to regenerate Abronhill.

The Scottish Nationalist said: “The prominent location of this site and its proximity to the shopping centre presents an opportunity. The centre needs some attention and this opportunity should be taken to look anew at how it function and how this site could be used.

“The local community who came together to passionately oppose the school closure should be involved and their views sought by the council and their wishes respected.”

SNP Councillor Liz Irvine added: “I think the council could go further. It needs to regain the trust of this community and look at a wider regeneration.”