Angus Council is to go ahead and develop 18 High Street, Carnoustie, as housing it was decided at Thursday’s meeting of full council.
The alternative, as Councillor Donald Morrison explained, was that they might lose a £200,000 grant from the Scottish governement.
He said: “Last November I deferred the report on 18 High Street and invited local businesses and developers to contact the council with the possibility of looking at developing shops and flats at the unit. As the council did not own the property we could not go out to the market, hence, we required the private sector to come to us. Only one developer came forward.
“After listening to the debate at the communities committee, I again agreed to defer the item to allow more time for the developer and the council to discuss the possible option of keeping the shop unit while building flats above, but it was not economically advantageous.
“However, we are now at two minutes to midnight on this as the Scottish Government rules state we must claim the grant by March 14, and the government grant is for residential units only, not retail.”
He said there was only one realistic choice that was to buy the property and redevelop it.
Councillor Bill Boowles tabled an amendment amendment for debate in an effort to have the recommendation to have only flats overturned to have both shops and flats.
He continued: “I had funding identified and hoped that it would sail through the committee process as a sensible solution to not lose any shop frontage in Carnoustie. Unfortunately, the only other councillor to support me was Ewan Smith and we were defeated by 23 votes to 2.
“I am bitterly disappointed that this decision has been taken. From the recent OurCarnoustie facebook survey, 86 per cent of the people of Carnoustie who voted did not want to lose shop space and Peter Burke carried out a survey of local shopkeepers on the morning before the meeting and 23 out of 23 indicated that they did not want the flats only option to go ahead.” He concluded: “Once these shops have gone they have gone forever. I am not sure what will happen with the old fish shop as it is not a part of the development site.”