New council flats rise from the ashes

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A set of four brand new council houses has risen from the ashes of the now-demolished row of fire-hit shops on Carnoustie High Street.

In January 2013 a fire gutted the historic Victorian row of shops at 18 High Street, destroying the premises of Perfect Laundry and Carnoustie Country Larder and leaving an empty shell.

After some public debate Angus Council acquired the land and was able to develop four, one-bedroomed council flats. The project was undertaken by Forfar-firm Andrew Shepherd Construction and work has recently finished.

Carnoustie Councillor Brian Boyd was delighted to see the site’s regeneration and the addition of new social housing.

He said: “The project brings vital council houses to Carnoustie and those people may go on to support the High Street. It’s also going to encourage people in larger council houses to downsize their family homes to these more energy efficient one-bedroom homes. This in turn releases family homes for the other 200 people still on Carnoustie’s housing waiting list.”

There are echoes in the new build of the old shops in the form of the ‘Swannie Pillars’. Councillor Boyd continued: “When proposals were going through I specifically asked for the developers to salvage as much of the original historic building as possible. Unfortunately the pillars were beyond salvaging but they have managed to recreate them. I’m hopeful we may be able to call the flats Swannie 1-4.”

Stuart Taylor FRICS, chairman of the Shepherd Group of Companies, was pleased with the outcome but admits it was not an easy project. He said: “It’s been a problem, it’s been a logistical nightmare to be fair. There was no parking and we took away all the parking which caused untold problems.”

The pedestrian crossing had to be moved and rubbish skips had to be uplifted after 5pm in order to minimise disruption.

The flats have green credentials with fully efficient combi-boilers; Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery Systems; Solar Photovoltiac panels; flying colours in the air test which minimises heat leakage; sound proofing; and an Energy Performance Certificate rating of B, a band of 91, well above the Scottish average of a Band D, 61.