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Towns’ housing plan scrapped

Section:  Lockerbie and Lochmaben  | Tags:

PLANS to transform the ex Lockerbie cheese factory into social housing and to build 40 homes in Lochmaben have been scrapped.

Ayrshire based Cunninghame Housing Association had earmarked the crumbling Park Place factory fora15 home development as part of the council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP).

But now the housing group are no longer interested in developing the site calling the project ‘financially unviable’ owing to the expense of knocking down the derelict factory.

Annandale North councillor Adam Wilson is not happy about the u-turn, which is revealed in the papers for next week’s communities committee meeting in Dumfries.

He said: “It is disappointing that after bringing these proposals forward only a matter of months ago, Cunninghame Housing Association is already pulling the plug. “It is obvious to any developer from just looking at the site in Park Place with the naked eye that it is valuable land, but a cost would be incurred before commencing building works.

“Cunninghame have provided very poor reasons for not continuing with this and other developments. The priority for local people is to see this derelict building pulled down and for it to be made safe in the first instance and then developed.”

The housing group have also thrown out plans to build 40 homes at Laverockhall in Lochmaben, saying the costs of upgrading infrastructure and creating site access are too high for an affordable housing site – much to the delight of Lochmaben Community Council. The local group previously blasted the move to build extra family homes in the royal burgh, which they claim is “full”.

Pleased that the plans have been scrapped, community council chairwoman Pam Linton yesterday said: “Lochmaben Community Council welcome the decision not to proceed with the proposed housing development at Laverockhall.

“The decision supports the view of the community council that the infrastructure in Lochmaben relating to traffic and the potential impact on school and surgery capacities, plus insufficient jobs, needs to be addressed before any further major housing projects are considered.”

Meanwhile,abid to create 30 affordable homes at the ex Lockerbie Academy site is still on the cards. And new plans to create six Loreburn Housing Association homes at West Acres, Lockerbie, and a further six at the former hospital site of Woodlands Drive, Lochmaben, have been put forward.

The proposals to scrap some projects and add new developments will go before councillors on September 5 and are being recommended for approval.

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