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Flats demolition part of regeneration

DEMOLITION is on the cards for 70 properties in Annan as part of housing regeneration plans

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By Zac Hannay
Annan and Eskdale
Flats demolition part of regeneration
IDEAS . . . these flats in Fernlea Crescent face an uncertain future

Wheatley Homes South’s proposals, in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council, will affect about 70 flats in the town and are part of a wider £50 million five-year regeneration project throughout the region.

At the end of November the Annandale Observer learned that the social landlord was considering the future of flats at Fernlea Crescent. But it has now become clear that other blocks are also under review at Shawhill Road, Hillview Crescent, Esk Place, Springbells Road, Eden Place, as well as some original 19th century sandstone cottages near Newington Primary School.

Wheatley stress that tenants who wish to remain living in Annan will be able to do so.

However, some residents have cited a lack of communication from the housing group and are querying if there is enough spare capacity in the town to rehome everyone.

They are also keen to know more about the timescale for the demolition plans.

Affected tenants have all received a leaflet entitled ‘Annan Regeneration – Our demolition proposals’.

But it only includes a short description of the local proposals, saying: “In Annan, our proposal is to remove low-demand properties before building new, much-needed, energy-efficient, affordable homes.”

Speaking in that, Wheatley Homes South chair Maureen Dowden said: “We are proposing to regenerate many areas across Dumfries and Galloway. This, in some areas, may include demolition of some properties that have served us well, but are now in need of redevelopment.

“Some of these properties will be occupied and, where that is the case, those living there will be fully supported to find alternative suitable homes in areas of their choice.”

There is also a list of tenant guarantees, including one-to-one interviews to establish housing need, the offer of another home and that tenants will be able to remain in their existing community if they wish.

Further commenting this week, a Wheatley Homes South spokesperson said: “The proposals would see us build new energy-efficient, affordable homes in Annan.

“The regeneration plans would also see many older homes, which have low levels of occupancy and high rates of turnover, demolished to make way for the new-look communities.

“These proposals are part of exciting plans we have for the wider area which will see around £52 million invested in modernising homes and improving communities in Dumfries and Galloway over the next five years.

“Our housing teams will support tenants living in homes proposed to be demolished as part of the regeneration plans and they will be offered another Wheatley Homes South property which reflects their needs and circumstances. Anyone wishing to stay in the area will be prioritised for another home in the community.”

A spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Council added: “Dumfries and Galloway Council are aware that Wheatley Homes South have recently carried out a review of their properties throughout the region. “We will continue to work with all communities and local landlords to ensure residents are able to live in high quality homes that meet their needs.”

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