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Housing vision for derelict former schools site

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Housing vision for derelict former schools site

A FORMER school campus site in Dumfries could be sold off and transformed into an affordable housing development.

The site where Maxwelltown High School and adjoining St Ninian’s Primary once stood in Lochside, above, is being eyed up for a sale to Wheatley Homes.

The schools were closed when the North West Community Campus opened in August 2018 and, following a spate of vandalism, the demolition of the buildings was completed in 2021.

The 18.82 hectare piece of land is now vacant and has already been allocated for a housing development of up to 104 units in Dumfries and Galloway Council’s local development plan.

Council officers are now suggesting that the site could be packaged with surrounding land and be included in the Lochside regeneration project led by Wheatley Homes, delivering much-needed new housing.

A report on the matter has been produced by property estates manager Paul McCulloch and is due to be tabled at the education committee next week.

It reads: “There is a possibility that this land could be disposed along with the adjacent land in council ownership to the west of the site, which amounts to 11.51 acres, in a negotiated sale to the registered housing association.”

Councillors are now being asked to agree that the land is surplus to requirements and should progress through the disposal process as quickly as possible. Maxwelltown High School had been built in 1971 to cater for the growth of the Dumfries population in the 1970s, particularly in the council housing schemes in Lochside and Lincluden.

However, the school roll had been steadily declining since 2002. The North West Community Campus replaced Maxwelltown High, and provided a new home for St Ninian’s, Lochside, and Langlands primary schools all at Alloway Road.

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