Last week, North Lanarkshire Council announced an unexpected change of heart in regard to the controversial project in a paper presented to its Education and Families Committee.
And it looks as if the entire community could stand to benefit after the true nature of the blueprint emerged.
A council spokesperson confirmed:“The former Abronhill High School site will be assessed as a potential site for a future town and community hub, incorporating primary school provision and improved community facilities, as part of the council’s strategy for developing its pre-1996 school estate.
“As a result, the plans for new housing on the site have been put on hold.”
The news has been widely welcomed by the ward’s four councillors including independent, Paddy Hogg, who was among those who campaigned vigorously against the school’s closure, which finally came to pass six years ago in June.
Councillor Hogg said: “We were all aware that there has been a lot of work by lead officials at NLC behind the scenes since a public meeting a while back where local residents in Abronhill displayed their disgust at the lack of local facilities after the school closure and the rundown condition of the shopping centre.
“Complaints were noted and acted upon, albeit slowly.
“It was a case of finding the right funding and designing a modern facility to provide as close as we could to what local residents want.
“Those plans are now in fruition and a fair bit of funding will be spent in the Abronhill area to provide a 21st century hub.
“It’s well overdue and I am confident it will be welcomed when it is built.
“Councillors were asked to keep the plans under the table until funding was found and allocated as part of the regeneration of the area in light of tight budgets, but I am delighted to confirm that plans are now at an advanced stage and will go ahead.
“Local residents deserve to see investment in the area given the taxes we all pay.”
That view was shared by the hard-working volunteers of Abronhill Regeneration Group who believe there should be more community facilities in an area that has a bigger population than Kilsyth.
A group spokesperson said: “Due to the on going pandemic we have had little opportunity to meet as a forum and discuss the matter but there are plans to do this very soon
“As with all new plans for the site I would hope NLC will involve public consultation I imagine the forum will be very much involved in this process.”
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