Ibrox flats and ‘illegal let’ to be taken over by Glasgow housing association
After a deal with the council, Elderpark Housing Association will take over control of the Southside flats
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Three “abandoned” Ibrox flats and a building which was illegally let out are set to be taken over by housing associations under deals with the council.
Glasgow councillors have approved compulsory purchase plans for flats on Harley Street — where the landlord was struck off the register after “repeated failure” to provide documents showing the properties met the “required standard”.
They also backed a proposal to hand over a Bridge Street building, which has suffered repeated break-ins and where council officials discovered “alarming conditions”, at no cost. It is expected to be demolished.
New social homes are set to be provided once the deals have been completed.
Ownership of the flats — 1/3 and 3/2 27 Harley Street and 1/2 25 Harley Street — would be transferred to Elderpark Housing Association, which owns other properties in the blocks.
New Gorbals Housing Association would take on the building at 26-34 Bridge Street, which the council took ownership of in 2017 following court action for unpaid debt.
Cllr Ruairi Kelly, SNP, the council’s convener for neighbourhood services and assets, said: “Today’s decisions show our determination to use the powers at our disposal to bring new homes to the city, and we look forward to working with these housing associations to help deliver them.
“We have already used compulsory purchase orders in other parts of the city to bring such homes back into productive use, and we will continue to do so where appropriate.”
A council report stated officials believe two of the Harley Street flats “appear occupied” which should not be the case while they remain in the former landlord’s ownership.
Elderpark Housing Association has offered to buy the properties but an official told councillors that the owner has “refused to engage”.
He added: “Our understanding is that the owner has effectively abandoned these properties putting at risk their long-term maintenance, in addition to causing environmental blight within the local area.”
No one would be made homeless by the compulsory purchases, the council report added. Rent penalty notices have previously been served on the flats, meaning no rent should be paid for the properties.
The owner will be given an opportunity to sell on a voluntary basis, and is entitled to seek compensation.
Officials reported giving the Bridge Street building to New Gorbals Housing Association is “the only realistic possibility of getting this site developed”.
They said the cost of possible refurbishment is “prohibitive” and demolition is the “preferred or potential only feasible future”.
There “remains the potential for wilful fire-raising which would not only be reputationally damaging, but dangerous to neighbouring properties and people, and could significantly increase demolition costs”, the report added.
The housing association has acquired a former pub adjoining the building and is considering development options, which the council said are “more deliverable” with the disposal of 26-34 Bridge Street.
An official told councillors it is “quite unusual to recommend disposal at nil value” but there are a “number of difficulties with this site”.
Cllr Jon Molyneux, Greens, asked for “assurances there is no alternative to demolition that is viable on this site”. “We are clearly moving towards a position in terms of understanding embedded carbon that we should be trying to avoid demolition wherever possible.”
The official said a feasibility study would be carried out but “personally I think it would be difficult to do anything with that site with that building being there”.