MSP wants flats to be demolished

MSP Gil Paterson is calling for a derelict block of flats to be pulled down in Bearsden, and replaced with a modern

Gil Paterson outside the flats in Nithsdale Crescent, Bearsden.
Gil Paterson outside the flats in Nithsdale Crescent, Bearsden.

affordable housing.

Concerns have been raised by constituents that the old block of 8-28 Nithsdale Crescent is a magnet for youths causing antisocial behaviour.

It is understood East Dunbartonshire Council who owns the surrounding land has bought two flats in the block in a bid to repair the asbestos-ridden building, which has been abandoned for five months,

The MSP says it would be more financially viable to tear the block down and rebuild modern affordable homes with gardens and front and back doors.

He said: “The flats are well beyond repair, riddled with water damage, plagued by asbestos and a hotspot for antisocial behaviour. The block is a complete eyesore and getting worse every day and bringing down the general amenity for those living close by. We do not want any young people being injured inside them.

“Constituents are being driven out of their communities because there is not enough affordable housing. This is an opportunity to tackle this problem.

“Instead of renovating this derelict property, which would be costly, I propose we demolish it and build a modern affordable housing development. The current building is completely out of kilter with surrounding properties.”

Gordon Cox, chairman of Bearsden North Community Council, has backed the MSP’s idea.

He said: “We would support this redundant property being replaced with affordable housing, which is in urgent need in Bearsden North. Indeed, any suitable property or land in the ownership of the public sector should be considered for affordable housing before being disposed of on the open market.”

Councillor Jim Gibbons, convener of Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, said: “We are committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing in East Dunbartonshire and the council’s updated Strategic Housing Investment Plan details the investment and build programme over the next five years.

“The council currently owns 8-28 Nithsdale Crescent and there are four home owners in the block at 30-50 Nithsdale Crescent.

“The future of the area has previously been discussed at the council’s former Neighbourhood Services Committee, which agreed to carry out a feasibility study to consider a comprehensive redevelopment for affordable housing at Nithsdale Crescent, including surrounding open spaces and car parking areas in council ownership.

“Four different options are being considered which cover the refurbishment and major modernisation and/or demolition and new build of one or both blocks of flats.

“The deadline for tenders to undertake the feasibility study has just passed and it’s hoped that the successful consultant will be appointed in June.

“When the feasibility study is concluded, the results will be presented to the new Housing Sub Committee for its consideration and a decision.

“The council had previously secured the building and will respond to any breaches as a matter of urgency.”