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Dingwall neighbourhood regeneration plan takes a step forward


By Philip Murray

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Councillors Angela MacLean, Margaret Paterson, Alister Mackinnon and Graham MacKenzie at Meiklefield Road in Dingwall this week. Picture: Callum Mackay
Councillors Angela MacLean, Margaret Paterson, Alister Mackinnon and Graham MacKenzie at Meiklefield Road in Dingwall this week. Picture: Callum Mackay

REGENERATION of a Dingwall neighbourhood has moved a step closer after Highland Council pushed forward with plans to demolish and replace crumbling old local authority housing.

The local authority said that some of the existing council housing in Meiklefield Road have "come to the end of their useful life" and can "no longer be economically repaired".

As a result it has lodged plans to demolish 12 flats in the street, and replace them with 14 new flats and houses. It has also now invited tenders from demolition firms to level the 12 existing properties.

The new homes are intended to be the first phase of a project aimed at improving housing throughout the wider Meiklefield area. Council officers are working with a design team to develop the wider masterplan which will involve ongoing communication and consultation with the Meiklefield community.

How we drew attention to concerns about the area back in 2018.
How we drew attention to concerns about the area back in 2018.

Dingwall and Seaforth ward councillors have welcomed the development.

Cllr Margaret Paterson said: “I am so delighted that this project is going ahead at last. We have watched the area deteriorate over the last few years and although it will be a while before we start building, we are so excited as it will look fantastic. Meiklefield Road and Square has always had a caring community and that will not change it will remain a special place for all the people who enjoyed living there. Some will return to live there when the houses are rebuilt and new families will get the opportunity to live in a great area of Dingwall.”

Cllr Graham Mackenzie added: “I’m delighted to see this important project get under way. Highland Council has done well in successfully re-allocating Meiklefield Road residents into alternative accommodation and I am looking forward to the start of the demolition exercise. This project will deliver a substantial number of good quality residential units which are badly needed in the Dingwall area.”

And Cllr Angela Maclean said: “I would like to thank the Meiklefield residents for their patience over the past few years while Highland Council come forward with a suitable sustainable design to enhance their area. It is good to see this project finally start and I look forward to welcoming the residents back to their new homes when the project phase is complete."

The council said that its housing team were working hard to keep the local community updated on the project. A Meiklefield Matters Newsletter has been distributed and a survey recently carried out to give people the chance to provide comments and feedback. The community have also been invited to participate in an area forum to guide and influence proposals.

As part of the phase one development there are also plans to develop a community hub including a notice board, post box and a replacement community shed. Tenant participation officers are on board in a bid to ensure the hub is sustainable after the development work is completed. The team have also put a video presentation on the Highland Council’s facebook page in lieu of being able to hold face to face consultations.

The community can also engage by contacting the dedicated officer Faye Dyer either by phone 01349 886602, by emailing meiklefield.matters@highland.gov.uk or by using the special post box set up at the Dingwall Service Point.

What do you think? A welcome development? Share your views here or email newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk


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