Homes in Meiklefield area of Dingwall set to be pulled down to make way for transformative housing development in Ross-shire's county town
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An entire residential neighbourhood in Dingwall is set to be torn down and replaced in what is "probably the biggest housing redevelopment in the Highlands".
Highland Council received the go-ahead for its own plans from the north planning applications committee to build homes of "the highest housing standard".
In total, 114 homes in Meiklefield are due to be demolished in seven phases – the first phase of the scheme along the A862/Newton Road is already nearing completion.
Now an even more ambitious plan has been agreed to take down in an approximate u-shape starting with the houses from 9 Meiklefield Square along Meiklefield Road, then Gladstone Avenue and down Fingal Road as far as Millcraig Road.
More homes around Peffery Road are also targeted for demolition and redevelopment as well.
However, there have been some local concerns about the development not least by homeowners after area planning manager – north Mark Fitzpatrick warned some people may be forced to sell-up.
“Although the redevelopment will mostly involve council owned homes, the compulsory purchase of some private properties will be required," he said.
"The areas to be redeveloped mostly consist of two storey cottage flats and a limited number of terraced houses.”
“The application is for planning permission in principle for the demolition of 114 1950s semi-detached and terraced residential units within the Meiklefield neighbourhood of Dingwall to allow for its redevelopment.
“The proposal is to replace rather than refurbish existing housing stock in order to replace substandard housing with new homes that comply with modern living standards.
“The redevelopment comprises 117 new residential units, provision of new public and community facilities, and the redesign of the public realm with new landscaping and vehicular parking.”
By the time construction is expected to be completed there will be 82 two-bedroom flats in two and three storey blocks and 35 two-bedroom houses in two storey detached and semi-detached blocks.
Dingwall and Seaforth Councillor Angela Maclean supported the plan but voiced reservations about the comments over “substandard housing” as many residents were rightly proud of their homes.
But she said: “These new housing blocks that will be developed will be of the highest housing standard and they will be fit for able and disabled people who want to be housed close to the town centre.
“This has been a major development, probably the biggest housing redevelopment in the Highlands with 114 properties to be knocked down.
“The reason it is phased is that half the funding comes from the Scottish Government and half from the council so therefore it has to be done over a phased period. The phases won’t be done in order [2 – 8], they will be done as they can move the tenants and negotiate with homeowners.
“One of the main concerns the residents have in the area is communication – they want to be kept up to date and I have had reassurance from the housing team that they will be.”
Phase Two will see the demolition of addresses from 21 to 39 Gladstone Avenue and 2 to 14 (even numbers) Meiklefield Road comprising seven semi-detached two-storey blocks.
Phase Three will see the demolition of two two-storey terraces each with four flats and two houses, as well as a single semi-detached two-storey block of four flats, which are all located on the west side of the northern section of Meiklefield Road.
In Phase Four it will be the turn of the four single terraced flats and two houses located on the east side of the northern section of Meiklefield Road.
Phase Five reaches the outer limits of the scheme with six semi-detached blocks of four flats along the north side of Peffery Road and a rear block of 13 garages.
Phase Six will see the demolition of three semi-detached blocks of with cottage flats each along with outbuildings on the south side of Peffery Road.
Phase Seven will see the demolition of three semi-detached blocks with four flats each along the east side of Fingal Road.
Finally in Phase Eight three semi-detached blocks of four cottage flats along the north side of Gladstone Avenue will go.