North Lanarkshire Council is set to demolish two blocks of abandoned flats in Forgewood described as ‘a blight to the community’.
Last summer Motherwell West councillor Paul Kelly hit out at the absentee owners who had allowed their properties to fall into a derelict state.
He urged the council to use the legal powers at its disposal and knock down the flats in the area known as Woodville Rise.
At a meeting of the environmental services committee last week councillors agreed that 2-16 Kylemore Crescent and 65-75 Dalriada Crescent will be demolished at a cost of around £50,000 each.
Head of protective services Crawford Morgan said: “Over the past two years the situation in Woodville Rise has deteriorated rapidly.
“A significant number of the blocks, which are not being factored, are falling into serious disrepair due to vandalism/fire damage and general lack of maintenance.
“The door entry systems to many of the blocks are repeatedly vandalised and a recent survey found 22 out of 50 were broken, leaving the blocks insecure and residents vulnerable.
“However of greatest concern is the increasing level of empty and abandoned properties.
“It is currently estimated that there are 104 empty properties, just over a third of all flats in the area.
“In response to problems within the Woodville Rise area, a short term working group has been established.
“Although a number of long term proposals being discussed, there are a number of issues which require immediate attention, two of which are the blocks of flats at 2-16 Kylemore Crescent and 65-75 Dalriada Crescent.
“Both blocks have suffered significant fire damage and are now causing blight to the community while the adjacent Braidhurst High School is also very concerned about the derelict buildings as a health and safety issue.
“Due to the condition of the properties they have now been fenced off and boarded up in an attempt to restrict access, but there are obvious signs that people are continuing to enter the flats.
“The council has already spent approximately £27,500 in undertaking this work and there will be a continued cost to the council in maintaining this fencing and boarding.
“Officers from protective services are satisfied that the buildings do not meet the tolerable standard and due the lack of demand for properties of this nature and the unwillingness from the current owners to undertake any repairs ought to be demolished.”
Councillor Kelly said: “This is a really major step forward for Forgewood and the local area.
”I am delighted these dangerous eyesores are to be knocked down and grateful to the leadership of the council and the chief executive for listening to my concerns and taking action.
”I think this sends a very clear message to landlords who allow their properties to fall into such condition that the council will not sit by and let this happen.
”I hope this is the first of many good news stories, with Forgewood Housing Co-op drawing up plans for a new community hub.”
The owners of the properties have 10 weeks to respond to a Demolition Order, if they fail to do so the council will carry out the work and aim to recover the costs.