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Dingwall estate rebuild to address 'post-Covid life'

March 17 2022

Dingwall estate rebuild to address 'post-Covid life'

The Highland Council has brought forward plans to redevelop the Meiklefield area of Dingwall, demolishing 114 existing homes and replacing them with 117 new build properties.

The local authority has enlisted HRI Munro Architects for the rebuild, which will replace 'four in a block' properties dating from the 1960s in phases through to 2025.

Explaining the need to act the authority wrote: "Meiklefield is a well-established estate close to Dingwall town centre. While much of its council housing stock is in poor or deteriorating condition, there are areas of environmental quality and mature trees which will be retained and enhanced where possible.

"The project will seek to pragmatically address both the nature of post-Covid life, with an emphasis on greater localism, community engagement and healthy living; and the necessity to work towards a sustainable 'green' environment."

Seeking to reduce the mass, ground floor footprint and regular layout of the current estate The Highland Council promises increased green space with light and spacious homes within walking distance of the town centre. 

Many flats have been left in poor condition following a lack of maintenance
Many flats have been left in poor condition following a lack of maintenance
Sequential development will see homes replaced in stages
Sequential development will see homes replaced in stages


#1 Posted by HMR on 17 Mar 2022 at 19:21 PM
Can't we no longer order the front face and just have standard windows on each floor.

Why can't they retrofit the orginals, like the work John Gilberts for example have done elsewhere.

At least the orginal has some design quality.
John Grant
#2 Posted by John Grant on 18 Mar 2022 at 11:43 AM
When will councils understand that councillors' need to be re-elected by claiming new buildings whilst allowing existing stock to deteriorate beyond the possibility of economic repair -not just housing but schools and dare I say it - roads. There are many Victorian era buildings in Dingwall and Strathpeffer where private owners have maintained to a standard higher than the council's new housing is likely to achieve.
Graeme McCormick
#3 Posted by Graeme McCormick on 18 Mar 2022 at 16:12 PM
When the Land Commission estimates that 60% of all dilapidated buildings and vacant land in urban Scotland is owned by the public sector why would any sane person give them the power to dictate to others what is or is not appropriate for development? Until Councils have to pay some form of Annualgroundrent or AGFRR on their space they’ll be no incentive on them to maintain what they own and bring back into use
Bob ra Builder
#4 Posted by Bob ra Builder on 19 Mar 2022 at 07:31 AM
#3 interesting but that's not all likely to just be housing stock. Councils have had to take on poor quality shop units and abandoned former industrial land which would take millions to remedy. The AGR would be paid by tax payer so just another level of management in the councils shuffling money around?
Fat Bloke on Tour
#5 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 21 Mar 2022 at 11:03 AM
Absolute disgrace that the council want to demolish these icons of Scottish public housing -- 4 in a blocks -- if they are a in a poor condition then blame the council for letting them rot.

Then there is the opportunity cost -- surely there are other areas within the public provision of services that could be doing with the investment.

Surely we should be building houses to expand the provision of public sector housing and deal with the waiting list and local homelessness rather than tear down good housing that is in use throughout Scotland.

And all this before the issue of carbon emissions.

I wonder how long it took the local hobby horser to come up with the CoViD19 angle -- surely we should be expanding our housing stock and saving these houses for Ukrainian refugees?
Fat Bloke on Tour
#6 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 21 Mar 2022 at 11:05 AM
If those houses pictured were built in the 1960's then Dingwall really is the town that time forgot.

Highland Council really need a boot up the erse for trying it on with this nonsense.
Ghetto King
#7 Posted by Ghetto King on 21 Mar 2022 at 14:18 PM
Lack of good quality accommodation or housing has long been an issue in Scotland especially rural areas where low paid jobs go hand in hand with expensive transport and living costs. Nothing has changed in generations and will only get worse if the threat of the new Green Lairds is not balanced. This will lead to a lack of new land for building thus forcing Councils to revamp or knock down existing housing stock and then rebuild on the old site. Also, where Councils can build on new sites is exacerbated by local politics and geography. People do want to live there but it will take a whole change of land reform that encompasses not only ownership but the economy too.
#8 Posted by RM on 22 Mar 2022 at 11:33 AM
#5 The 4 in the block is not an icon of Scottish housing. They were popular pre and post WW2 but that's it. I am sure then people were happy with them back then, but nowadays, people/families have higher expectations. It might come across as snobbishness but that's the modern day attitude. They now come with the stigma that it is a "council" and its housing stock for "lower classes."

I am glad Highland council has made this decision. You just have to look at Easterhouse in Glasgow. Majority of ex council stock has been demolished, rebuilt and what a difference it has made.

Scotland has to, yes build new homes, but also gradually get rid of the dated housing stock that are no longer suitable for future generations.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#9 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 22 Mar 2022 at 12:47 PM
#8 -- if that is the case then why don't we pull down the Victorian tenements while we are at it?

Sorry that dog don't hunt -- better to cherish and improve than demolish and build some poorly built value engineered dross.

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