Council continues with plan to demolish all 48 high-rise blocks in constituency

Burnside Court, Coatbridge

TOWER blocks which have dominated local skylines for decades have now been earmarked for demolition as part of a North Lanarkshire Council regeneration programme.

Coatbridge and Motherwell will see major changes as several high-rise blocks are to be demolished over the next two years as part of plans to deliver 5,000 new homes across the constituency.

The local authority said site work is set to begin at Burnside Court in Coatbridge in January 2021, followed by Coursington, Allan and Draffen Court in Motherwell in the spring of 2022; and then Jackson Court, High Coats and Dunbeth Court in Coatbridge in the spring of 2023. 

The work comes as part of the first phase of a 25-year plan by the council to knock down all 48 high-rise blocks across the constituency, with three towers in Airdrie having already been demolished.

Stephen Llewellyn, head of housing solutions, said, “The health pandemic has been a challenge for everyone and we are grateful to our tenants for their help and understanding throughout these unprecedented times. A crucial aspect of moving our tower plans forward has been working with our tenants to reduce the number of people living within blocks identified in our first phase programme.

“Of the initial 1,750 properties identified, we now have 1,127 empty flats and we have agreed future housing options with the vast majority of people currently living in those homes. This reflects the consultation we held with residents who overwhelmingly shared our ambition to regenerate our tower sites.”

Refurbishment work at Blairgrove, Merrystone, GLen and Milbrae towers in Coatbridge are also set to get underway, having been put on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions. These works include fitting new windows, cladding and upgrading entrances.

The council added that it is also working to instal sprinkler systems in all remaining tower blocks across North Lanarkshire to improve tenant safety.

Councillor Heather Brannan-McVey, convener of housing and regeneration, said, “Our tower re-provisioning programme will not only see visible and significant change to our skylines, it will see quality new housing being built for the people and families moving into these redeveloped sites.

“The coronavirus pandemic has made things seem uncertain at the moment, but as we look towards a brighter future, we are committed to delivering on our plans for the future of North Lanarkshire to make it a better place for people to live in and our council house programme is vital to that ambition.”