Chance to have your say on planned Dalintober demolition

You can have your say on the planned demolition of six iconic but dilapidated Campbeltown tenement blocks at Dalintober.
You can have your say on the planned demolition of six iconic but dilapidated Campbeltown tenement blocks at Dalintober.

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Members of the community are now able to make their opinions known on plans to demolish six iconic but dilapidated Campbeltown tenement blocks containing 46 flats.

According to a proposal submitted to Argyll and Bute Council, Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) wants to raze to the ground the structures at 19-9E John Street, 21-33 John Street and 1-5 Dalintober.

The housing association also wants listed building consent for the demolition of 17-21 Dalintober, 24-26 High Street and 20-22 High Street as part of plans to develop the site.

An options appraisal was commissioned by the housing association in 2019 due to a ‘lack of demand’ for properties on the estate. Other options, including mothballing and refurbishment, were not considered to be viable.

A statement lodged with the council in support of the demolition plans said: ‘Documents prove that the significance of the Dalintober Estate has been fully understood, the condition of the buildings has been assessed by RIAS Accredited in Conservation professionals, the repair is not economically viable and that properties, even following the repairs and refurbishment, will unlikely be purchased neither by public or private sector due to the current demographics of the Campbeltown and oversupply of the flatted properties.

‘Throughout the years, buildings have suffered from a degree of water ingress and dampness, with evidence of water staining, timber decay, mould growth and condensation.

‘External inspection, undertaken by accredited conservation architects, highlighted a number of factors, such as defective roof coverings and rainwater goods, cracked and spalling render and open joints in masonry, contributing to the water ingress, dampness and mould growth internally.

‘Urgent measures to prevent further water ingress is needed in addition to the improvements to heating, ventilation and insulation.

‘However, even if this was economically feasible, the fundamental issue is that the properties are not fit for 21st century living and the current needs of ACHA residents. This is due to their design, internal layout, materiality and lack of amenities.’

The statement added: ‘These buildings were built in a time of rapid post-war development with materials that were cheap to come by and to provide solutions to a major housing shortage.

‘However, these materials are largely inflexible and unable to adapt to accommodate a standard of living that we expect of buildings today.

‘With the blocks being predominately three-storey, a large proportion of ACHA residents (108 with a housing need) would be unable to access these properties, or move about freely in them.

‘Bathrooms are small and many are unable to accommodate a standard sized bath.

‘Closes are unheated, cold and dark spaces between flats and external areas are largely tarmac with no provision for individual garden space.

‘There is a strong opportunity here to tackle some of these challenges and provide not only healthy, habitable homes to support the retention and growth of this small community but support the transition to a low carbon economy.’

Argyll and Bute planning officers are expected to reach a decision on the application by the end of this month.

To view or comment on the plans, visit the council’s planning portal at argyll-bute.gov.uk using the reference number 21/02738/LIB.