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Final tower blocks downed as high-rise era ends

The demolition of Stuart House and Elliot House in Burns Road has made space for more than 130 new homes.

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Cumbernauld’s last two tower blocks are being reduced to rubble, making space for more than 130 new homes.

The demolition of Stuart House and Elliot House in Burns Road by high-reach excavator marks the end of more than 50 years of high-rise living in the town.

Affordable housing developer Sanctuary Homes consulted the local community before submitting a planning application to North Lanarkshire Council on Friday (22 March) for 136 flats for social rent.

The proposals for Burns Road are the next chapter in Sanctuary’s successful £75 million high-rise regeneration project.

Peter Martin, Sanctuary’s Group Director – Development, said: “The demolition of Stuart House and Elliot House is a highly symbolic milestone in the quest to improve Cumbernauld’s affordable housing stock.

“The new homes built by Sanctuary during the regeneration project are as important to Cumbernauld’s future as the 12 tower blocks have been to its past.

“Sanctuary will continue to work with North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Government to increase the number of homes fit for 21st century living.

“We have submitted our proposals for new properties in Burns Road, the next step in that journey.”

The demolition of Elliot House is underway and should be completed by the end of this month. The demolition of the 55-metre-high Stuart House is due to start the week beginning Monday 8 April. The site is expected to be cleared by September. If its proposals are approved by North Lanarkshire Council, Sanctuary hopes to begin building new homes at Burns Road next February.

Councillor Heather McVey, Convener of Communities and Housing with North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The demolition of these two towers is very significant as we say goodbye to the last of the tower blocks in Cumbernauld after more than half a century.

“Housing needs have changed considerably since the new town was constructed and as these last blocks come down, we can look forward to their replacement with new, high quality flats to rent which will help meet the need for affordable housing in the area.

“We are pleased that we have been able to support Sanctuary with their regeneration plans for all of the multi-storey flats in Cumbernauld through the use of our Compulsory Purchase powers and transfer of land, and we look forward to working with them in the future to further improve housing conditions in the Cumbernauld area.”

Every resident of the 12 tower blocks built in Cumbernauld in the 1960s has been rehoused in the 331 replacement flats completed to date. A further 45 flats in Berryhill Road will be handed over next month. Building begins on another 23 flats in Berryhill Road in June. Sanctuary will also have handed over another 66 flats in Hume Road by September.

Sanctuary’s proposals for Burns Road will soon be available to view on the North Lanarkshire Council website. Sanctuary is also in discussions with the Council and Scottish Government about the potential regeneration of 169 flats in Millcroft Road.

Pictured: Peter Martin, Alex Clark, Heather McVey, Pamela Humphries, Andy Smillie.