Flats to be built in Lesmahagow conservation area

Building will be demolished to make way for flats
Building will be demolished to make way for flats

A vacant building last used as a community resource centre is to be demolished to make way for new flats.

The building, in New Trows Road, is in Lesmahagow’s Conservation Area.

A small area of public open space beside it is also included in the plans for the site, owned by the council.

Councillors approving the demolition were told by council officials: “The existing property has been vacant for a number of years and its physical condition has severely deteriorated, which required emergency works to be carried out by the council to stabilise the structure several years ago.”

Applicant Stephen Sked wanted Conservation Area Consent to demolish the building and then to redevelop the site, and his plans for 12 flats were also approved by South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee at the same meeting.

Historic Environment Scotland had reservations about the building being demolished, and a nearby resident objected, but council officials in their report descried its condition as poor, and responded: “While the loss of the building is unfortunate, it is likely to deteriorate further without substantial works, which would have a detrimental effect on the setting of the conservation area.”

A structural report submitted with the plans said that the building had become unstable in the past and remedial work had been only partly successful.

It would not be financially viable to take down parts of it to rebuild it.

The plans were for 12 two-bedroomed flats, in two connected blocks, with car park and shared amenity space at the back.

The building on New Trows Road would be a three-storey property with six flats, while the other six flats would be in a two-storey building on the slope behind that.

Councillors were told that discussions had been taking place, to have traditional materials used for external finishes, reflecting the character of New Trows Road and Abbeygreen, and the wider conservation area.

The site is also near that of the medieval Tironensian Priory, and in their comments West of Scotland Archaeology Service said it may have fronted on to what could have been one of the main thoroughfares of the early settlement.

Given the groundwork which would take place, councillors agreed that a programme of works, agreed by the archaeology service, should be carried out with finds recovered and recorded, before the development takes place.