Carstairs Junction residents left in limbo

Even roads are not repaired in Carstairs Junction as problem with housing drags on
Even roads are not repaired in Carstairs Junction as problem with housing drags on

Carstairs Junction has been left “the forgotten village” with houses lying empty, and roads and pavements unrepaired, while those owning homes there have been threatened with bills for drainage work.

And over the years South Lanarkshire Council tenants have been moved out - there may be at least 18 council houses lying empty - and there have been rumours that the houses would be demolished.

At one point in the saga there were suggestions that the houses were sinking, and South Lanarkshire Council brought in a contractor to investigate.

“They said it was the drains to blame, and they said they were going to be billing the homeowners,” said one of the residents.

She said that homeowners were told they would be charged up a maximum of £2500, but there would be a discount, capping payments at a maximum of £1800.

“Everyone was up in arms,” she said.

Residents were surprised that they were being billed by a contractor for such drainage work, something many believed should have involved Scottish Water, and one resident contacted that body when the next meeting was taking place in September.

And at that, everything seemed to stop.

“We are at a standstill,” said the homeowner who does not wish to be named. “It is just an absolute fiasco.”

The council had intended to carry out upgrading work to its houses in the Junction - in the Allison Street, Allison Place, King Street, Pettinain Road area – but that is still on hold - the council says defective drainage pipe work should be repaired first - and further problems are developing.

“A lot of the council properties are lying empty and some are getting dampness because of unheated houses next door, gardens are lying in rack and ruin, and the roads are an absolute shambles. It is as if it is just a forgotten village.

“We are in limbo.”

However, Bill Nicol - best known for the Hometown Foundation behind the Owenstown plans, who has been working with the community as an adviser, said that following a meeting with Scottish Water on Monday this week he was “positively encouraged”.

“There is no reason why the council cannot fo ahead with the modernising programme, and now we need to find out how quickly that can begin,” he said.

Scottish Water this week told the Gazette it was discussing the matter with South Lanarkshire Council.

The council said it was seeking clarification from Scottish Water; and it said it had met with local residents on a number of occasions to discuss proposals for the long-term future of the properties and would consult them again when proposals for the long term plan for the area had been finalised.