Redevelopment promises new lease of life for Abbey quarter

A major move towards the transformation of the abbey quarter of Arbroath was revealed last week.

While it has been some time in the planning, the demolition of empty council flats at Guthrie Hill and Smithy Croft brings the project into plain sight.

Demolition contractor Safedem will continue the work to raze the four blocks of flats over the next few weeks.

The abbey quarter is extremely important to Arbroath, as a central residential and retail area and also as a major international visitor destination thanks to the dominant presence of the historic Abbey.

With Arbroath Abbey holding both historic and cultural importance, the demolition of these nearby properties will improve the area and deliver high quality housing which is sympathetic to its surroundings.

Councillor Donald Morrison, Communities convener said: “The four blocks of flats have been unpopular as council housing accommodation for many years and become increasingly difficult to let. It’s also considered that their close proximity to the abbey and High Street has had a negative impact on business, retail and tourism.

“Our housing vision is to create places that people are proud to call home. We plan to replace these flats with energy efficient low rise accommodation designed to complement the abbey and where people can enjoy living

“The abbey is a landmark of international significance, so it’s right that we do our best to enhance its surroundings and create an experience for residents and visitors that we can be proud of.”

After demolition, work will begin to build 42 new homes for social rent, transforming the landscape and improving access to the abbey and High Street.

The public can see plans for the site at an information event on 18 February in St Andrews Church, Arbroath, from 2pm to 8pm.

It is part of the town’s design charrette - Arbroath Talks – which provides a focus on planning and development ideas for Arbroath town centre.

The design project, which seeks to capture the ideas of local residents, has been developed by Angus Council with funding assistance from Scottish Government.