Carnoustie’s former Kinloch school site which was on the development radar of Sainsbury’s and Greggs is to be transformed into council housing.
Three years’ ago the supermarket giant and bakery chain ditched £2 million plans for a ‘town square’ style retail development of the land.
It was the first firm proposal for the site since demolition of the 105-year-old school in 2010.
Opinion over the supermarket and bakery plan was split.
Many welcomed the prospect of new names arriving in the town.
But there were fears around the impact on the town centre and local businesses.
Critics also said the proposal did not fit the ‘village green’ vision for the site.
There has been little serious developer interest in the 3,360 square metre Dundee Street site since.
Angus councillors have now agreed it should be used for new affordable homes.
Council infrastructure director Ian Cochrane said: “The Carnoustie charrette identified a preference for a supermarket on the site and there was also a desire for a public space element.
“The site was marketed openly in 2016 with a targeted approach to deliver this objective.
“This resulted in a legal agreement in 2017 with a developer, subject to planning permission and other matters.
“The development however subsequently did not proceed due to corporate changes from the interested food store.”
Carnoustie Community Council was allowed to use the open ground for events while the hunt for a buyer continued.
Mr Cochrane added: “The site was openly remarketed again in late 2018 and gathered only nominal interest and offers from a small number of residential developers.
“Whilst a preferred bidder was identified, because of site constraints and financing, the successful bidder has not performed or delivered as agreed.”
Talks between the council’s economic development and housing teams took place around the feasibility of affordable housing on the land.
The ground is now being transferred onto the authority’s housing account at nil cost.
Plans for council housing and open space are being worked on.
Carnoustie Independent councillor David Cheape said: “I am very pleased indeed that this piece of land has been transferred to the housing revenue account and will deliver 14 much needed new council houses for Carnoustie whilst retaining a sizeable piece of green space for public use.
“While many hoped that the site could be used to attract a major retail player, despite being marketed accordingly, no serious interest was forthcoming.
“The only other interest was by private property developers and I think most would agree that the land being used to provide quality social housing is preferable.
“The local elected members have campaigned for this and I am glad that the policy and resources committee agreed this is the best option all round.”
Fellow Independent Brian Boyd said: “It has taken a long time and I hope we can proceed quickly getting the council houses built as Carnoustie has a 20-year waiting list.
“It’s great to see the council ensuring that the ground is passed to the housing revenue account at nil cost for the delivery of these muich-needed homes.
“I certainly hope we will be bringing plans to the community very soon showing how the site will look.”
Carnoustie SNP councillor Mark McDonald said: “It is great to see this proposal move forward whilst being sympathetic to the aims of the charrette.
“We need more accommodation in Carnoustie and I absolutely welcome this.”