Dundee’s last ever working jute mill is primed for a dramatic transformation into a new affordable housing development.
Bosses at Caledonia Housing Association have put forward plans for the second phase of their plans for Unit 23 at Taybank Works.
Their proposals, for eight new homes and seven revised homes that formed part of the first phase, will see a new street created off Morgan Street.
A number of the homes will be adapted for tenants with special needs, created with the assistance of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership.
Large swathes of the existing building – until recently home to a number of businesses – will be demolished to create the new road into the area.
However, several aspects of the building are listed, including the old calender – the large spools through which material is fed – and gable ends on the building.
Caledonia hopes to be on site in the early autumn, and to begin building the new homes in early 2020.
It is currently tendering for a demolition contractor to come in and delicately work around the B-listed segments of the area, clearing out the zone for redevelopment.
It will choose a benefactor of the £300,000 deal after the end of this month.
The Morgan Street plans are part of the housing association’s aim to boost its affordable housing stock by 25% within the next few years.
Rachel Martin, a spokeswoman for Caledonia, said the organisation had recently acquired Unit 23, hence its decision to expand.
“Unit 23 is the only remaining works in the area and we’re glad to have finally purchased it,” Ms Martin said. “The application is for a further eight units where Unit 23 was and part of that will comprise of five flats for supported housing.
“We’ve had to change some of the flats in the first application so it will be a total of 37 homes.
“As far as we’re concerned it’s good that we’ve managed to get the site and expand the development and what we’re offering in Dundee because we haven’t developed anything in Dundee for a little while.”
She added: “We’ve made a commitment to build 1,000 homes in Scotland by 2022 and we’re almost halfway through that commitment now.”
The first phase of Caledonia’s plans, for 28 affordable homes, was approved in 2017. Back then council planners looked favourably upon the proposal to bring 18 houses and 10 flats to the area because it would cater to local demand.
However, it is no guarantee of the second phase being readily approved and planners have until the end of May to decide.
Historically, Taybank Works was renowned as a jute spinning mill, but has its roots in weaving.
It was constructed in the 1870s by Pearce Brothers engineers – also responsible for the Wallace Craigie Works, Wellfield Works and later jute mills in India.
The site was expanded in the 1940s with a distinctive corner entrance – now the Lilybank Mews housing development.
It was the last jute mill in Dundee and the UK as a whole to close when its shutters came down in 1999.