There are fresh hopes a fire-ravaged derelict hospital could be restored to its former glory after new proposals tabled by developers.
Plans for “a full restoration of the listed buildings”, which formed part of the now-closed Strathmartine Hospital, have been submitted to Angus Council
The Scottish Government had previously granted planning permission for 198 new homes, 24 flats and community centre to be built on the site of the former Strathmartine Hospital back in 2018.
But in an updated application submitted to the local authority, the new developers – Scottish based firm, Chamberlain Bell Developments – have outlined a strategy to “overcome specific viability issues with previous proposals”.
The updated plans involve scrapping the proposal for the 24 flats in the listed building and instead developing “12 period family homes”. The number of private new-build residential units has also been reduced, with plans to erect 184 of the properties instead of 198.
The development strategy outlined by developers also showed the restoration would be “spilt into two main phases”.
The first phase will focus the renovation of the listed building on the site, which will include “demolition, asbestos removal and remediation works.”
Phase two will see the development of affordable housing, with 28 units planned to be built before the private residential units are erected during the final stage.
Legal issues regarding a “clawback agreement” with NHS Tayside made when the health authority sold the hospital in 2005 are also understood to have been resolved.
In a statement to the Tele, Alan Bell, who is the design and technical director of Chamberlain Bell Developments, said: “We have considered the development holistically and worked closely with Angus Council who have helped us finalise a development proposal that now works financially.
“All who have been involved in the process over the last 2-3 years hope that the local council will now provide formal support for our revised proposal. This would allow the development to commence to save the listed buildings.
“With regards to timescales, we are optimistic that our revised proposals will be considered by the Planning Committee at their next meeting, planned for early-March.
“The intention is to move forward relatively quickly and, subject to many other technical approvals required, commence works on site late-Summer or Autumn.”
Longtime Strathmartine conservation campaigner, Karen McCauley welcomed the news of potential developments on the derelict site but remained cautious after years of disappointment.
“I am pleased to see what appears to be a genuine and sincere effort to retain the listed buildings and move forward with the development of the site which I welcome, she said.
“This does not guarantee that the listed buildings will survive – one further incident on site could see the financial viability collapse, leaving a site of new build houses.”
The news of the potential development on the iconic site comes as new details of its history have emerged.
Karen added: “One thing that I have found out that we did not know before is that one of the cottages on grounds actually predates the main building.
“And on April 13, it will actually be five years since the roof collapsed because of the fire at the site so it is nice to have to have a positive development to mark it.”
The former Strathmartine Hospital was originally closed back in 2003 before NHS Tayside sold the site to a development company in May 2005.