Lochyside demolition stopped after site found to be ‘live’
DEMOLITION of the former Lochyside Primary School has come to a halt after it was found the site was still ‘live’, writes Monica Gibson.
Diggers appeared onsite on Tuesday April 18 to begin knocking down the building.
The Highland Council and Lochaber Housing Association, working with Highland Small Communities Housing Trust, are redeveloping the site into 60 new homes.
In recent months, the work has been hit with a series of issues.
At the Caol Community Council meeting on Monday May 8 it was revealed that work stopped after a power surge on site caused problems for nearby households.
Donnie Elder lives near the development and is part of Caol Community Council.
He said: ‘There was actually smoke in one home and at least eight houses around Castle Drive were affected. But it could have been a lot worse – someone could have been killed. I still can’t understand why the go-ahead was given for the demolition.’
Representatives from Bracewell Stirling Consultants (BSC), architects for the project, had been invited to attend the meeting, but BSC responded with a statement, read out at the meeting, suggesting they attend in June.
Confirming the latest issues, Amanda MacRitchie, partner at the firm, wrote: ‘The demolition is presently on hold as two unforeseen items have arisen ... one was the discovery of an additional small area of asbestos ... the second was complications with power isolation to the main school building which resulted in some of the surrounding properties being accidentally cut off. Direct contact is being maintained with the immediate properties affected.
‘Works will resume once these items are resolved. It is still expected to start the new works in autumn.’
A spokesperson from the Highland Council confirmed to the Lochaber Times that it is aware unexpected problems had been encountered during the demolition of the school and these are now being resolved.