Lochy­side de­mo­li­tion stopped af­ter site found to be ‘live’

The Oban Times - - Lochaber Times -

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.

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