Progress is being made to demolish derelict Paisley estate engulfed in fly-tipping crisis

Tonnes of rubbish is dumped on a road in front of boarded up homes in the Tannahill area
The derelict homes have become a magnet for fire-raising, fly-tipping and other antisocial behaviour. -Credit:Andrew Neil

The process to demolish derelict houses ravaged by fire and fly-tipping in Ferguslie started on Monday as it’s confirmed they will be razed to the ground within weeks.

Utility companies have begun decommissioning electric and gas supplies to the Tannahill estate in Paisley as Renfrewshire Council says it is on track to start bulldozing the properties in July.

The 175 homes have become a magnet for fire-raising, fly-tipping and other antisocial behaviour. But council officials last week said progress is being made as they set out the timeline for works to be completed before a contractor is appointed for the planned demolition.

This includes civil engineering works which are currently being carried out in advance of Scottish Power and Scottish Gas mains disconnections, which are both scheduled to begin this month.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, an SNP representative for Paisley Northwest, expressed his relief as headway is made in an area that has been branded a blight on a recently regenerated community.

SNP Cllr Kenny MacLaren with rubbish dumped off Candren Road -Credit:Paisley Daily Express
SNP Cllr Kenny MacLaren with rubbish dumped off Candren Road -Credit:Paisley Daily Express

He said: “I am glad that the council is moving forward with the demolition of the vacant properties in the Tannahill area.

“Too often there has been problems with fire-raising in this area and it’s clear current security measures simply aren’t good enough.

“Hopefully the relevant contracts can be signed off quickly and the demolition work can take place as soon as possible.”

An email, sent to elected members by Renfrewshire Council’s housing regeneration manager on Thursday, set out the relevant time lines for the works.

It explained: “Morrison Utilities are currently on site carrying out civil engineering works in advance of Scottish Power mains disconnections commencing on Monday, May 13, for six to eight weeks.

“Similarly, Scottish Gas mains disconnections are scheduled to commence the following week, on May 20, again for six to eight weeks.

“A number of tenders [for the demolition works] were received at the closing date, and these are currently going through a technical review process before being presented to the finance board on June 13.

Chairman of Ferguslie Community Council Terry McTernan -Credit:Andrew Neil
Chairman of Ferguslie Community Council Terry McTernan -Credit:Andrew Neil

“Should an appointment be approved at this time, we are looking at a site start mid-July. In the meantime, we continue to check and secure the vacant properties within this area regularly and this will continue until the blocks are handed over to an appointed demolition contractor.”

The Express reported earlier this year how a fly-tipping crisis had engulfed the area. Tonnes of rubbish has been strewn around the gardens, streets and green spaces of the doomed estate including Drums Avenue, Ferguslie Park Avenue, Tannahill Road and Tannahill Terrace.

The area – which sits next to the SMiSA Stadium – has been targeted by cowboy traders posing as legitimate waste removal companies as well as individuals flytipping. It has also been plagued by fire raisers, with dozens of deliberate fires started in the past two years.

Terry McTernan, chairman of Ferguslie Park Community Council, said: “Ultimately, we would like to see it demolished tomorrow but we understand there are processes to follow and are grateful to the council for its more regular updates.

“It’s hard to convey to people the sheer magnitude of the [fly-tipping and vandalism]. It is still impacting negatively on people’s wellbeing but we have come this far and everyone is hanging on for July, which is not too much longer.

“Going forward we would like to perhaps do a social history project with people’s memories of the old Tannahill, which at one time was one of the most sought after places to live.

“As a community council we want to continue to look at the positives in Ferguslie right now such as the launch of the growing area, the lease for the former St Ninian’s Church Hall and the new Tannahill area.”

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