|The deteriorating condition of Queen Victoria Works|
I mentioned that I had written to a major national retailer about an ATM at one of their stores in the West End Ward to see if the company nationally was willing to consider contributing to the costs of this particular ATM so it could offer free cash withdrawals in the future.
I am pleased to advise that this retailer – the Co-operative Group – has reacted positively and has converted the AGM in question (at their store at the junction of Polepark Road/Edward Street/Brook Street) to free to use – see new machine now installed – right.
Residents had previously raised with me the bad graffiti in Douglas Street opposite the entrance to Pleasance Court. I had raised this with the council’s Rapid Response Team and they swiftly attended to this earlier this week – see below:
As reported in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, following my request that a safety survey at Queen Victoria Works on Brook Street be carried out by the City Council, this has now taken place.
It indicates that the external walls pose no immediate danger to the public passing by.
Although it is reassuring that the external walls pose no immediate danger to the public, I have concerns about the internal fabric of the building as it is in very poor shape – there was a recent roof fall – and I have asked the Legal Manager and the Director of City Development at Dundee City Council to advise me as soon as possible what enforcement action could be taken to ensure the internal structure is made safe.
Following my update last week about concerns over building safety at Queen Victoria Works, I have been in continuing touch with council officers about this matter.
The matter is with legal officers but it is intended, subject to any necessary legal steps, that council buildings standards officers and engineers will inspect the building in the very near future.
Over a period of some time, I have had continuing concerns about the state of the building and the recent roof collapse only serves to highlight the building safety issue.
Clearly a vacant building like this will deteriorate over time and it is vital that all necessary steps are taken so I am pleased that the City Council is taking a proactive interest in the concerns I have raised.
I reiterate my concerns about the safety of the building. I am aware that it has been inspected in the past and I would be grateful if it was urgently re-inspected and necessary action taken. I presume Listed Building Enforcement Action is now a possibility given the lack of action by the owner is respect of its deteriorating condition?”
“I am writing to inform you that unfortunately a paper bin within the Neighbourhood Recycling Point on Brook Street Dundee was burnt out at the weekend, now for the second time.
As you may remember was the case with the second act of arson to the NRP on Bankmill Road earlier this, that it is our standard policy to replace the burnt out unit for a second time. Any further incidents, however, will result in the removal of the paper bin from the NRP unit as these are very costly to replace, and could prove to be an ongoing fire hazard.
We have a replacement unit in stock and we will be looking to reinstate the paper bin as soon as our operations are able. We will continue to monitor this site closely in the forthcoming period and hopefully there will be no repeat of the previous vandalism.”
I am advised by the City Council that the replacement cost is £520 and as I point out in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, residents rightly deplore this sort of mindless vandalism that could end up resulting in the loss of a well-used and popular paper recycling facility. This afternoon, our local Police Inspector said he’d progress my request for use of mobile CCTV in the vicinity to deter further vandalism.
Also this afternoon, along with a representative from Blackness Area Residents’ Association (BARA), a fellow councillor and council officers, we undertook a walkabout in the BARA area (a rather wet walkabout as it was raining!) to look at local issues and problems. The walkabout covered Peddie Street (pictured above), Abbotsford Place, Abbotsford Street, Corso Street and parts of Blackness Road and Blackness Avenue.
This evening at West End Community Council, there was an interesting talk on the conservation of resources, given by Doug McLaren of the Tayside Foundation for the Conservation of Resources.
Received today from the City Council :
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating gas main replacement works. The Order is expected to be in force for five weeks from 8 March 2010. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
The effect of the Order is to prohibit all vehicular traffic in (a) Smellies Lane from Lochee Road to Ash Street, (b) Ash Street from Smellies Lane to Douglas Street and (c) West Hendersons Wynd from Douglas Street to Brook Street.
Pedestrian thoroughfare and vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible.
An alternative route will be available via Lochee Road, Polepark Road and Brook Street.
Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Tayside House, Crichton Street, Dundee, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date. If you have any queries please contact the team on 433082.
The former Queen Victoria Works in Brook Street (also known as Lower Pleasance Mill) is lying derelict and in a very poor state of repair.
I raised concerns with the City Council’s Legal Manager initially back in 2007 (see http://tinyurl.com/qvwdundee) and he advised me that the premises are owned by McGregor Balfour (Sales) Limited, a private limited company with an issued share capital of only £2.
The Legal Manager advised me at the time that :
“the Director of Planning and Transportation is of the view that the footprint of the building is secure to a reasonable standard; and
I have spoken to Brodies, Solicitors, Edinburgh who has advised me that McGregor Balfour (Sales) Ltd received an offer to purchase the building which is currently under consideration. I have asked him to keep me advised regarding the progress of the offer.”
However, the company director thereafter contacted the Council’s Legal Manager and the Legal Manager then told me :
“She advised me that the proposed purchaser of the premises had withdrawn as a result of the “credit crunch” and that there was no other purchaser at this stage.”
I have continuing concerns about the state of the building and recently asked the City Council’s Head of Planning about current building safety as clearly a vacant building like this will deteriorate over time.
I am anxious to see this historic building saved and brought back into a productive use.
It is a great shame that it is lying in its current state and I have again requested that the City Council’s Legal Manager considers steps the City Council could take to assist this.
Tonight’s ‘Evening Telegraph’ covered the concerns about the state of the building and my comments about these – you can read this by going to http://tinyurl.com/qvworks.
The photos above show the works in earlier times and its current poor state of repair. The building appears on the ‘Buildings at Risk’ Register – see http://tinyurl.com/batriskdundee.
I am advised that this is because of telecommunications ducting works and the alternative route is via West Marketgait/Hawkhill/Horsewater Wynd/Guthrie Street/Brook Street/Polepark Road.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained throughout.
For further information, contact the Planning & Transportation Department on 433168.