The leader of Falkirk Council has issued a robust defence of its handling of the planned regeneration of Denny town centre in the face of mounting criticism from residents.
Councillor Craig Martin said he remained “personally committed” to the project which has been marred by delays and setbacks.
Last week The Falkirk Herald revealed notices have been served to begin demolition of part of Church Walk, facing Duke Street.
The rest of the eye-sore flats will only be flattened once the businesses in the ground floor of the building have been acquired - a process some residents fear could take years.
Raymond Murray, chairman of the Denny Retailers’ Association, said that many members were disappointed so little of the dilapidated blocks would come down in August.
And this week The Falkirk Herald received a series of letters from concerned residents, with one claiming that “the council was struggling to retain credibility” in the face of further delays.
But Councillor Martin said: “I made a commitment to the people of Denny when I became leader of the council that these flats would be coming down. I promised them we would get things moving, and from August they will begin to see tangible results. I’ve already committed an extra £1 million for this project.
“Demolition is reliant on acquisition of the remaining commercial units. I would have loved to have seen the regeneration plan laid out by the previous administration completed by now, but it was reliant on market prices that have changed because we have a very different economic climate. We’ve come back with a new plan that will move forward. The compulsory purchase orders have been prepared and will be used if necessary.
“Nothing can prevent further demolition from taking place.”