Denny plans don’t fit the bill

Residents gather to hear plans
Residents gather to hear plans
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Residents have hit out at council proposals to regenerate their dilapidated town centre.

A planned two-storey building to replace the derelict Church Walk blocks in Denny was likened to a “shanty” by one unimpressed member of the public.

The comments were made at a site visit by Falkirk Council’s planning committee on Monday.

Members will decide in January whether to approve the first phase of the scheme that would breathe new life into Denny town centre.

That would involve the construction of a new building housing a replacement library and 11 shops between Davies Row and the south-end of Stirling Street.

The site is currently part of Church Walk, a large complex once containing a mixture of shops and flats. Demolition work began last year and is scheduled to resume in February.

The committee was accompanied by council officers for the site visit. A short presentation was given in Davies Row car park explaining the nature of the proposals.

Around 25 members of the public were present, with none raising their hands when asked if they had written to endorse the plans.

They did include objectors, however, who voiced a number of concerns including the style of the proposed building and public access worries.

John Sherry, a member of Denny and Dunipace Heritage Society, said: “This building has no empathy with the existing buildings in Denny.

“My main concern is that the new building will become a slum within five years as people will have no ownership or pride in it. Personally, I think it resembles part of a shanty town.”

Committee member Adrian Mahoney asked planning officers if they had examined the option of building a more traditional stone-clad building on the site.

Robin Millard, building design manager, said: “It is a modern interpretation of a town centre. It’s not intended to be a pastiche of the buildings opposite. The design does however include the use of traditional materials.”

Denny councillor Brian McCabe expressed concerns about access to the new building, which due to the lie of the land, will be built on two levels.

The new library would be entered from ground level in Davies Row, while the majority of shops would be accessed from Stirling Street.

Mr McCabe said that this would make a journey between the two levels unnecessarily difficult for elderly people or those using wheelchairs or buggies.

The planning committee will meet on January 30 to decide whether to approve the first phase of the regeneration plans.