End is in sight as screens are put up in Denny

PIC:  DENNY. 'Block A' of Church Walk is ready for demolition
PIC: DENNY. 'Block A' of Church Walk is ready for demolition

Work has started to regenerate a run-down town centre but uncertainty remains over how long the project will take to complete.

Contractors arrived on Monday to begin the demolition of Church Walk, a large semi-derelict residential and commerical block in Denny.

The section facing Duke Street will be the first to be brought down, with the work expected to last for around 12 weeks.

Davies Row, to the rear of the building, will be closed for six weeks from September 19 onwards. Access to the car park will be maintained.

The Falkirk Herald understands that the actual demolition work will not begin for at least another two weeks, as workmen must first clear the building.

Residents in Denny have long campaigned for Church Walk to be replaced.

More than 1000 people took part in a protest march last year after developers Henry Boot announced that its plan to regenerate the town centre was no longer cost-effective.

The company is currently working with Falkirk Council to finalise a new masterplan for the area.

Council leader Craig Martin said: “It has been a long wait for the town but we are pleased that the local community has persevered.

“We can now see the start of the real work to transform the centre into a modern and attractive location.”

Church Walk was hailed as a beacon of modernity when it was completed in 1972.

Since then its condition has rapidly deteriorated, with the last of its residents moving out almost ten years ago.

A number of privately-owned shops in the building’s ground floor remain occupied.

Falkirk Council is negotiating to purchase these to allow the rest of the building to be demolished.

No time scale for the completion of the project has been given, although it is likely to take several years.

Denny councillor John McNally said: “It’s all very well knocking down a small part of Church Walk and seeking a pat on the back after a four year delay.

“However, that is the easy part, what the people of Denny want to know is when will we see construction rather than destruction.”