The last one standing

Work continues to demolish Church Walk
Work continues to demolish Church Walk

The latest round of demolition work in Denny should be completed by the end of this week, bringing the town’s regeneration one step closer.

Contractors arrived on site more than three weeks ago to bring down another section of Church Walk, the monolithic residential and commerical complex that has dominated the heart of the town for the past four decades.

‘Block C’, as it is known to those planning Denny’s regeneration, is fast becoming a pile of smashed masonry and broken brick.

Last week, there were visible reminders that the building, which long ago grew to be hated by the town’s residents due to its shabby appearance and domineering size, was once called home by hundreds of people.

A bath lay on top of a pile of rubble, and wallpapered rooms suddenly became exposed to the elements as their four walls became three as the jib of a JCB came crashing through them.

Once it has been flattened, ‘Block B’ – or the one immediately next to Denny Cross – will be the last one standing. It too will come crashing down once plans to relocate its few remaining shops are finalised.

Plans have already been approved to construct a new two storey building, on the site of Block B, once it is cleared next year. It will contain the library and space for nine shops.

While the new shops are built, a temporary “retail village” will be sited on the vacant site in Duke Street opposite the Post Office, which is envisaged to open in November.

Councillor Dennis Goldie, convener for economic strategy and development, said: “We are currently slightly ahead of schedule with the demolition of Block C at Church Walk and it is expected to be completed by the end of next week.

“We continue to have positive discussions with the retailers who are looking to be accommodated in the temporary retail village that will provide a ‘terrace’ of shops when installed.

“These will be sited on Duke Street. Once we have completed our discussions with retailers, we will tender for the temporary units to be provided.

“We are also in discussions regarding the final acquisitions for the site and are optimistic that we are on target to meet our project deadlines. Further information on progress will be provided as it becomes available.”

The regeneration of Denny’s town centre is being planned in at least two stages.

The first, which will see the new shops and library built, and already has planning approval, will also include the formation of new town square, situated where the Lloyds TSB branch currently stands.

But the future of the remainder of the site remains unclear, as it will be placed on the commercial market.