The shape of Denny’s future

It’s the run-down town centre that has become a symbol for stalled regeneration projects everywhere.

But now Denny residents can look to the future as artist’s impressions of what will eventually replace Church Walk have gone on display.

A new town square, a state-of-the-art library and nine commercial units will be built on the west side of Stirling Street, near Denny Cross, once demolition of the semi-derelict flats is completed.

The plans, drawn up by Falkirk Council’s in-house architectural team, went on public display last week.

Phase one of the regeneration project will involve the construction of a striking library complex topped with a standing seam roof, clad with curtain walling and finished with a mixture of brick and stone.

The adjacent retail units will be finished with a smooth render and have pitched slate roofs.

Detailed plans of the scheme are due to be submitted for planning approval in April.

Construction work is due to begin in late 2014, once the Church Walk site has been finally cleared.

Demolition of the latest section of the building, facing St Alexander’s Church in Stirling Street, is due to begin next week.

The present octagonal Lloyds TSB building will be eventually cleared to make way for a new public square, which will provide a much-needed space for community events without the need for road closures.

The town war memorial will be relocated to the new square to act as a focal point.

This work is likely to take longer than the new building as a replacement premises for the bank must be found before demolition work can begin.

The latest plans were discussed at a meeting of Denny and Dunipace Community Council on Monday evening.

Convener Colin Belbin said: “There was a very positive presentation from Douglas Duff from Falkirk Council. People now just want to see this project move forward.”

21st Century Denny, a community council group set-up to scrutinise regeneration plans, is due to meet with Falkirk Council planners on Thursday to further discuss the latest proposals.

Speaking at the public display held at Denny Community Education Centre last week, Cathy Morrison, of the Denny Wider Access to Schools Project, told The Falkirk Herald that she was impressed with the artist’s impressions of how the development would look.

She said: “I think the design looks great. The public square is the very thing that will attract more people into the centre and develop more of a sense of community.

“We should have reached the stage where we can learn from the mistakes of the past and realise the kind of development we don’t want - Church Walk being the obvious example.

“The key now is to ensure that the building work gets started.”