Pool building to be put up for sale

Surplus to requirements: Councillors have been asked to approve the sale of the building on the open market.'Staff photograph
Surplus to requirements: Councillors have been asked to approve the sale of the building on the open market.'Staff photograph

MONTROSE’s old swimming pool is to be sold on the open market after being deemed surplus to requirements by Angus Council.

A questions mark has hung over the building’s future since it closed in October and although the council’s corporate services director this week said that the site on The Mall is “potentially suitable” for affordable housing, such a scheme would not be economically viable for the council. To demolish the building would cost more than the site is actually worth.

Members of the corporate services committee are today (Thursday) expected to rubber-stamp Mr McMahon’s recommendation that the building be put up for sale.

Mr McMahon said: “Whilst this property is potentially suitable for affordable housing, it is not currently economically viable to undertake such a development due to the estimated high cost of demolition which exceeds the resulting value of a cleared site.

“Given the nature and location of this property, action has been taken to limit vandalism. However, it would not be unreasonable for there to be a general expectation that the council will demolish the property should a quick disposal not be achieved. Unfortunately, there are no current provisions for such demolition.”

Windows have been boarded up and metal, padlocked doors have been fitted over its entrances in a bid to deter vandals entering the 50-year-old building. It was targeted in October last year, just a few weeks before it was due to close officially. It was thought that several missiles, stones and possibly a pool ball, were thrown through the windows, smashing two, the glass from which fell in to the pool itself.

Draining, cleaning and refilling it would have been a time-consuming and expensive process and the council decided to close the facility entirely although the fitness and health suites remained open.

Local councillor David May said news of the sale is “no surprise” and that the cost of demolition could be considered by the authority’s administration in the run-up to next month’s budget.

He said: “I was aware there would be significant costs with demolition but if the market picks up it could become available. It’s something the present administration could consider at its budget meetings, whether it would be feasible to demolish the pool and make the site available for housing.

“The new pool came in under budget and that could be taken into consideration, but it’s a matter of looking at it from a financial point of view, seeing if demolition is a realistic prospect and making a choice.”