Tayside and Central Scotland

Denny blocks 'defaced' by safety repairs

Church Walk blocks, Denny
Image caption Campaigners say the repairs have made the blocks look even more unsightly

Campaigners hoping to improve their crumbling town centre have accused the council of "defacing" it even further with unsightly repairs.

Work has been carried out on the Church Walk blocks in Denny to make them safe.

A revamp of the town centre has been delayed repeatedly since 2004.

Falkirk council said it did not want to spend "unnecessary funds" on the blocks as they were due to be demolished later this year.

But campaigners have claimed that the repair work has not prevented moisture penetrating to stores on the ground floor, forcing at least one of them to close temporarily because of water damage.

Community campaigner Brian McCabe said locals had acted with "shock and anger" when they saw the result of the repairs.

"The replacement rough-casting was to prevent water penetration at roof level," he said.

"The council have spent something in the region of £170,000 and it has not made a jot of difference. It's an absolute disgrace."

Repairs started on the 1960s blocks in October 2010 and were due to take six weeks. The work was finally finished on 9 February.

The scaffolding that has been in position for about four years remains.

A spokesman for Falkirk Council said: "The works taking place on Church Walk are short-term health and safety measures that are required to ensure the buildings are safe whilst arrangements for their demolition are taken forward.

"It is not Falkirk Council's intention to spend any unnecessary funds on the blocks at Church Walk when the buildings are shortly to be demolished."

The authority said in October that it hoped the blocks would be demolished in autumn 2011, but the campaign group in Denny fears there may be further delays.

Falkirk Council put the £15m regeneration of Denny on hold early last year because of the recession, but announced in June 2010 that a less ambitious plan had been agreed with the developer Henry Boot.

In September, campaigners in Denny collected the Carbuncle award for the most dismal place in Scotland - after asking organisers for the trophy.

The group approached the award's organisers after learning no-one wanted to pick up the award on behalf of this year's winners, John O'Groats, and in the hope it would speed up regeneration of the town.

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