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'Dilapidated' Kelvin House in Paisley faces demolition as 34 new flats in the pipeline

A “severely dilapidated” building in Paisley town centre is facing demolition in a move that could see 34 flats built.

Renfrewshire Council wants permission to flatten C-listed Kelvin House in Marshall’s Lane – arguing that it would not be “economically viable” to keep it.

Planning documents said an offer was received from property development company Nixon Blue which would see the location used for “high quality” riverside flats and ground floor commercial units.

Initial proposals include the adjoining B-listed Forbes Place being kept and refurbished to provide 16 of the apartments, the former depot razed and replaced by eight and 10 located on the footprint of Kelvin House.

A letter signed by George Hunter, the local authority’s chief economic and regeneration officer, said: “It is not economically viable to retain Kelvin House due to its severely dilapidated condition, demonstrated lack of interest, anticipated development value and lack of a suitable reuse option.”

He added that knocking the building down would deliver “significant benefits” to the wider community.

Mr Hunter said the restoration of Forbes Place, activation of a long-standing “neglected site”, and removing a “derelict” building to improve the living environment for neighbours were factors.

He continued: “Plans for what the site may be used for following demolition have not yet been finalised, but any such plans would be fully conditioned by Renfrewshire Council with a contract to secure the refurbishment of Forbes Place as a prerequisite to any new development taking place on the Kelvin House footprint.”

Historic Environment Scotland said it accepted the arguments for demolition of Kelvin House as long as it was carried out as part of plans to repair and reuse Forbes Place.

The organisation said in a letter: “B-listed Forbes Place was built in the 1830s (it is shown on John Knox’s town plan of 1839) as shawl and yarn warehouses.

“Shawl warehouses are an important element of Paisley’s industrial heritage and Forbes Place makes a significant contribution to the town.

“While there are several other terraces of these buildings in the town, they are quite rare in Scotland.

“It is important that a new use is found for Forbes Place, which is in a semi-derelict condition, but contains a modest number of historic internal features that are evidence of how these buildings were used.”

The applications for listed building and conservation area consents are awaiting decision, but any future development at the location would require a separate planning application.

A council spokesperson said: “We are currently considering applications for listed building consent and conservation area consent which would allow Kelvin House and the depot building to the rear to be demolished.

“We are still in discussions with potential developers in relation to the site. Any future development on the site would need a further planning application to be submitted.”

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