Just beside Castle Woods – an Open Space Protected Area [OSPA] in Helensburgh – is Jutland Court, a series of derelict blocks of flats with a total of 42 apartments, bought from the Ministry of Defence by a property company that subsequently went into administration. The flats are boarded up and an eyesore.
A former naval barracks, since Jutland Court was let out by the private sector it has been a source of running problems.
Current complaints are over the unkempt site, litter, dumping, vermin and other anti-social problems associated with vacant buildings. The only viable development option for Jutland Court according to experts is demolition. The questions are when the necessary demolition will take place and for how long local residents will be left with this unsightly and unsavoury site on their doorsteps.
Jutland Court has recently been bought by controversial local developers, Osborne Interiors, the suggestion being that the flats were to be demolished to allow the site of over two acres to be used for the construction of affordable housing,
There was widespread relief in the area at the supposed demolition plan. However, it now seems that Osborne’s have decided against demolition. What alternative to this they have decided upon remains unclear.
- attempt a refurbishment which, given the age and low quality of the buildings, would be unlikely to produce acceptable building standards in today’s terms;
- leave them derelict as a speculative investment until the market changes; but most interpreters of the economic situation suggest that waiting for this will be a long sit – and particularly so for local residents;
- continue to try to sell it, as they have already been doing, with no takers as yet..
Talks appear to be ongoing with strategic targets in local politics.
Helensburgh Councillor, James Robb, Lead Councillor for Finance in the new council administration, asked what the current position is with Jutland Court, says: ‘Expectations were raised by recent comments that Jutland Court was to be demolished to redevelop the 2.1 acre site for affordable housing. That has now been denied by spokespersons for the owners.
‘Despite previous refurbishments, there have been long running problems with these flats so neighbours are understandably disappointed that the flats will now not be demolished.
‘It looked for a moment that this would be a great solution for all affected but it has now taken a different direction.
‘We will all just have to wait and see what plans are now brought forward for this valuable site on the edge of the Open Space Protection Area containing Castle Woods.’