Council housing bosses want to sell Castlehill land to a housing association for £1.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s head of housing and regeneration, Richard Cairns, recommends the councillors approve the move to allow Cube Housing Association (CHA) to build 31 homes at a two acre site at Carrick Terrace and Hawthornhill Road.

The 48 homes at Carrick Terrace were demolished two years ago and the 10 homes above the shops on Hawthornhill Road have been empty for two years, having been declared surplus to requirements in a masterplan for the area and earmarked for demolition.

An assessment by the council’s estates section found there was ‘no realistic demand’ from private developers for the land.

Council papers state the £1 is ‘considered appropriate’ as the costs of demolition, gas works and ground condition upgrades would cost £204,000 while the council has previously sold land to social housing associations at a rate of £3,000 per unit – in this case £93,000.

One shop Ozzy’s Lifestyle/Usave remains at the site and a report by Mr Cairns, set to go before members of the council’s Housing and Communities Committee this week said CHA has been lisaising with the shopkeeper to organise rebuilding the shop in the new development, which is what residents want.

A temporary shop would be set up to allow the block to be demolished early next year.

Mr Cairns said in the report: “As a requirement of the transfer of the site Cube Housing Association will be responsible for the cost, planning and delivery of the demolitions.

“As this project is for social housing for rent it is recommended that it be transferred to our strategic partner, Cube Housing Association for the nominal price of £1. This will allow the development of around 31 units of new affordable housing to be developed in one of the council’s identified priority housing regeneration areas.

“The Estates Section has provided a valuation of £1 for the land to be developed for affordable housing for rent.” One Castlehill resident, who did not want to be named, said demolishing the ‘eyesore’ would be good move which would ‘better the area’.

Another added: “If they crush it down and put people in it would be nicer. I don’t think they should close Ozzy’s shop though, I wouldn’t want to see him be put out of business.” If the project gets the go-ahead at the committee meeting tomorrow (November 4), the houses are expected to be ready to rent in 2017/18 and the council would have 100 per cent nomination rights.