Council told: you’re bang out of order, I’m staying

The multi-storey flats at Sighthill are doomed but council may be forced to take legal action to move one homeowner  by Sunday

The multi-storey flats at Sighthill are doomed but council may be forced to take legal action to move one homeowner by Sunday

0
Have your say

Legal action is to be taken against a solitary Sighthill resident who has vowed to barricade himself in his home as the area is evacuated for the demolition of three high rises.

On Sunday, the 16-storey Hermiston, Weir and Glenalmond blocks – built 45 years ago – are to be razed to the ground.

The redevelopment of the area will see up to 320 homes for sale and rent – half of which will be deemed affordable – as part of the council’s 21st Century Homes regeneration plans.

It is thought the local authority has made numerous attempts to strike a deal with the remaining resident, to no avail.

The protester, whose Sighthill Bank home is also earmarked to be bulldozed as part of the project, said he will “physically resist” attempts to remove him from his home.

He added that he would exercise his human rights by staging a protest within the property, which he owns.

It is understood he will be served with an eviction notice if he does not agree to leave his property to allow the blowdown to go ahead.

“The council has abandoned this area to antisocial behaviour, crime and vandalism – they will continue to breach my human rights by leaving me isolated on a building site and subjecting me to more noise pollution and disruption.

“I grew up in Glenalmond Court. I have almost 30 years of memories in Sighthill, but the last three months have been a complete nightmare.

“From 8am to 6pm they have been carrying out drilling work while residents continue to live there – why should I have to put up with that?”

The area surrounding Sighthill Bank is now almost entirely deserted, with properties boarded up and roads closed off.

In August, the resident – believed to be one of only two homeowners in Sighthill Bank not to have relinquished their homes – received a letter to say the council would seek to impose a compulsory purchase orders for the property.

The resident added: “I own my house and I bought it on the open market. If the council purchase my home at market value, I will not have enough money to buy another house.”

A spokesman for the council said: “The safety of local residents is our first priority and it is important nothing compromises this.

“We are aware of a possible protest but will work with our partners to ensure the demolition is carried out safely with minimum disruption to the public.”

An exclusion zone will be set up from around 10am for Sunday’s demolition, and a rest centre will be set up for the residents who have to leave their nearby homes. The demolition of the three multi-storeys is scheduled to take place between 11am and midday.

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com