Part of the old Motherwell Town Hall is set to be demolished to make way for new flats.
The Category C Listed building will now be home to 14 one-bedroom homes and six two-bedroom flats which will be available for social rent from the council’s own Housing Service
North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) confirmed the plans which will also mean the hall will make way for the new homes.
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The council planning report states: “Unfortunately the actual hall structure does not lend itself to conversion to flats.
“So much of the accommodation would be internal with no possibility of providing windows for natural light or emergency escape, and it is therefore proposed to demolish this part of the building.
“Whilst that is unfortunate, the council has tried for some years to find new tenants for the hall without success.
“It is therefore accepted that there is limited demand for accommodation of this nature, and that demolition of the hall can be justified as part of the project which secures the future of the remainder of the building.
“On balance it is considered that the appropriate re-use and refurbishment of the building outweighs the loss of the hall.”
The Town Hall was historically the main civic building in Motherwell, forming part of a cluster of public buildings including the library and the local history centre.
However, although the Town Hall remains in council ownership its civic role diminished following the building of the present Civic Centre in 1970, and the building was subsequently rented out for other uses.
The main hall and some adjacent rooms were once a nightclub and subsequently a laser-tag arena, but it has been unoccupied for several years.
The remainder of the building is a local enterprise centre which is divided into small offices and rented out to local businesses, but it is also under-occupied.
The council said in its report that the current situation is not sustainable and the council began seeking an alternative use to secure the building.
The report adds: “Overall, it is considered the proposal represents an appropriate re-use which will secure the future of an important local building.
“Although the demolition of the hall area is unfortunate, this is justified by the lack of a viable new use for that part of the building and the benefits of retaining and refurbishing the rest of the complex.
“The proposal would also benefit the regeneration of the town centre by bringing an under-utilised building into more effective use and adding to the town centre population.
“The proposal is consistent with all relevant policies and it is recommended that the application be approved.”
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