In May 1979, Hamilton District Council had to spend £23,000 on repairing a block of 4 homes in High Blantyre.
The four homes located at the corner of Janefield Place and Greenway Lane each had to have £5,750 spent on them, a considerable sum for repairs around £33,000 in today’s money. The repairs costing even more than the houses had cost to build, 10 years earlier!
The council took the decision to repair the homes before any claims came in, getting an outside contractor to undertake the work. The remedial work was extensive with the lower floor having to be removed, that is the removal of the floors, some walls, stairs and refitting of bathrooms and kitchens.
Councillor James Swinburne revealed that the foundations had dropped, perhaps as a result of inadequate hardcore stone base, where there had once been a railway embankment. The proximity of mines below could not be ruled out either with properties on nearby School Lane having been affected earlier in the Century. Council also had to investigate if the initial house build itself was negligent.
To reassure nearby residents, a surveyor was deployed and it was concluded no other houses showed any of the structural failings. Chief Executive William Johnston stated at the time, “it is unknown if the failings are due to negligence. The District Council have decided they want to put the houses right and will not revert to the days of when such matters went ignored. Tenants will be rehoused temporarily.”
From the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018
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