Houses may be built on Gregory’s Girl school site

Abronhill High, the school that featured in Gregory's Girl, being demolished. Picture: TSPL
Abronhill High, the school that featured in Gregory's Girl, being demolished. Picture: TSPL
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COUNCIL houses could be built on land where a school made famous in the film Gregory’s Girl once stood.

The cult comedy was set at Abronhill High in Cumbernauld, which was demolished last year after an unsuccessful campaign to save it.

North Lanarkshire Council has now added the land to a list of potential sites for council houses.

The local authority estimates that up to 60 homes could be built on the ground where the Bill Forsyth comedy was filmed in 1981.

Before the building was razed to the ground parents and campaigners had planned to take court action in a bid to keep the school open.

More than £5000 was collected to pay the legal bill but the campaign came to an abrupt halt when the Scottish Government rubber-stamped a decision by the local authority to close the school.

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Many of the scenes for Gregory’s Girl, which starred John Gordon Sinclair as Gregory, Dee Hepburn as Dorothy and Clare Grogan as Susan, were filmed at Abronhill High, which opened in 1978.

After the decision to add the site to a list of potential locations for council houses, Cumbernauld MSP Jamie Hepburn sought reassurances from the council that locals will be consulted.

He said: “In the midst of the ongoing housing crisis it is right that some of this site be used to help address that.

“However, the prominent location of this site and its proximity to the Abronhill shopping centre presents an opportunity.

“The centre of Abronhill needs some attention so this opportunity should be taken to look at how it functions and how this site could be used to address that.”

He added: “In my letter to the council I have also set out that the local community, who came together to passionately oppose the closure of this school, must be involved in this process.

“Their views must be actively sought by the council and their wishes should be respected.”

North Lanarkshire Council’s Head of Housing Elaine McHugh said any housing proposals would go through a public planning process.

She said: “We are continuing to develop our £172m ‘Building for the Future’ new build housing programme, to deliver 1150 new council homes across North Lanarkshire.

“So far we have completed 251 new homes for local people, with many others already under construction or development.

“The land at the former Abronhill High School has been identified as a possible site for housing.

“This will be subject to a full site investigation and relevant planning application in due course.

“The council is the largest local authority landlord in Scotland and faces a desperate need for more affordable housing, particularly in the Cumbernauld area.

“The Abronhill site is in the heart of the community and, if selected as a new site, will provided much needed homes for people.”