Former Paisley DWP offices could be transformed into new homes

Former government work and pensions offices could be turned into a new housing development if plans get the go-ahead.

The former Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) office on Lonend in Paisley closed in 2018 and has lain empty ever since.

Now developer Ambassador Residential has submitted a detailed planning application to Renfrewshire Council to demolish the existing building and create eleven houses, 38 flats and parking spaces on the side.

The 0.57 hectare site is designated brownfield and has been occupied since 1888 with the history of the site showing a variety of old factories including dye works, a brewery, flour mills, Saucel Iron Works and Gleniffer Soap works in the area.

The developers instructed engineering firm Fairhurst to carry out a flooding assessment on the site as it is close to both the White Cart Water and Espedair Burn.

A review of the site and surrounded watercourses using LiDAR topographic data and site visit observations found it may be at risk of flooding in an extreme flood event.

It recommended hydraulic modelling of the White Cart Water and Espedair Burn is undertaken to quantify flood risk within the vicinity of the site.

Information from SEPA found the site had flooded in the past, in 1987, twice in December 1994 and again in December 2006.

A review of the SEPA flood map 200-year flood outline also indicates it is at a medium to high risk of river flooding.

A decision on the planning application is expected by September.

The UK government confirmed in January 2017 it would close the Lonend call centre office and move the 250 members of staff to Glasgow.

Bosses maintain more claimants are applying for benefits online, with less need for call centres.

They say 80 per cent of Jobseeker’s Allowance and almost all Universal Credit applications are made on the internet, leading to under-use at a fifth of sites.

Daily Record – Paisley