PROTESTERS are to form a “human shield” in a bid to stop the demolition of Glasgow’s Red Road flats next Sunday.

The group, made up of local residents and housing campaigners, claims the demolition is unsafe and the amount of dust released could see damage to local property. Protesters want Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) to bring the buildings down floor by floor instead. But GHA has rejected the claims and insisted that safety is of paramount importance.

Tina Suffredini, chair of the local residents’ association says that after the most recent demolition of a Red Road high rise in May 2013 there was damage to pipes, forcing people living nearby to use an emergency supply of water for a month.

“We’ve been asking for three months for meetings with GHA to reassure us on the safety.” Suffredini told Independence Live.

“Quite few of us are homeowners. Our housing insurance won’t cover any damage. It’s therefore GHA who are liable for that.”

Housing campaigner Sean Clerkin claims that the buildings are full of asbestos and debris from the explosion could damage people’s homes – claims GHA strongly reject. “If this was happening in Newton Mearns, or Bearsden or Glasgow’s west end there’s no way they would do a demolition by blowing up all six flats at once,” he said.

“All they have to do is bring down the flats floor by floor. It’s just a question of spending a bit more money.”

A GHA spokesman said: “The police are aware a small number of people may stage a protest and will take all necessary action. All authorities involved and every aspect of the demolition is governed by the strictest health and safety measures.”

The association also insisted there had been numerous public meetings and discussions with local residents with representatives on site for months.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said they were aware of the plans to protest and would “police accordingly”.

The demolition of the six, 32-floor high rises will be undertaken by Safedem, which will use explosives to raze the buildings to the ground.

Built in the late 1960s and designed by Glasgow Corporation architect Sam Bunton, the Red Road flats used steel frames rather than the prefab concrete panels used in most other high rises in the city.

Those steel frames needed to be fireproofed necessitating the use of huge amounts of asbestos. Safedem and GHA have had to spend spend years removing the asbestos and preparing the buildings for the explosion.

Thousands are expected to watch them come down at noon on Sunday. An exclusion zone will see hundreds of local residents and their pets moved out of their houses for a few hours.

Although the controlled explosion bringing down the six buildings will be one of the biggest in Europe, it won’t be the spectacle originally planned when Commonwealth Games organisers wanted to demolish the flats for the opening ceremony.

Thousands protested at that plan forcing Games chiefs to back down.

When they were first built, the blocks housed more than 5,000 people and were an important part of the city’s plan to improve housing after the Second World War.

Over the course of their lifetime the flats became known for crime and anti-social behaviour.

Local councillor Phil Greene said the majority of residents just wanted to “get on" with the demolition of the buildings: “As far as most folk are concerned they just want to see them gone. They’ve got fed up with the buildings. What they’re interested in is what’s going to replace them.”