PRIVATE and council tenants, along with owner occupiers of 26 flats in Dundee, could see their homes demolished despite a claim from a former city housing convener that a report recommending that they be knocked down was “seriously misleading”.

And Jimmy Black, who stood down as an SNP councillor last year, said it highlighted a lack of consultation among affected tenants.

The properties are situated at 219-245 Blackness Road. They were built towards the end of the 19th century during Dundee’s jute heyday and 16 of them are council flats.

They are distinctive because the tenement stairwells are outside the main building and are in need of repair.

Black said the cost of repairing the stairwells would be between £880,000 and £1.2 million, which was preferable and cheaper than the £4.5m cost of demolition and rebuilding on the site.

A report submitted to the council’s neighbourhood services committee last October said a majority of “residents” favoured demolishing the blocks.

However, it emerged in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Black that six private landlords who do not live in the properties were counted as “residents” and private tenants’ views were not considered.

A majority of council tenants in the blocks had opposed demolition.

The current plan would see existing council tenants being compensated with a “home loss payment” of £1500 each.

Private landlords and owner-occupiers of the other ten properties would receive a total of around £80,000 each in compensation and council buybacks.

Black said this would cost more and would result in fewer council houses than rebuilding the stairwells and spending the remainder of the cash building new homes on another site.

He said Dundee Federation of Tenants Associations (DFTA) should have been consulted as the only registered tenants’ organisation covering the area.

“Sections 53 and 54 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 say that tenants and tenants’ associations must be consulted on major issues which affect them,” said Black.

“DFTA was not consulted. Had DFTA been informed of this proposal, they could have carried out their role of supporting tenants to participate effectively in the consultation.

“They were not given the chance to do so and the tenants were left on their own without the expert support often delivered by independent tenant advisers in these situations.”

Black added that in 2009, gas central heating and new kitchens and bathrooms were installed in these and other flats, which were described as “not in the demolition programme”. He said: “The cost for 40 flats was £367,000 ... there are 16 flats in the doomed blocks, so an estimate would be 16 fortieths ... £146,800.

“These kinds of improvements would be expected to last 15 years.”

He said owner occupiers knew that demolition was the favoured option last April, according to the FOI request, but tenants only found out from local newspaper reporters after an attempt was made to bring the decision to committee in June. Private tenants appear to have been given no say.

The report was withdrawn pending further consultation.

Rita Smart, DFTA vice-chair, told The National they were planning to meet the local authority about the matter later this month.

She said: “We represent Dundee City Council tenants and they came to us and we said we would take it to the next management meeting with the council. The decision to demolish the flats was taken at a council meeting last October, but there’s [a] date set for the demolition as far as we’re aware.”

A Dundee City Council spokesperson said that no date had yet been set for the flats to be knocked down.

The spokesperson added: “The neighbourhood services committee took the decision to demolish the Blackness Road tenements on Monday October 30 2017.”