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Eviction row site is set to be used for schools

THE site of the former home of the Glasgow grandmother evicted in the run up to the Common-wealth Games has been earmarked for a new primary school and nursery.

FORCED OUT: Margaret and Jack Jaconelli spoke with sheriff officers before being evicted.
FORCED OUT: Margaret and Jack Jaconelli spoke with sheriff officers before being evicted.

Official plans show the plot in Dalmarnock, in the east end, where Margaret Jaconelli's tenement stood has been selected as the preferred location for a non-denominational school catering for hundreds of families expected to move to the area.

It claims there is "an immediate need for more nursery places in the locality", with more work to be carried out to establish the demand for the school.

The Athletes' Village will be converted into 700 houses and flats, of which 400 will be available through social rent through three housing associations.

Within the wider Dalmarnock regeneration programme, there is an overall target of 1400 new homes planned over the coming decade. The proposed new school would cater for around 450 pupils.

Glasgow City Council is expected to approve outline planning permission for the facility next week.

The move comes just weeks after Mrs Jaconelli and her long-running battle to stay in her two-bedroom Ardenlea Street flat was the centrepiece of a BBC documentary about the build-up to the Commonwealth Games in the east end.

Although the eviction saga dates back to around 2000, several years before the city bid for Glasgow 2014, the grandmother's battle has always been seen by many as a consequence of the Games.

Mrs Jaconelli and her husband Jack had lived in the ground-floor flat for more than 30 years and owned it outright.

They had fought and lost a series of court actions, claiming the council's first offer of £30,000 compensation was inadequate. She rejected the three flats offered by the council, the first in 2002, and succeeded in getting the district valuer to increase the valuation of her home to £90,000, a price she again refused.

She had originally wanted £360,000, well over the flat's market value, but cut that to £250,000. Judges at two hearings ruled in the council's favour.

She and her husband now live with their son and although she received compensation of more than £80,000 for the loss of her home she said it had been spent on legal fees.

In the programme the mother-of-four claimed: "I believe the council are stealing my home off me." She also expresses her hurt she was losing her home to make way for a car park in the Athletes' Village during the Games.

In the drama around the eviction in March 2011, Mr Jaconelli states: "All this so a******** can run about in shorts for two weeks then displace the people of Dalmarnock and say they are going to leave a legacy."

But last night the leader of the council claimed the plans showed the regeneration of the area went beyond this summer's event.

Gordon Matheson said: "One of the most exciting legacies of the Games will be an entirely new community in the east end, with hundreds of families relocating to Glasgow and local people moving to new high quality housing.

"The decade long regeneration of Dalmarnock means that we have been able to get access to land to meet the future schooling needs of the community. It's great that we're able to earmark that land for a nursery and a primary before the Games have even begun."

The Herald was unable to contact Mrs Jaconelli for comment.

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