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Johnstone Castle

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Walnut Crescent

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derelict flats in Maple Drive

Johnstone Castle is a housing scheme in the town of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, near Glasgow. It lies south of the town centre and is home to around 5,000 people - making it the largest of Johnstone's housing estates. Housing in the area is a mostly made up of terraced houses and tenement flats. Johnstone Castle is serviced by McGill's buses that link the estate to the town centre, Braehead Shopping Centre, Linwood, Paisley and Glasgow.

The estate is surrounded by woodland which once made up the grounds of the old castle. As such, most of the estate's avenues and drives are named after trees e.g. Elm Drive, Hazel Avenue, Cherry Place etc with the exceptions of Tower Road, Tower Place and Heather Place.

Plans for the "Castle Policies" were approved in 1953. The scheme was built between 1957 and 1962 on the grounds of the demolished Johnstone Castle to accommodate Glaswegians displaced by the slum clearances in the inner city. The first resident moved into 36 Willow Drive on the 10th January 1958.

Local amenities on the estate include a community centre, a housing office, two rows of shops, Auchenlodment Primary School, two churches, The Hazel Arms pub and two parks. In 2005/06, 14.67% of the estate was derelict.

Johnstone Castle falls within the top 100 most deprived areas in Scotland and has had Priority Status since 1996. Regeneration of the housing stock began in 2003 with the demolition of Holly Place and large parts of Willow and Maple Drives. The 5 point blocks on Maple Drive were demolished in 2005. Since then, private investment has seen new houses built on the vacant sites. Renfrewshire Council also introduced wardens in 2005 to curb antisocial behavior. Despite this, Johnstone Castle continues to have a one of the highest crime rates in Renfrewshire and remains in the top 15% deprivation bracket. 42% of residents smoke and unemployment has been above the national average since the Rootes car plant in nearby Linwood closed in the 1980s.

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