The development, which will be similar to the award winning Lilyhill Gardens development in the centre of Kilmarnock, is designed to support people with learning disabilities to live independently and safely in their own homes with the support of an on-site care provider and assistive technologies.
The homes will be bright, energy efficient and will have specially designed features including wet rooms and rise and fall kitchen units in wheelchair accessible ground floor flats. All of the flats will be served from an internal street, which will face onto a residents’ private garden.
Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of the council, attended the ground breaking with Councillor Elena Whitham, cabinet member for housing and communities, and local members Councillors Fiona Campbell, Barry Douglas and Jon Herd.
He said: “This development, which has been informed thanks to collaborative working with the Health and Social Care Partnership, forms part of the ambitious East Ayrshire Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2018 -23 that allows for the development of 888 affordable homes to be delivered across East Ayrshire by the council and its Registered Social Landlord partners.
“At Cessnock Road, 13 assisted living homes will be built, with an on-site Care Provider’s staff base, all located adjacent to the existing community centre. This will ensure that residents can live independently and safely in their local community, with support from health and care services, in a positive environment that promotes social interaction.
“The community will also see benefits from the build with our strategic partner, CCG (Scotland) Ltd, taking on six local young people as apprentices to learn skills and earn qualifications. There will also be new attractive landscaping associated with the build and the residents will be able to make good use of the community centre with pathways in place to link the two facilities.”
The council has entered into a strategic partnership with CCG (Scotland) Ltd through the Scottish Procurement Alliance. CCG will deliver almost 400 new homes on behalf of the council by 2023.
The new affordable homes will be built using CCG’s off-site manufacture process that reduces the construction phase works on site and ensures a more efficient delivery timescale for new homes across East Ayrshire, all in support of the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 affordable homes being realised by 2021.
Councillor Elena Whitham said: “By adopting this collaborative approach we have been able to standardise house types, layouts and specifications to allow for more efficient use of resources in the procurement, delivery and longer term maintenance of new homes.
“Also by using the Scottish Procurement Alliance to procure our new build programme, the council will receive a rebate that will be invested in community benefits projects including apprenticeships. We will work closely with CCG and our partners within the community to ensure that, as plans are taken forward, the community remains at the heart of everything we do.”
In addition to Hurlford, sites have been identified throughout East Ayrshire for a range of new homes to be delivered within Newmilns, Kilmarnock, Stewarton, Patna, New Cumnock, Mauchline, Cumnock, Kilmaurs and Drongan, with the first build having been recently completed by CCG in Dalrymple.
CCG director, Calum Murray, said: “The strategic partnership that CCG and East Ayrshire have entered is a huge step forward for the delivery of affordable housing not just for East Ayrshire but for Scotland by setting a benchmark for efficiency in order to deliver homes much faster than by traditional processes. Also, by utilising CCG’s expertise in off-site manufacturing, all of the homes will be constructed at pace and delivered to the highest quality standard to ensure enhanced levels of environmental performance.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the Council at Cessnock Road and beyond, all in support of the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 affordable homes being realised by 2021.”