Building work begins on 161 new affordable homes for Kirkcaldy
Ambitious plans to build 2,700 new affordable homes in Fife by 2017 have reached an important milestone with construction now underway on the programme’s largest development.
Hot on the heels of building work beginning on 101 new homes in Methil, the affordable housing programme’s biggest development so far will see 161 units built at Overton in Kirkcaldy by Robertson Partnership Homes on behalf of Fife Council.
The development will include a mix of flats, houses, bungalows and four-in-a-block homes for both social rent and mid-market rent.
Cllr Judy Hamilton, executive spokesperson for housing & building services, visited the site to mark work beginning on the largest council housing development to be built in over 20 years.
She said: “It’s great to see work under way here at Overton Road. The private housing development originally planned for this area was stalled a number of years ago and I’m very pleased that the Council was able to purchase this disused land and work with Robertson Partnership Homes to bring forward what will be a lovely mixed development for the new tenants as well as the people who already own homes here.”
Council leader Cllr David Ross said: “I’m pleased that we are here today to mark work beginning on such a big affordable housing development for Fife. Not only that though, I’m extremely proud of the overall progress being made to deliver on our commitment of 2,700 new affordable homes by 2017.
“Over 1,000 of these homes have already been built, greatly benefitting those families and individuals living in them. And over 800 more are either under construction or due to begin soon.
“We don’t stop there though. A strong social and economic business case for more affordable homes for Fife still remains. Work is now under way to decide how best to extend this Programme to allow us to continue building even more affordable homes beyond the target set for 2017.”
Judy added: “One of the big successes of the Programme so far is the chain of lets created by allocating these new homes to our existing tenants, where possible. This means that for every new council home we allocate, there is a positive ‘knock-on’ effect from freeing up older council homes. This results in the housing need of 2.4 households being met for every new home built.
“For so many people and families, meeting their housing need can have a life changing effect. It might mean giving an overcrowded family the adequate space they need or an elderly person a home on one level, allowing them to continue to live independently.”
The development at Overton Road brings other benefits too. Robertson Partnership Homes have already started developing strong links within the community of Kirkcaldy and the surrounding area to provide opportunities for local people to benefit from the long term delivery of this project. Working in close partnership with Opportunities Fife, Fife College and local schools, there will be several projects to educate young people about the Overton Road project. In addition, to help address the skills shortage in Scotland, students will be offered the chance to learn about the variety of opportunities that exist across the building sector. This project will also deliver a minimum of seven new apprenticeships and 14 work placements through this project.
The initial phase of the development will be ready for its first tenants as early as Spring 2016 with the entire development complete in early to mid-2017.
Stewart Shearer, managing director of Robertson Partnership Homes, said: “This development plays an important part in the regeneration of the whole area as well as playing a vital role in providing much-needed new affordable housing for the people of Kirkcaldy.
“Local community engagement is at the heart of all our projects. Overton Road will also deliver significant value to the local economy as we are committed to employing tradespeople from the area and working with local contractors throughout the build.”