Contractor appointed to transform Gypsy/Traveller site near Perth

Contractor appointed to transform Gypsy/Traveller site near Perth

The replacement of 20 chalets on a permanent Gypsy Traveller site near Perth has taken a step forward following the appointment of a contractor to carry out the work.

Following a tender process, Perthshire-based construction company Hadden Group will take the project through to completion.

The Double Dykes is to be totally transformed thanks to £4 million of funding secured by Perth & Kinross Council.

All the chalets at the site at Ruthvenfield will be replaced with new energy-efficient accommodation for residents. Major additional improvement works will also be carried out across the site.

The council successfully bid for £3,906,000 from the Scottish Government’s Gypsy/Traveller Accommodation Fund to help pay for the works. The award represents 60% of the total cost, with the council contributing the rest.

The Scottish Government and COSLA’s joint Action Plan ‘Improving the Lives of Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers’ was published in 2019 and committed to additional and better accommodation for Gypsy/Travellers.

In March 2021, the Scottish Government announced the Gypsy/Traveller Accommodation Fund to help to achieve the commitment in the Action Plan. The Fund is for renovating existing Gypsy/Traveller sites or building new sites.

The Double Dykes improvement scheme will see:

  • 20 brand new chalets built to replace existing older accommodation
  • New energy-efficient heating and hot water systems installed using renewable technology like solar panels, with the potential to be net zero
  • The installation of new services and utilities connections
  • New fencing for each pitch
  • Improvements to existing roadways and fences on site
  • Upgrades to LED street lighting throughout the site.
  • Improvements to site drainage
  • Development of a playing field area to rear of the site to consider opportunities for a communal gathering area, a play park with seating area, and the potential for a community garden area
  • Installation of new paths to provide improved access across the site.

The project is being carried out with full consultation and engagement with residents. Council staff and Hadden representatives will meet residents soon to discuss individual requirements for the chalets.

Housing and social wellbeing convener, Councillor Tom McEwan, said: “The appointment of Hadden is a milestone for this important project.

“The existing chalets at the site have been in place for some time and the replacement accommodation will be modern and energy efficient, helping residents to save on their bills.

“We have worked very closely with residents so far, and this will continue. The council and Hadden will consult individually with residents about their needs, to draw up plans for the chalets. The replacement programme will be carried out in four phases to minimise disruption to residents, and we plan to be on-site later this year.

“The people who live at Double Dykes are tenants of the council and we have a duty to provide the best services we can for them. I am delighted that this project to completely modernise this traditional Gypsy/Traveller site in partnership with our tenants is moving forward.”

Scott Hadden, chairman, added: “We’re delighted to have been entrusted by our local authority to deliver this significant redevelopment project which will enhance and improve the homes at Double Dykes for the residents. Our experienced team look forward to working again with Perth & Kinross Council on this important local project.”

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