Glasgow sites made available for housing associations to build 750 homes

Glasgow aerial view stockGlasgow City Council has approved the disposal of 16 sites across the city to allow for the construction of approximately 750 new social homes.

Areas to benefit from this decision include Baillieston, Barlanark, Bridgeton, Castlemilk, Cranhill, Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Kelvinbridge, Milton, Partick, Pollokshaws, Royston, Shettleston, and Springburn.

The council will now negotiate with a number of housing associations in terms of the disposal of these unoccupied sites, some of which are cleared and some which still contain buildings to be demolished.

It is expected that the work will generate £60 million of economic activity.

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the city, providing social housing in communities all across Glasgow as these sites are developed. The council’s decision will help to deliver the new homes that we need as our population increases and changes, and also make a £60m boost to Glasgow’s economy. This work will create new jobs in the construction industry for local people.”

Welcoming the announcement, Annie Mauger, executive director of the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland, told our sister publication Scottish Housing News: “A key challenge in meeting the Scottish Government’s affordable housing target of 50,000 new homes by 2021 is to ensure that social landlords are able to access the land they need in order to deliver new homes. In that context, all efforts by local authorities to free up more sites for affordable housing are extremely welcome as is this latest announcement from Glasgow City Council.”

The Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF) called on council to release some of the land to some of the city’s smaller housing providers, especially those who are the main local housing association in the area.

Director David Bookbinder told Scottish Housing News: “This is a significant announcement by the council, as the key to the expanded new build programme is unlocking land and then making sure the right homes are built in the right places. This land release gives very welcome opportunities to some community controlled housing associations to make a sustainable, high quality contribution to the programme.

“But across the city, and indeed the Forum’s wider area, we’re aware of a number of examples of larger associations being invited to build in areas where the long-established, local association has been overlooked, and there are at least two such examples in the 16 sites announced here.

“We understand why numbers are important. But if we’re building large, mono-tenure developments in areas where local landlords have previously been told there’s no demand for social housing, we’ll be storing up problems for the future, not least in relation to the impact such provision will have on existing stock owned by local associations.”

Wheatley Group director of property and development, Tom Barclay, said: “One of our priorities at Wheatley is helping increase the supply of affording housing in our communities in Glasgow.

“Releasing further sites that we, and others, can build on is key to this and we look forward to continuing to work with Glasgow City Council, as well as the Scottish Government, on tackling the shortage of homes for social rent.”

A spokesman for Thenue Housing added: “This is just the early Christmas present from the city council that Glasgow needs. Few things matter more than good housing because it is the lifeblood of communities and we are extremely grateful for the willingness of Glasgow City Council to help us build more homes.

“Ours will be in Castlemilk and Bridgeton where we have existing housing and this news will be greatly welcomed by both communities. We will be building 47 properties in Bridgeton and 22 in Castlemilk and work will get under way in January.”

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