Plan reveals scale of council house building programme in North Ayrshire

An ambitious five-year masterplan to build hundreds of new social houses in North Ayrshire has been unveiled.

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) aims to deliver more than 1700 high-quality homes in neighbourhoods where people want to live.

Working alongside registered social landlords, the blueprint sets out a series of potential projects in every locality across North Ayrshire over the period 2019-2024. This will see 1732 new and refurbished social houses being built within the next five years.

The SHIP will be presented to North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet on October 2 for approval.

Cabinet member for place, Councillor Jim Montgomerie, said: “This is probably the most exciting and ambitious house-building programme by any authority in Scotland.

“We have already built more than 260 new council houses over the last few years and have a series of new developments either under construction or in the pipeline.

“The tenants who have moved into our new homes have been blown away by the quality of the houses, which are modern, accessible, energy-efficient and fit for the future.

“Alongside our Registered Special Landlords, around 1700 new properties will be built in every single part of North Ayrshire, from Irvine to the Garnock Valley, and from the North Coast to the Three Towns, and even on our islands of Cumbrae and Arran.

“These will be sustainable, high-quality homes which will provide accommodation in areas where people need new housing with real spin-off benefits such as securing employment and training opportunities for North Ayrshire businesses and residents.”

The SHIP 2019-2024 strategy sets out how investment in social housing will be directed over a five-year period to achieve the outcomes in the Local Housing Strategy.

The properties identified in the SHIP include more than 1000 new council homes and around 500 from registered social landlords Cunninghame Housing Association, Irvine Housing Association, ANCHO, Trust Housing Association and the Link Group.

In addition, the SHIP sets out how the Irvine high flats will be demolished and replaced with 275 houses on the site and elsewhere in Irvine.

The SHIP represents a total investment in new housing by the council of some £170 million.

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan contains details of a range of projects that are at various stages including upcoming developments such as Brathwic Terrace, Brodick; Springvale in Saltcoats, St Beya Gardens on Cumbrae; St Colms Place in Largs; St Michael’s Wynd in Kilwinning and the former Towerlands Primary School site, and land at Harbourside, both in Irvine.

The new homes include the latest in sustainable technologies, including solar panels to provide free electricity, and in some cases even district heating- reducing heating bills for tenants. The new development at Dickson Drive, Irvine, which is currently under construction includes two ‘sustainable demonstrator’ homes, which will showcase the council’s plans for smart homes for the future.

The plan also accommodates the growing demand for housing suitable for older residents – such as new build accommodation at Dalrymple Place, Irvine, and the refurbishment of Dickson Court in Beith - as well as the need to build a broad range of property types to meet the different needs of residents, including wheelchair and amenity housing. One of the largest new projects features 122 new homes in Largs, which will incorporate the latest in assistive technology to help people live independently in their homes for longer.

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