Progress made on social housing conversion of Airdrie church
Work is progressing on Clyde Valley Housing Association’s (CVHA) conversion of a historic Airdrie church into new flats for social rent.
The project will see the old Broomknoll parish church in Airdrie town centre demolished to make way for 30 new one- and two-bedroomed flats.
Building work at the site which first started in January, has returned to full swing after lockdown closures with the houses set to be completed and handed over in September next year.
The town-centre development is one of six which the housing association is currently working on in Monklands, with 20 houses at two sites in Coatbridge due to be completed this month and future projects in the pipeline at Mill Loan and Upper Mill Street in Airdrie and at Kirkwood Street/Bank Street in Coatbridge, The Daily Record reports.
Lynn Wassell, chief executive, told the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser: “Some homes are being created within the church itself, and others in a new building beside it on the same site.
“We’ve worked with the architects and planners to do the conversion sympathetically as it’s a heritage building in the town centre – we’re looking at the visual and economic impact, and creating these high-quality homes is part of the regeneration.
“It’s a really interesting one; our contractors from Rosewood Homes did another conversion for us at an old primary school in Larkhall which was also a complex and interesting project.
“This is a long-standing project for us; we work with North Lanarkshire Council on housing investment, looking at demand for new locations and what property types are needed.”
Fifteen of the new homes will be constructed over three storeys in the converted and extended church building, where two stained glass memorial windows will be retained.
The remainder of the flats will be in a new block at the southeast corner of the site, opposite Airdrie railway station and the nearby roundabout, with a 1930s extension to the church and its post-war hall being demolished.
As permission was granted for the development two years ago, planners noted: “This church is a historically important and prominent listed building which makes an important contribution to the streetscape as well as the conservation area.
“The proposal is sympathetic and safeguards the important public elevations while providing a long-term functional alternative use; internally, the applicant intends to retain as many original features as is practicable.”
CVHA is also in the finishing stages of site handovers for the 14 homes at Craigend Drive and six at Wilton Street. Ms Wassell added: “We’re on-site with or have planned 80 homes across Airdrie and Coatbridge.
“During lockdown we phoned we phoned hundreds of people who are elderly and those we know are on their own to see if they needed any help, and to give phone support if they felt isolated as it’s so important to keep in contact with people.
“We’re there so that people can phone up for things like emergency repairs, keeping them safe and observing social distancing in getting them done.
“We also have partnerships with Routes to Work and have income maximisers to help our customers – it’s all about engaging and connecting with people.”