£8 mil­lion boost for 56 new af­ford­able homes

The Arran Banner - - News - Hugh Boag ed­i­[email protected]­ran­ban­ner.co.uk

An £8mil­lion scheme to build more than 50 new af­ford­able homes on Ar­ran has been un­veiled.

Three sites are to be de­vel­oped af­ter gov­ern­ment fund­ing was se­cured by the new Ar­ran De­vel­op­ment Trust in a ma­jor step for­ward for pro­pos­als which could see 56 so­cial needs houses by the spring of 2021.

And this could just be the start as the trust is in the process of set­ting up an Ar­ran-based hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion to de­velop so­cial needs hous­ing around the is­land in the next decade.

The trust is the op­er­a­tional arm of Ar­ran Econom- ic Group which has been work­ing to­wards the pro­vi­sion of good qual­ity af­ford­able homes for the com­mu­nity on Ar­ran.

In the past two years it has pro­duced a hous­ing study and com­mis­sioned fea­si­bil­ity study work on iden­ti­fied po­ten­tial suitable de­vel­op­ment sites to pro­vide up to 200 new homes, ex­tend­ing a choice of af­ford­able op­tions for the Ar­ran com­mu­nity.

Time con­straints

The trust re­cently lodged ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est with the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment ru­ral and is­lands hous­ing fund for five de­vel­op­ment sites. How­ever, due to the time con­straints of the fund and the need to de­liver the project by March 2021, the fund has given ap­proval for the trust to move for­ward with three of the sites to the next stage, which is firm­ing up the fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies and costs to sup­port the main fund ap­pli­ca­tion.

All of the sites are in Lam­lash and Brod­ick and while two of the sites have al­ready un­der­gone in-depth fea­si­bil­ity work, which now needs to be up­dated, and the other site needs to have the same treat­ment in fea­si­bil­ity terms. Si­mul­ta­ne­ous ap­pli­ca­tions will be drafted to the Scot­tish Land Fund in or­der to pur­chase the land from own­ers.

While most of the houses will be built for rent, a small num­ber of around 14 on one site would be self­build, with sup­port from the gov­ern­ment, which is still be­ing firmed up.

The man who has worked tire­lessly to make this hap­pen, chair­man of the Ar­ran Ecomonic Group Tom Tracey, said it was im­por­tant for any­one in­ter­ested in so­cial needs hous­ing to get their name on the com­mon hous­ing reg­is­ter now, even if they were al­ready in pri­vate rented ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Chair­man of the Ar­ran De­vel­op­ment Trust Barry Mochan said: ‘This is a fan­tas­tic tes­ta­ment to the work un­der­taken to date and the fo­cus very firmly on the fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity of the is­land of Ar­ran.

‘We are ex­cited to have reached this im­por­tant mile­stone and look for­ward to the next stage.

‘All this would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of the hous­ing, plan­ning and eco­nomic sup­port from North Ayr­shire Coun­cil which has been be­hind us ev­ery step of the way.

‘The 56 new units, com­bined with the 34 new homes planned by North Ayr­shire Coun­cil for Brath­wic Ter­race and the 20 pro­posed by the Trust Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion in Brod­ick, will make a tan­gi­ble dif­fer­ence and take pos­i­tive ma­jor leaps for­ward in giv­ing much-needed af­ford­able home choices for Ar­ran res­i­dents and fols who want to move to Ar­ran for work.

‘Over the next few months, there will be a lot of work go­ing on with fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies, con­sul­tant re­ports and firm­ing up of cost­ings,’ he added.

That work is ex­pected to be com­pleted by next spring when the trust will go back to the gov­ern­ment with de­tailed pro­pos­als with a view to start­ing the plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment phase.

He said the new hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion, which would be based on Ar­ran, would also be an em­ployer and would pro­vide jobs from con­struc­tion to the run­ning of the houses them­selves.

He said the trust would be work­ing closely with Skills De­vel­op­ment Scot­land and Ar­ran High School.

The Ar­ran De­vel­op­ment Trust is now a fully con­sti­tuted body with char­i­ta­ble sta­tus and a mem­ber­ship or­gan­i­sa­tion.

As such it is open to mem­ber­ship with a £10 join­ing fee and £1 an­nual sub­scrip­tion.

The trust has or­gan­ised its first com­mu­nity meet­ing on Wed­nes­day De­cem­ber 5 in the Or­mi­dale Pav­il­ion in Brod­ick from noon to 2pm. It will out­line the work and val­ues of the new or­gan­i­sa­tion and in­vite all Ar­ran folk to go along and find out more and learn how to be­come mem­bers.

Ar­ran Com­mu­nity Trust chair­man Barry Mochan, com­mu­nity coun­cil chair­man Bill Calder­wood, AEG de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Sheema Borth­wick-Toomey and AEG chair­man Tom Tracey who will take for­ward the so­cial needs hous­ing pro­pos­als. 01_B48­hous­ing01

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