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By Hugh Boag
The final plans have been unveiled for the first council houses on Arran in a generation.
North Ayrshire Council is planning to build 34 homes to the rear of Brathwic Terrace in Brodick, as it seeks to help address the social housing shortage on the island.
The contractor for the £5 million development Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd, was procured through Hub South West, along with three other sites in North Ayrshire, as part of a procurement strategy to achieve cost savings through economies of scale.
However, there has been widespread concern among local residents in Springbank over construction traffic using Brathwic Place, the only way in and out of the site.
And many turned up to raise their concerns at a ‘meet the building’ drop-in consultation held in the Ormidale Pavilion last Wednesday where they were given assurances that while there will be some disruption it will be kept to a minimum.
A spokesperson from North Ayrshire Council, explaining that steps would be taken to minimise the impact on surrounding residents, said: ‘The proposed contractor has agreed to only make construction deliveries to the site twice a week – on Tuesdays and Thursdays– and these would be scheduled during school hours to minimise impact’.
Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for place, added: ‘The drop-in event went really well, and it was important that we met with the public to provide as much detail and information as we could.
‘We are particularly excited about the opportunity to build much-needed new homes on Arran.
‘We are well aware of the challenges faced by residents in accessing affordable housing and this new development will be an important step towards addressing the issue.
‘Across North Ayrshire, we’re building hundreds of modern, energy efficient homes for our residents and the feedback we have received from tenants of the new homes has been hugely positive – I’m sure Arran will be no different.
‘I also hope that surrounding residents will be reassured that we have listened to their concerns regarding the impact of the development on the local road network, and welcome the range of measures that we will put in place to ensure that the construction stage runs smoothly.’
The event allowed people to ask any questions about the works directly to the contractor, as well as view the final plans and house designs, which will include a mix of 17 general needs, nine wheelchair liveable and eight amenity properties.
Prestwick-based Ashleigh’s area director Derek Davidson and technical assistant Gary Cowan spent two hours answering questions about the development works.
He confirmed that work on the site would start in the autumn and that they would be on site for 12 to 18 months. The homes should be ready for residents to move into by winter 2020.
The new homes will benefit from Sunamp heat batteries which provide affordable heating and hot water. Other sustainable features include dual zone heating controls, low energy LED lighting and solar photovoltaic panels placed on homes throughout the site to provide free electricity for tenants. In addition, an under-bath waste water heat recovery system will be installed within all properties with bathtubs. homes should be ready for residents to move into by winter 2020.
The public can view the plans online at www.northayrshire.community/consultationsevents/consultations/ from until Thursday July 11.
Ashleigh’s area director Derek Davidson and technical assistant Gary Cowan discuss the development at the drop-in consultation as community councillor Jim Henderson inspects the plans. 01_B26brathwic01