Bellfield welcomes new tenants

The site of the former Bellfield Primary School in Kilmarnock is once again thriving at the heart of the community as it is being transformed to deliver new Council housing, with two phases having been completed and tenants now moving in to their new homes.

Works commenced at Tinto Avenue, Bellfield in September 2018, with Council’s strategic partner CCG (Scotland) Ltd. constructing 67 high quality, energy efficient homes across a range of sizes and types. Thirty homes have been completed so far and these include a mix of 2 and 3 bed general needs homes, along with bungalows for older and ambulant disabled residents as well as wheelchair accessible bungalows. A further 37 properties are still under construction with a completion date scheduled for the end of the year.

New tenants, mother and daughter Mae Gibson (84) and Mary Hamilton (63) were delighted to move into their new bungalow, which is one of four specially designed homes for wheelchair users with integral carports.

Earlier this week they welcomed a group of visitors from East Ayrshire Council into their new home, and received a bouquet of flowers from Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council.

Other visitors included Councillor Elena Whitham, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities and local members Councillors Clare Maitland and Jim Todd, and Scott Cameron, Scottish Government.

Mae’s  granddaughter Mary Lapham said: "This new house has been life changing for my  mum and gran as they are now able to get out and about after being house-bound for 2 years. They both just love it, they have a lovely big kitchen which is great for the wheelchair and  they are able to go in and out of the garden and enjoy the fresh air, things that people take for granted."

 Councillor Reid said: “There’s a high demand for affordable housing in Bellfield and the Tinto Avenue development provides a wide range of homes designed to meet the needs of our residents throughout their life experiences.

“It was a pleasure to meet Mae and Mary in their new home and to hear first-hand about the difference their new accessible home is making to their lives.

“The Council’s house building programme within East Ayrshire is changing both lives and the local townscape - creating affordable homes, supporting the building industry and creating jobs for local people.”

Calum Murray, Director of CCG, said: “Tinto Avenue is, so far, the largest project undertaken by CCG and East Ayrshire as part of our ambitious strategic partnership that will see over 400 affordable homes constructed across the region as well as the creation of job opportunities and community investment. We were delighted to hear that the new residents of Tinto Avenue are happy with their new homes and we look forward to welcoming more as the project progresses into the New Year.”

All the homes, which are being procured through the Scottish Procurement Alliance, will meet Housing for Varying Needs and Secure by Design standards and will secure Silver Standard accreditation.

The project is being developed as part of the Scottish Government’s target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 and supports the Council’s vision “Everyone in East Ayrshire to be able to afford and have access to a quality home that meets their needs and aspirations, and is located within a safe and attractive neighbourhood in which they are proud to live.”