Residents of Kirktoun Park Ballingry who were told they were due to get major installation works carried out to their houses are now being advised that works will not go ahead.
Fife Council have said that the construction type is Cruden Concrete Block Steel Frame and that any direct fixing and loading on to the walls would risk breaking the concrete panels resulting in structural defects.
This has resulted in local MSP Alex Rowley writing to the Scottish Government Housing Minister requesting that she intervenes.
Mr Rowley said; “Working with Fife Council through grants from the Scottish Government a company called Everwarm, Home Energy Scotland carried out an outer wall installation on Navitie Park and I am told this will make a significant difference to the warmth of the houses and the heating bills. The company also wrote to residents in the next street along, Kirktoun Park to say they were going to have their houses done through this scheme and for the private owners they would have to make a contribution. Many of them did only to then be told there was not enough money and the work would go into the next year.
Now the council is saying; “The only current options would be to install a fully structural solution which would entail constructing a cage around the buildings and fitting the external wall insulation within. That this is very expensive somewhere between £12 – 14k per property which is almost double the value of the grant available to offset the costs to the private homeowners. With the level of ECO funding being available accounting for approximately 15% of the project cost there would be a shortfall of around £4 or 5k per property.
They go on to say; “One option we have been investigating is a product called Swisstherm which is a semi structural system that is fitted on rails which themselves are secured to the steel frame at the corners of the building. This is still a more expensive system than standard EWI but cheaper than a fully structural solution. The problem is that it is not currently accredited for ECO compliance and would therefore not qualify for funding or HEEPS grant eligibility. The manufacturer, Alumasc, is considering getting this product accredited for compliance.
In his letter to the Housing Minister Mr Rowley said; “I am sure that you can understand the sense of disappointment from the residents of Kirktoun Park and given the type of construction which is cold and requires a far greater expenditure on energy the sense of hopelessness that they have been left feeling after being informed they were to have this work done.
“Given this work is funded through a Scottish Government scheme and that these residents were told they were getting this work done with many paying the contribution they were asked to make, I am asking that you facilitate officials from the Scottish Government getting together with officials of Fife Council with a clear remit to find a solution to this matter.
The Cowdenbeath MSP has also sending the letter to the CEO of Fife Council asking the council to work with the Scottish Government to find a solution and he told the Times; “This situation is not good enough and we need a solution.
Photo shows Alex Rowley at Kirktoun Park Ballingry