News that Benarty is to have a further 28 new flats built for sale and rent has been welcomed this week by Lochs councillors Alex Rowley and Willie Clarke. Sharp Construction Scotland Ltd have signed an agreement with Ore valley Housing Association that will see the eight blocks of 28 derelict flats demolished and replaced with new flats being built on the same site.
Willie Clarke welcomed the new development and said; “Whilst I am unable to comment on the planning aspects of this proposal I have been campaigning for some time to get these derelict buildings demolished and the principle of 28 new flats being built for rent is a welcomed addition to the already overstretched rented stock in this area. I am also committed to working to get the rest of this site developed”.
As part of the arrangement Ore Valley Enterprises Ltd, will retain 4 properties for mid market rent, with options to either acquire additional unsold properties from Sharp Construction Scotland Ltd or to manage rented housing on their behalf.
Sharp Construction Scotland Ltd Director Kevin Sharp told the Times; “I am delighted to be working with Ore Valley who are doing a lot of good work in the local area and together I believe we can develop a new model for providing much needed housing locally. I am committed to using local labour as there are many local tradesmen out of work that will do a great job of building these new houses.
Mr Sharp also confirmed that he wants to develop the rest of the site with land owned by the council and will be speaking to the housing association and council about how best to achieve this. He said; “I would like to build further properties on this site that would complete the development and put more rented accommodation in the area. Alex and Willie have been very supportive of the proposals I have been developing and they have identified that there is a need for larger houses so I am happy to look at this. Both councillors are also working with our company on other ideas for housing and jobs and we are grateful for the support”.
The development is expected to start in the next few months subject to planning approval being given. Ore Valley Housing Association has already built 35 properties at Rosewell drive as part of a £4 million development.
Alex Rowley said; “The greatest volume of issues brought to me as a councillor are housing related and it is clear that we have a real housing crisis in that there is just not enough houses for rent and the current stock cannot meet the needs within our communities. We need a new approach that is a partnership with the housing associations, the council and developers so that we can develop a range of models and I am encouraged that developers such as Sharp Construction are coming to the table with ideas for building for rent and are committed to employing local labour putting tradesmen back to work”.
Photo shows Alex Rowley, Kevin Sharp and Willie Clark