Plans for 1800 more social homes in Falkirk district

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More than 1800 new social houses are planned for the Falkirk Council area over the next five years.

The council has asked the Scottish Government to support its £102 million bid, which would see new homes being built and former council houses bought back to become social housing once more.

Councillor Gordon Hughes

Councillor Gordon Hughes

Included in the bid are 613 new build homes and 450 ‘buybacks’ for Falkirk Council, with the remainder provided by other social landlords including Link, Paragon, Loretto and Weslo.

Funding for the homes will be predominantly from the council’s housing investment programme and other social landlords own financing, with approximately one-third from Scottish Government.

Councillor Gordon Hughes, spokesperson for housing said: “Our plan will see hundreds of new homes built across many different locations in the area.

“More than 1000 will be built for Falkirk Council tenants and more than 700 for other registered social landlords.

“We’re optimistic that we will receive the full funding from Scottish Government and help improve our local communities with these properties.”

At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive, councillors heard that at the moment funding of nearly £68 million is in place, leaving a shortfall of £35 million.

However, head of housing, Kenny Gillespie, assured councillors they have funds for the next three years and are very confident the rest will be found by the time it is needed.

The largest sites are in Hallglen where 111 new houses and flats are planned for Woodend Farm and the former Denny High School where 139 will be built in phase one.

A further 77 are planned for the Denny High site further down the line, if the site is declared surplus to requirements, although there are “ongoing discussions about sports facilities”, which include Denny Football Centre.

A further 99 homes are planned for Banknock, while other sites include 24 on the site of the former Torwood School, 19 on the site of Bainsford adult day care centre and 24 where Oakbank Home in Polmont once stood.

Councillors heard that all of the new build homes will be fully accessible and easily adapted for elderly people – for example, stairs are wider so that stair lifts can be installed easily.

It is also expected that many of the new properties will be wheelchair accessible to meet the demand.

All of the housing that is planned will be built on land that is currently owned by Falkirk Council.

Mr Gillespie said Falkirk Council has many sites that are “shovel ready” if funding unexpectedly becomes available.