Council set to transform housing estates in Garnock Valley

North Ayrshire Council is driving forward ambitious regeneration plans that will breathe new life into residential estates in the Garnock Valley.

The plans will see 48 flatted priorities, consisting of bedsits and one-bedroom apartments, demolished to make way for a combination of new housing, landscaping and much-needed additional parking – helping to improve the overall attractiveness of the areas.

These properties at Acacia Drive and Laburnum Avenue in Beith, Newhouse Drive in Kilbirnie and Baidland Avenue in Dalry, are in low demand and difficult to let.

Almost half of the homes are currently empty and of the 25 which are occupied, 12 tenants already have an offer of housing with the rest in progress.

Those affected are being given priority on alternative housing in an area of their choice, a home loss payment and assistance with moving arrangements and costs. Their new homes will also be fully decorated and kitted out with carpets, windows and blinds.

An update on the project is being presented to cabinet on January 26 as part of the council’s Estate Based Regeneration Programme which aims to invest in and regenerate communities by ensuring the council’s housing stock is affordable, sustainable, desirable and improves tenants’ quality of life.

It also forms part of the council’s wider Strategic Housing Investment Plan with a commitment to deliver 1,575 new modern, energy-efficient homes by 2026 – 50 new houses are being planned for the former Garnock Academy site alone.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for Green New Deal and sustainability, said: “These plans are part of an exciting new approach to regenerate our communities.

“At the heart of it is the need to not only provide homes, but to ensure that the homes we do provide are high-quality, sustainable and are located in places where people want to live.

“We have recognised that the properties at these four streets are undesirable – the stats on housing offer refusals and turnover show that many people do not want to live there and if they do move in, they don’t want to stay there for long. After all, they were built in the 1930s and I think it’s fair to say people’s tastes and living requirements have changed a lot since then.

“We appreciate that moving people from their home is not ideal, however, we believe that what we are offering them instead is far better and will help to improve the quality of their lives – which is what it is all about at the end of the day.

“We have engaged with every household affected and are in ongoing contact with them to ensure their needs are met as the plans progress.

“Once all residents have been rehoused, we will then demolish the properties and transform the land so that it benefits the lives of those living nearby – offering great new affordable homes, outdoor spaces for families to enjoy as well as much-needed parking.”

Demolition works are expected to get underway in autumn/winter 2022.

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