Housing minister opens Shettleston Housing Association’s latest development

(from left) Chris Cunningham (director), Kevin Stewart (minister for local government and housing) and Gillian Johnston (chair)
(from left) Chris Cunningham (director), Kevin Stewart (minister for local government and housing) and Gillian Johnston (chair)

Shettleston Housing Association welcomed Kevin Stewart, minister for local government and housing, residents and many other guests to the official opening of its latest new build development Fernan Gardens this week.

Occupying the site of a former social work centre which has lain derelict for a number of years, the development provides 29 amenity flats for an older tenant group.

Designed by Anderson Bell Christie and developed by Lovell, the high quality homes incorporate a number of design features intended to enhance the quality of life of residents in the development. These features include triple glazing, Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems, solar panels, secure car parking via remotely operated electric gates, and in a first for Shettleston Housing Association – communal Wi-Fi will soon be installed, with access throughout the development.

It is hoped that access to the internet will encourage the older tenant group to make use of online services and become more digitally included.

In his speech at yesterday’s opening ceremony, the minister said: “Today’s celebration is a fitting tribute to the hard work of the Association’s committee members and staff in its 40th year of service in this community.

“I am delighted that the Scottish Government was able to provide funding for the project which will help meet our ambitious target of 50,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this parliament, backed by funding of £3 billion.

“I have no doubt that these will meet the needs of the residents living here in the heart of Shettleston. With solar panels on the roof, an efficient heat recovery system, triple glazing, a landscaped central courtyard and integrated Wi-Fi, these flats will provide modern, attractive, safe and secure housing for older people.”

Guests gather in the courtyard at Fernan Gardens where the opening ceremony took place
Guests gather in the courtyard at Fernan Gardens where the opening ceremony took place

Recognising the social and physical benefits for residents living in the new development, Gillian Johnston, chair of Shettleston Housing Association, said: “All of us at Shettleston Housing Association are delighted with the completion of this wonderful development. We have built upon the success of our last amenity development at Pettigrew Phase 1, which is also planned around a central landscaped courtyard.

“For the over 55 age group, we have found that this type of development encourages residents to interact and build up social contact with their neighbours, through use of the open terraced areas and shared spaces….we all hope that the residents will enjoy many happy years in their new homes.”

Shettleston Housing Association director, Chris Cunningham, added: “Thanks go to the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council for supporting this great project and helping it to come to fruition. They, together with our private finance partners, RBS, are helping us to regenerate parts of our community, which will lead to better lives for many of its residents.”

All homes in the development surround a common courtyard offering a good quality space for residents to share. Residents in the ground floor flats also enjoy a private terrace area with raised planting beds, which have been built at a height that makes them convenient for residents to plant and work at, should they so wish. The residents in the upper flats benefit from Juliette balconies with glass balustrades.

A stunning feature of the new development is the pedestrian pend entry which is entered via bespoke gates, and houses some beautiful artwork making the entrance to the development, warm, inviting and inspirational. Carved creations from the former World Chainsaw Sculpting Champion, Iain Chalmers, will soon be arriving onsite, including a three piece suite, coffee table and a standard lamp for the courtyard.

It is hoped that the design features of Fernan Gardens will entice residents to get together socially and develop new friendships, and the proximity of the development to local amenities and transport links will encourage residents to contribute to and benefit from community life in Shettleston.

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