Link and Paragon complete new development for social rent in Alva

A new housing development for Link Group Ltd and Paragon Housing Association at Queen Street, Alva has been opened officially opened by the minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart.

The £5.3 million construction of 48 homes for social rent began in February 2016, and was supported by a grant of £3,076,916 from the Scottish Government’s Greener Homes Initiative scheme.

Queen Street is Scotland’s first volumetric off-site manufactured housing development built to the Gold Standard of Sustainability and is an innovative addition to Link and Paragon’s development programmes. Volumetric Construction is a type of off-site manufacturing which increases build quality, while providing the opportunity to reduce construction costs, time and waste.

Developed by Tigh Grian Ltd, on behalf of Link and Paragon, the development was built by Marshall Construction Ltd and comprises a mix of one-bedroom cottage flats, and two and three-bedroom homes. Following completion, 14 units were transferred to Paragon, while Link retained ownership of the remaining 34 units.

As this is the first development of its kind in Scotland, Link and Paragon are working with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, who have provided project support to enable them to work with Edinburgh Napier University to carry out an occupancy study of these new properties to measure temperature, sound and energy use over the first 12 months of tenants living in their new homes.

Craig Sanderson, chief executive of Link Group Ltd, said: “We are very pleased to have been supported by the Scottish Government and the Clackmannanshire Council to enable us to build new high quality, affordable, energy efficient homes in Alva.

“Queen Street has allowed to us to meet our design vision of creating sustainable homes using innovative design and constructive technology. I would like to thank all of our partners involved in this project – together I feel we have demonstrated the benefits of successful partnership working.”

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am delighted to officially open the Queen Street development. It will provide more homes for social rent, breathe new life into the community, and developed in an innovative way that provides great opportunities for low cost but high quality housing – core to our drive for a fairer Scotland.

“Supported with almost £3.1m in Scottish Government funding, it is a great example of how we are helping to provide more eco-friendly homes, and also helping people bring down the costs of things like heating, benefitting communities across Scotland.

“We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament, with at least 35,000 of those for social rent - backed by £3 billion of investment. As the Queen St development shows, working together with housing associations and others, I know that target can be achieved.”

Margaret Torrance, director of Paragon Housing Association, added: “Queen Street is an exciting and innovative project. It has produced energy efficient homes which we hope will have real benefits for the tenants, and will also help the social housing sector grow and develop its knowledge around the use of the volumetric construction techniques. We would like to thank all the tenants and partners involved.”

Dr Jon Stinson of Edinburgh Napier University’s Institute for Sustainable Construction said: “The project partners and the tenants of these new homes have ventured into the future of low-energy housing in Scotland. We are learning a lot about these Golden Homes, and the lessons learned will shape the development of the next generation of houses.”

Gordon Campbell, director of Tigh Grian, added: “Queen Street is an exemplar of partnership working, with the Scottish Government, local authority, housing associations, banks and developers all contributing to deliver an exceptional outcome. It is home to a Scottish first – this is how new-build energy efficient housing should be delivered, and I hope it will be repeated nationwide.”

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