North Ayrshire housing programme ‘on track’ as new five-year investment plan agreed
North Ayrshire Council said it is continuing to deliver an ambitious housebuilding programme to improve the lives of residents across the region after its cabinet approved its new Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) for 2024-2029.
The council’s £194.5 million housebuilding programme, which is supported by funding from the Scottish Government, is making a significant difference across North Ayrshire, and providing a catalyst for the regeneration of towns and communities.
Around 885 new build homes have already been delievered, with plans for a further 730 homes in the pipeline, and the council has stepped up its council house buyback programme to increase housing stock.
This is in addition to the work being delivered to regenerate estates, improve existing homes and create housing specifically designed for older residents and tenants with additional support needs.
Approved last week, the new five-year SHIP lays out the council’s and its Registered Social Landlord partners’ commitment to delivering new affordable housing for North Ayrshire, supported by Scottish Government grant funding.
It sets out how more than 1,600 new homes will be built by the council – a target it is more than halfway to achieving – as well as bringing more private properties back into public ownership through buy back schemes.
Recent successes include the completion of developments in various parts of North Ayrshire including the redevelopment of the former Largs Police Station and adjacent former St Colm’s Place sheltered housing complex, as well as the new homes at Irvine Harbourside, St Michael’s Place, Kilwinning, and Afton Court, Stevenston.
Plans are currently well advanced for further projects including the largest council house development ever delivered by the Council at the former maternity hospital at Ayrshire Central, which will provide 202 new homes. In addition, plans are well advanced for new homes at Montgomerie Park, Irvine, the former Garnock Academy site in Kilbirnie and a range of others.
To ensure the council is building homes that meet people’s needs, at least 10% of its new homes are suitable for wheelchair users.
The SHIP also outlines how the council will buyback an additional 40 properties by 2028, increasing the total planned over the next five years to 65 units. This proposal would result in increased affordable housing stock overall and provide the opportunity to quickly acquire specific house types and sizes to reflect applicants’ needs.
Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet member for green environment and economy at North Ayrshire Council, said: “We have one of the most ambitious housing programmes in the country, not only by building a new generation of energy-efficient modern, affordable houses, but by working to improve our existing housing stock.
“Despite the challenges facing us – such as high inflation and rising costs for building materials - we are continuing to invest heavily in our communities through the Strategic Housing Investment Programme.
“We want to transform North Ayrshire for the better. Investments on the scale outlined in the SHIP will be crucial in our drive to regenerate our towns and will also secure new and existing jobs and training opportunities for North Ayrshire businesses and residents.”