Paisley tenants give thumbs-up to new council homes
Tenants have been moving into new housing built by Renfrewshire Council as part of the ongoing community-led regeneration of Paisley’s Ferguslie Park area.
The 101 modern new-build energy-efficient homes are being built on the site of the former St Fergus Primary School in Ferguslie.
Tenants have been moving in since January, with 64 homes now handed over, and work on the new development is due to be complete by July.
Most of the new tenants have moved across from the nearby Tannahill area, next to St Mirren’s SMISA Stadium, where the outdated blocks are being demolished, allowing that area to be redeveloped over the next few years as part of a wider community-led masterplan.
The majority of the new homes are council-owned, with a small number being sold to owners within the Tannahill regeneration area through the Scottish Government’s New Supply Shared-Equity scheme.
Cllr Marie McGurk, convener of the council’s Communities and Housing Policy Board, visited the new housing this week to meet some of the new tenants.
She said: “I was delighted to meet some of the residents in the Tannahill area, and to hear how they’ve settled into their new homes.
“Our officers have worked closely with the Ferguslie community over the past few years to allow local residents to lead the regeneration of the area and to make sure the new homes were designed around their feedback.
“It’s an area with a tight-knit sense of community – and with many residents moving into the new-builds from the old Tannahill estate, we hope that community spirit will stay intact.
“This is just one part of the much wider investment we are making in modern energy-efficient housing across the area as we deliver on our wider ambitions to make Renfrewshire a more attractive and more sustainable place to live.”
Throughout the project to rehouse tenants, council housing officers based themselves at the nearby Tannahill Centre to be available to help residents. Tenants moving into new builds also had the chance to influence the design of their homes, including choosing the set-up of their kitchens.
New resident Anne Erskine is one of many moving across from the old Tannahill estate – and she feels the new homes are a big improvement on what they had before.
Anne said: “These are stunning houses…I’ve not stopped smiling. My favourite thing to do is sit with a cup of tea at the dining table, which I couldn’t do before. And we’ve got a utility room as well! It’s like night and day from what we had before.”
Her sister Sandra McGhee, who has moved into the house next door, added: “My friend who lives in England said it’s very similar to hers, which is a bought house – it’s the same kind of layout up the stairs. If you look at some of the new houses for sale in the area, these are just as nice as them.”
Terry McTernan, chairperson of Ferguslie Community Council, added: “I am delighted to see the eventual realisation of this much-needed housing development in Ferguslie Park. The tenants that have moved in so far speak highly of the properties.
“The tenants and residents of the Tannahill area truly deserve the new start ahead of them, having demonstrated real patience when the project was delayed throughout the pandemic.”
The main contractor on the building project is Glasgow-based housebuilder AS Homes.
Kieran Sexton, commercial director at AS Homes Scotland, said: “It’s great to hear our new homes in Ferguslie Park have been so well received by tenants.
“Within the current housing market, there is a need for high quality, energy-efficient homes now more than ever.
“Working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council, we’re thrilled to help fulfil this need within the local community by delivering a mix of house types and sizes to meet current and future housing needs within this area.
“This new and exciting development has brought fantastic benefits to the local area, with engagement from schools and the creation of new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”
The new development is part of a much wider investment by Renfrewshire Council in new-build housing across the area, with 39 new council homes at Auchengreoch Road in Johnstone handed over last year, plus developments at Bishopton and Johnstone Castle also completed in recent years.
The council is also delivering a £100 million Housing-led Regeneration and Renewal Programme, which will transform the quality of housing and the areas around it in eight locations across Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew over the next ten years.