Green light for sustainable homes
A brownfield site in Inverness that has lain derelict for over 15 years will be transformed to provide 100 sustainable homes, backed by Scottish Government funding, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.
Highland Housing Alliance has purchased the Glendoe Terrace site in Merkinch near the city centre - with £1 million finance from The Highland Council and £530,000 Vacant & Derelict Land funding provided by the Scottish Government.
The plans were unveiled by the First Minister as he joined Housing & Communities Minister Alex Neil and local councillors to see the finishing touches being made to Scotland's Housing Expo - hosted by the Highland capital and expected to attract around 30,000 visitors from across the country.
The Expo, supported by £2 million Scottish Government capital funding, is a permanent housing development of 27 different projects showcasing innovative, sustainable homes. It aims to encourage better design, including improved energy use and energy conservation, to help cut households' carbon footprint.
The First Minister said:
"I'm very pleased to see first hand the exciting sustainable developments on show here at the Housing Expo, the first of its kind in Scotland. The ideas and innovation on show can inspire developers, planners and architects across the country. Up to 400 people have been employed on site in the lead-up to the event - underlining the importance of capital investment in housing to supporting jobs and economic growth.
"I am delighted to announce today that the Highland Housing Alliance will be taking forward some the Expo's innovative ideas on derelict land at Glendoe Terrace, Merkinch. They and the Council have been keen to develop this site for many years and through their partnership with the Scottish Government, they are now able to create around 100 new homes, building on some of the green principles on show at the Expo."
Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Sandy Park said:
"This is the latest example of the excellent work that is being achieved by the council and its partners to identify land for affordable houses. I am particularly pleased that the design features of the sustainable houses in Scotland's Housing Expo will be developed at this highly-integrated housing development in Merkinch."
Chief Executive of Highland Housing Alliance, Susan Torrance, added:
"We are proud to deliver the build of the Expo homes in collaboration with six developers - William Gray Construction, Tulloch, Robertson Highland, Morrison/Galliford Try, O'Brien Homes, James MacQueen, Skye and G F Job - on behalf the Expo event and see our vision come to life. It has been a real challenge to create something from the ground up. Over the past five years, we have been involved in coordinating the planning submissions and 25 architect/developer teams who have built more than 50 innovative, sustainable homes for the Expo. Our aim is to inspire the industry by bringing new skills and fresh ideas into future house designs and we are proud to see this vision put into practice at Merkinch."
Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said:
"The Housing Expo in Inverness is a fantastic showcase of the ambition and talent we have in Scotland to create high quality homes for the future, which don't cost a fortune to buy or run. Providing more affordable homes for people in Scotland is a top priority for the Scottish Government and this year the Highlands and Islands benefited from over £36 million. We're also providing over £2 million to support the construction of 106 new council houses in the region. It's fantastic to see this making a difference - these innovative housing projects are great news for local people looking for a new home and for the construction industry and jobs."