Building for the future

Provost Jim Leishman and Kevin Sharp of Sharp Homes) with staff at the new project
Provost Jim Leishman and Kevin Sharp of Sharp Homes) with staff at the new project

A CONSTRUCTION firm has built on the foundations of the past to create an ambitious housing development for the future in Fife.

The innovative pilot project was officially opened by Fife Provost Jim Leishman in Lochore on Monday.

He was helping to celebrate the completion of 28 affordable flats and three houses which were built by Sharp Construction in Rosewell Drive.

The firm used the foundations of former homes as a cheaper alternative to constructing properties using traditional building methods. Instead of renovating the original vacant houses the firm demolished the derelict site to create new affordable homes with greatly reduced carbon emission rates. By using existing foundations it reduced the costs substantially.

The project, which had no government subsidies, has been a partnership between Ore Valley Housing Association and Sharp Construction. The firm has also been working with Napier University on some of the properties.

Work on the first phase of the scheme began over the last year in an attempt to try and combat the affordable housing shortage in the Kingdom.

There are more than 14,000 applicants on Fife Council’s waiting list and with only 1944 new lets becoming available in 2011-12, it would take more than seven years to meet the existing demand.

This is why Kevin Sharp, managing director of Sharp Construction, came up with the idea for the innovative development in Lochore.

Private funding for the scheme was provided by Sharp Homes with an agreement to lease properties back by Ore Valley Enterprises. The project was an opportunity for the firm to show that affordable housing could be delivered using its own financial model.

The company is now ready to work with other landlords and the local authority to discuss new ventures.

Kevin told The Press: “This is the first time a project like this has been done in Scotland and indeed Britain. We have been able to provide a mixture of two, three and four bedroomed homes for £65,000 and they have been built without Government subsidy. We are delighted with the development.”