Tenants move into first council homes built in St Andrews in 17 years

Some of the tenants of Freeborn Court, off Abbey Walk, meet representatives of Robertson Homes, and councillors Judy Hamilton and Brian Thomson.

Some of the tenants of Freeborn Court, off Abbey Walk, meet representatives of Robertson Homes, and councillors Judy Hamilton and Brian Thomson.

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Tenants have been receiving their keys to the first new council homes to be built in St Andrews for 17 years.

The 29 new homes for rent – made up of 22 two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom properties – are almost complete.

And the first tenants have been moving into their new homes in the last few days.

This is the latest development in Fife Council’s Affordable Housing Programme, which aims to deliver a total of 2700 new affordable homes by 2017.

Councillor Judy Hamilton, executive spokesperson for housing and building services, visited the new development at Freeborn Court, off Abbey Walk, to meet some of the tenants.

She said: “This is shaping up to be a lovely development that will help to tackle the very high demand and low turnover of council housing in the St Andrews area.

“It’s great to see the modern, energy efficient flats welcome their first phase of tenants to what I like to call ‘warmer, drier, healthier homes’.

“We can’t underestimate the hugely positive impact a fit for purpose new home can have on a family and their general wellbeing.

“That’s why I am so proud to report that this new development means we have now delivered almost 1300 of the 2700 new homes we’re committed to build in Fife by May next year, despite the council’s financial challenges.”

Tenant Frances Arnauld moved into a ground floor flat so she could live on the one level.

She said: “It is such a lovely place to live and well built.

“The flats are very spacious and it will be even better in the summer with the surrounding gardens.”

Wherever possible, new properties are allocated to existing tenants so, in turn, their vacated homes go to other families on the housing list too.

This means that many more than 29 families moving into the Abbey Walk development will benefit from these new homes.

It is especially significant in the St Andrews area due to the high demand for social housing.

The flats have been built by Robertson Partnership Homes and the final phase of homes will be handed over to Fife Council in March.

Stewart Shearer, managing director of Robertson Partnership Homes, said: “We are delighted that tenants are now benefiting from their new homes at Freeborn Court, following the handover of the first phase of council housing in St Andrews in nearly two decades.

“We are committed to providing affordable housing across Scotland, with Freeborn Court one of three projects being delivered in partnership with Fife Council.

“Combined, these developments in St Andrews, Methil and Kirkcaldy will deliver almost 300 affordable, quality homes for the people of Fife.”

The £3.2m Abbey Walk development received £29,000 of Scottish Government funding.