Windfall aids St Andrews affordable housing project

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AN affordable housing project in St Andrews could be set to go ahead thanks to a cash windfall of £350,000 from the Scottish Government.

For the past year, Knightsbridge and the Kingdom Housing Association have been working together to provide affordable housing within the proposed Abbey Park development and the latter has now received funding for an element of such a project at Greenside Place.

The finance will allow Kingdom Housing to provide the first phase of affordable housing units within the development, which will include nine social rented flats - although it is subject to work starting on the Abbey Park development site no later than the end of March 2012.

Robert McKinnon, land director for Knightsbridge, said: ”If our proposed Abbey Park development is granted planning permission by Fife Council, it will represent the biggest strategic affordable housing opportunity the area has seen.

“We are delighted that Kingdom Housing has received funding for the social housing and we are keen to push forward with the consultation programme for the Strategic Development Framework (SDF) which is currently ongoing.”

A public exhibition was held at St Andrews Town Hall last month and the consultation process will last for six weeks which will ultimately see the SDF adopted by Fife Council as supplementary planning guidance for the proposed site.

Chairman of the association, Douglas Gray, said: ”We are delighted that we have now received Scottish Government funding to provide the first phase of affordable housing units in this development, should it be given planning consent.

‘‘There is a significant need for affordable housing in St Andrews and it will be great to be able to provide low cost housing in such a location.”

Planning approval for Knightsbridge’s St Nicholas House application was granted recently by members of the north east Fife area committee. They approved the renovation and conversion of the listed building which will be turned into living accommodation.

Fife Councillor Bill Sangster told the Citizen: ”I welcome the news that Kingdom Housing has secured Scottish Government funding support for the development of nine social units at Greenside Place.

“I am more than pleased that a start on this project may see more developments in the St Andrews area to reduce the long Fife Council waiting list for social housing.

“The recent start to build affordable housing a few months ago in Strathkinness had given hope of a possibility of more developments to follow as the long waiting list for such housing is not going to reduce greatly until a much larger project gets under way, hopefully in the very near future.”