Gap homes to help youngsters living independently planned for Fife town

Plans to create gap homes to help youngsters take the first steps to living independently have been unveiled for a Fife town.

Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 4:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 4:15 pm

Barnardos Scotland wants to build the small development of five homes on land south of Chisholm Street in Lochgelly.

The long-established charity has submitted a planning application to Fife Council for permission to go ahead.

Gap homes consist of small scale accommodation for young people who need a higher level of on-site support to make the first steps towards living more independently.

How the Lochgelly development could look

This could be leaving secure care or returning from out of authority placement.

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The proposed development in Lochgelly would expand Barnardo’ existing provision by offering four purpose built, one-bedroom homes to young people who will be supported by an onsite staff team occupying a larger two bedroom property on site.

The name originally came from wanting to build on gap sites - small patches of land in towns which were too small to be of interest to developers but ideal for placing a few houses.

Barnardos first Gap Homes were launched in Renfrewshire, and it currently has approval to add more in Stirling and Glasgow.

The homes are designed to be highly energy efficient and make best use of the space, and allow the young people to fit unobtrusively into the community.

They include a courtyard which visually connects each home and where residents can meet for communal activities.

The staff home has been designed to offer some of the benefits of a family home, such as shared social space, shared meals and individualised support.

Documents lodged with the application show that support provided will be 24/7 and includes night staff.

A design statement added: “The homes have been arranged across two blocks which run parallel to the boundary wall creating a clearly defined courtyard whilst also maximising the landscape buffer to the front of each home.

“The courtyard entrance is positioned between the two blocks and centrally on the site. The placement of the blocks at the entrance presents the opportunity to create an extension of the public realm and a sense of arrival.”

Councillors will consider the application in due course.