Work begins on 101 new council homes in Methil

Cllrs David Ross and Judy Hamilton on site at Methil Brae with ward members Cllrs John O'Brien and Jim Young, and representatives of Robertson Partnership Homes.
Cllrs David Ross and Judy Hamilton on site at Methil Brae with ward members Cllrs John O'Brien and Jim Young, and representatives of Robertson Partnership Homes.

Work has started on Fife Council’s latest housing development of 101 new affordable homes in Methil.

The £12 million development will be built by Robertson Partnership Homes on the site of the former Glencast Foundry, and is set to create around 30 jobs as well as deliver much-needed homes for rent for the area.

Councillor David Ross, the council leader, and Councillor Judy Hamilton, executive spokesperson for housing, joined Robertson Partnership Homes’ director Stewart Shearer to cut the first sod on the 5.6 hectare site.

The development will be a mix of one-bedroom cottage flats, as well as two, three, four and five bedroom terraced, semi-detached villas and bungalows. The first phase is expected to be available for rent as early as spring 2016.

Work on the site will last around 18 months, with a host of Fife companies set to work on the project, including Sinclair Watt Architects in Methil, Realm Construction in Lochgelly and Scott Bennett Associates in Dunfermline.

Cllr Ross said: “Despite the tough budget challenges that the cuncil faces, it’s vital that we continue to tackle the housing need of Fife residents.

“This is a very significant milestone in reaching the council’s commitment to deliver 2700 new affordable homes by 2017, and will have a hugely positive impact on the tenants who move in here.”

Cllr Hamilton added: “New council homes are allocated to existing tenants where possible, so it’s not just the families moving into these homes that will benefit, as it will create a ‘chain of lets’ that allows us to improve the housing position for many more people as a result.

“Soon we will see the transformation of this area begin to take shape and with that it will bring a new sense of pride to the former home of the Glencast Foundry.

“The mix of property types is a very welcome addition to the council’s housing stock and their energy efficiency will help contribute towards tackling fuel poverty.

“Where the council builds new homes it also works hard to offer additional community benefits such as apprenticeship and local employment opportunities.

“I’m pleased that Robertson Partnership Homes is working with local contractors on this development which means that during the construction we’ll see employment and economic benefits for the local community.”

Mr Shearer said the Methil Brae project was “a true community development” that had been designed by a local architect and would be worked on by local people and contractors.

He added: “We consider it hugely important to work with the community when embarking on projects such as this and make it a key aim to work with as many local people as possible to deliver real value across the local economy.

“This includes working with local sub-contractors and hiring local staff to creating apprenticeships to help young people get on the career ladder for the first time.”