Bellsmyre residents view Caledonia’s approach to developing communities

Members of Bellsmyre Housing Association’s Residents’ Forum visited two housing developments in Perth to see how Caledonia Housing Association approaches regeneration and community engagement.

Bellsmyre tenants visit the Newhouse Road development in Perth

The visits to Muirton and Newhouse Road areas gave the members, who represent the views of Bellsmyre tenants, an opportunity to see at first-hand the mix of refurbished and new build properties in these areas of regeneration.

Muirton was built over nine phases and involved moving some tenants to temporary accommodation while the new homes were constructed. Plans for regeneration at Bellsmyre will be in five phases.

Newhouse Road, like much of the Bellsmyre estate, is built on a hillside and includes blocks of flats, also similar to Bellsmyre. This location includes original properties that have been refurbished to a high standard by Caledonia.

Moira Nesbit, regeneration coordinator for Bellsmyre Housing Association, who organised the visit, said: “The quality of the homes in these two Caledonia-managed areas is evident, many of which feature properties with front and back gardens. The Bellsmyre tenants were able to see how well-planned landscaping and street design added to the overall appearance of the area.

“We also showed them Caledonia’s community offices in both locations and reassured them that this level of local support for community activities would continue at Bellsmyre.”

Sharon Donohoe, development director, tenant advisory service, said that the trip was reassuring for Bellsmyre residents.

She added: “It was an excellent opportunity for members of the Bellsmyre Residents’ Forum to see how Caledonia has managed the regeneration of two areas of Perth. The visitors were able to see a mix of new build houses, improvements to blocks of flats and places for children to play, and hopefully sparking ideas of what new housing and other investments could do for Bellsmyre in future.”

Bellsmyre forum is a core group of residents who will have an important role in understanding how the regeneration will take place, feeding back views and suggestions from tenants. It is the local ‘voice’ for Bellsmyre tenants and owners.

Last month, the governing bodies of Bellsmyre Housing Association and Caledonia Housing Association approved the business case proposing that Bellsmyre merges with Caledonia. Formal consultation will now take place before the tenants are balloted early in the New Year.

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