Former school’s affordable housing transformation begins in Burntisland

Cllrs Judy Hamilton, George Kay and Peter George visit the site with John Mills, head of housing and council officers responsible for the conversion
Cllrs Judy Hamilton, George Kay and Peter George visit the site with John Mills, head of housing and council officers responsible for the conversion

A project is under way to renovate the three main vacant buildings at the site of Burntisland’s former primary school into 25 affordable homes.

The old primary school buildings closed in 2014 when pupils moved to their nearby newly built school.

The development will be made up of 19 homes for rent by Fife Council and six for mid-market rent (MMR). MMR is more suitable for people who are working but can’t afford market rent prices. The rents are set at a level between market rent and those charged for council homes.

The development will be made up of one, two and three-bed flats, two-bed wheelchair bungalows, a two-bed wheelchair flat, a three-bed house and a four-bed house. There will also be dedicated parking spaces for the housing development.

Cllr Judy Hamilton, executive committee spokesperson for housing & building services, said: “This is going to be a beautiful housing development when it’s completed. Some of these buildings date back almost 140 years and I’m so pleased that they are going to be given a new lease of life as very much needed affordable housing.

“A similar regeneration project in Cupar in recent years converted the site of the former Bell Baxter High School into affordable housing. I’m sure that this development will be as sympathetically done and as well received by the local community.

“Work on this housing development is being carried out by our own ‘in-house’ teams, rather than a private developer, and we’re able to give our apprentices some really valuable work experience and skills development opportunities as a result.”

As well as a full strip out of the three buildings that will be retained, the old boiler house has already been demolished along with the rear single-storey extension and the old toilet block. Demolition of the classroom huts is almost complete too.

A few surprises have also been unearthed along the way. Survey work revealed that the Cromwell building had been previously destroyed by fire in 1913 and that the building as it stands has a basement. Local community engagement work also alerted site staff to the possibility of a time capsule from the 1960s on the site.

Cromwell-1Cllr Hamilton added: “This development contributes towards our wider commitment of delivering 2,700 new affordable homes by May 2017. We’re making good progress on that with almost half now built and occupied. We also have 19 other developments currently under construction across Fife to deliver on that pledge of more good quality, affordable housing.”

This project is part of the council’s wider Affordable Housing Programme to increase the number of affordable homes for rent across Fife. It is one of a number of sites that have been recently delivered or are under way to meet the council’s target to deliver 2,700 new affordable homes by 2017.

There is a £25,000 Scottish Government grant towards the cost of this housing development.

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