Work is officially underway on a large-scale affordable housing development in Bridgehousehill, Kilmarnock.
The £17m project will see a mixture of two-, there, and four-bed general needs houses constructed, together with 10 amenity bungalows and five wheelchair bungalows.
Located in the Shortlees neighbourhood of East Ayrshire, the new project of 101 affordable homes is being delivered by Cunninghame Housing Association in partnership with East Ayrshire Council, the Scottish government, and modular construction specialist Connect Modular Ltd.
To mark the commencement of work on site, an official-sod cutting ceremony was held on Monday 1 August, with the official duties carried out by East Ayrshire Council provost Jim Todd.
He said: “It was a pleasure to attend the sod cutting ceremony on 1 August at Bridgehousehill Road, marking the start of a new range of house types being built in the area.
“It will be interesting to see the different approach being taken to building houses and I very much look forward to seeing them completed, which I am sure will be to a very high standard.”
This new development will be Cunninghame Housing Association’s first ever modular housing project and the largest modular low-rise housing development in Scotland.
The innovative modular construction method takes the home-building process offsite and into a controlled factory environment.
Each of the 101 homes in this new development will be constructed inside Connect Modular’s Ayrshire-based manufacturing facility, with bathrooms, plumbing, and electrics all pre-fitted.
The houses will then be split into modules, kitchens, transported to site, and craned into position for the final 10% of building work to be completed.
Frank Sweeney, CEO for Cunninghame Housing Association, welcomed the new development.
He said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Connect Modular to deliver this important development of 101 new modular homes.
“This is the first modular construction project undertaken by Cunninghame Housing Association and the largest modular low-rise housing development in Scotland.
“We are excited to be part of this innovative and efficient method of construction.
“We recognise the significant environmental benefits of the build and that the units will be built in Connect Modular’s Ayrshire factory, to a very high standard, and delivered to site.
“With the support of our Strategic partners, East Ayrshire Council and the Scottish government, we are able to provide these highly sought after affordable new homes in this popular area of Kilmarnock.”
Housing Secretary Shona Robison said: “It’s fantastic to see this development underway, which I know will provide high quality affordable homes within the local community and make a real and lasting difference to the lives of the new residents.
“We are proud of having delivered 111,750 affordable homes since 2007 with over 78,000 for social rent and these new homes will contribute towards our ambitious target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which 70% will be for social rent and 10% in remote, rural and island communities.
“These 101 new homes for social rent, supported by £10.5m of Scottish government investment, are being built to a high standard using off-site construction methods.
“I recently visited the Connect Modular factory in Cumnock to see the quality for myself, and I’m pleased people will benefit from these new homes.”
With houses constructed offsite, site preparation works can occur simultaneously, leading to a significantly condensed project timeline and earlier tenant occupancy.
This modern approach to construction also reduces waste, improves build quality, and enables greater certainty over the project programme by eliminating variables such as adverse weather conditions.
Jennifer Higgins, managing director of Connect Modular, said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to deliver a modular project at this scale.
“This project is a clear demonstration of Cunninghame, Scottish government, and the council’s confidence in the ability of modular construction to provide better quality homes, to reduce construction waste and emissions, and to enable tenants to move in to their much-needed homes faster.”
Main image: CGI projection of part of the completed Shortlees development
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