Overton Road, Kirkcaldy
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An urban village to revive the area
Robertson delivered a development of 161 affordable homes at Overton Road on behalf of Fife Council. The project was part of an ambitious plan that saw 2700 new affordable homes built by Fife Council over a five-year period.
"For so many people and families, meeting their housing need can have a life-changing effect. It might mean giving an overcrowded family the adequate space they need, or an elderly person a home on one level, allowing them to continue to live independently."
This plays an important part in the regeneration of the whole area as well as playing a vital role in providing much-needed new affordable housing for the people of Kirkcaldy.
Robertson Partnership Homes constructed the homes, with Robertson Timber Engineering providing timber frames and Robertson Specialist Division providing wet dash roughcast and concrete roof tiling. The initial phase was ready for its first tenants in Spring 2016 with the entire development completed in mid-2017.
An urban village
The development is situated within the former 3.8 hectare Dunnikier Maltings site on the east side of the coastal town of Kirckaldy, which had sat derelict for some years. In 2014, Robertson Partnership Homes worked with the Council to help them develop and revive the entire site.
The design forms an urban village that includes homes for both social rent and mid-market rent. There are 161 housing units in total, comprising 86 semi-detached and terraced townhouses, 70 flats and four bungalows designed for wheelchair use.
All units comply with Housing for Varying Needs General Guidelines with a number of units having 'amenity' status.
The main objectives of the development were:
- introducing a mix of house types for varying needs, encouraging a well-balanced community and neighbourhood with place-making at the heart of the design process;
- a development that will complement and enrich not only its immediate area but the wider town of Kirkcaldy;
- a commercially viable scheme that supports local services;
- a 'designing streets' and 'creating places' approach complying with Scottish Government legislation and local authority guidelines.
Cllr Judy Hamilton, executive spokesperson for housing & building services, explained the significance of this project:
"One of the big successes of the programme so far is the chain of lets created by allocating these new homes to our existing tenants, where possible. This means that for every new council home we allocate, there is a positive 'knock-on' effect from freeing up older council homes. This results in the housing need of 2.4 households being met for every new home built.
The completion of the development greatly improves an area of land that had remained a blemish amidst the local community for many years and in turn contribute towards the residential growth of Kirkcaldy potentially influencing positively on the future quality of schools, community facilities and surrounding amenity and context.
Above all the primary focus is people and providing pleasant and affordable housing for those who need it most, and in doing so, improving and developing an area of Kirkcaldy in a manner that will have a hugely positive effect on the local and wider community."
The development at Overton Road brought other benefits for local people:
- educating young people about the project in partnership with Opportunities Fife, Fife College and local schools;
- addressing the skills shortage in Scotland by offering young people the chance to learn about the variety of opportunities that exist across the building sector;
- 17 apprenticeships;
- 18 work placements.