Work has now started on 101 new council homes in Ferguslie Park as the area’s ongoing community-led transformation takes another major step forward.
Building contractors AS Homes are now on site at the former St Fergus Primary School as they start work on new high-quality modern energy-efficient council homes.
Tenants will move in as new homes are completed and it is hoped the final homes could be built by the end of next year. The vast majority of the homes will be for council rent, but some could be made available for shared equity for existing owners in the area.
Many of the new residents will be moving across from the nearby Tannahill area, which will ultimately be redeveloped as part of a wider community-led masterplan called The Making of Ferguslie.
Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of the council’s Communities, Housing and Planning board joined members of the local community on the site this week to see progress for herself.
And she said: “I was delighted to see work is now under way on the homes on the former St Fergus school site and I am sure Ferguslie residents will be glad to see things moving forward.
“Our officers have worked closely with the local community in recent years to establish what they wanted from this new housing, and the development will include a variety of house types with modern facilities, designed to meet their needs.
“We will keep in close contact with those residents as work progresses on their new homes, and as we work with them to develop the wider masterplan for Ferguslie.”
Cllr McGurk was joined by John McIntyre, chair of Ferguslie Community Council, as well as Clarabnelah Wood and Logan McLeod, head girl and boy of St Fergus Primary, now housed in a new building next to the former school site.
And John said: “As a long-standing community leader in Ferguslie Park, and trustee of the new Ferguslie Community Development Trust, it’s great to see at long last the Tannahill regeneration commencing.
“The tenants and residents in the area can now see with their own eyes the promises made to build new modern council homes are now a reality.
“We are also pleased with the way council officers have engaged with the local Tannahill community to allow them to have their say in what types of housing should be built to meet their existing and future needs. Without this community participation, I don’t think we would be where we are today.
“With construction of the new homes now started this will instil a sense of belief in the wider community the other regeneration plans we have been discussing with the community in recent years can be achieved with their participation.”
Paul Kelly, Managing Director, AS Homes added: “We are pleased to be working with Renfrewshire Council again, having established an excellent relationship.
“We have a long history of providing affordable homes in Paisley and we are proud to be extending this further with these additional new homes in Ferguslie Park.”
Earlier this week, members of the Communities, Housing and Planning board gave the green light for 17 wholly-empty council-owned blocks in the Tannahill area to be demolished – a move supported by local community representatives, who had raised concerns over security and illegal dumping.
Officers are continuing to liaise with the remaining private owners in the Tannahill area to make them aware of the various options open to them.
Future uses for the Tannahill site will be considered as part of The Making Of Ferguslie – the wider community-led development plan for the Ferguslie area.
That saw residents take part in a series of events in early 2020 designed to help them give their views on what they wanted for their community in future.
While progress on that was delayed by the pandemic, plans are now well advanced for a second phase of consultation based on initial feedback, to take place over the summer.