Housing Minister visits Cumbernauld to unveil plaque to Fleming Road flats

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:55 BST on Friday 20th July 2012.

Cumbernauld residents welcomed the Scottish Government’s Housing and Transport Minister to Seafar yesterday as the Minister visited Sanctuary Cumbernauld’s newly completed Fleming Road flats.

Keith Brown MSP commemorated the 2,000th new home provided by Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association; unveiling a plaque at Sanctuary’s Fleming Road development in Cumbernauld, the first homes built in the planned regeneration of the town’s 12 high-rise blocks.

Sanctuary Scotland’s 2,000th new home is among the Fleming Road project’s 31 attractive flats and every flat is occupied by local families who recently left the 1960s-built blocks in nearby Allanfauld Road.    

Gordon Laurie, director, Sanctuary in Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the Housing Minister has taken time from his busy schedule to help mark a significant milestone for Sanctuary in Scotland.

“Sanctuary Scotland has now provided more than 2,000 new homes since the Association was established in 1996. Sanctuary’s Scottish presence has grown considerably since then, with Sanctuary Group welcoming Cumbernauld Housing Partnership, now Sanctuary Cumbernauld, as a subsidiary in October 2009. Together we now manage over 4,200 homes, all for affordable rent. We currently have over 400 new homes under construction, making us the biggest housing association developer in Scotland. Our new-build programme is helped immensely by the Scottish Government, whose financial support makes it possible, and by our local authority partners including North Lanarkshire Council.”

Sanctuary plans to replace the 566 flats in Cumbernauld’s 12 blocks with 440 modern, energy-efficient flats. Both North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Government agree the new-build option is the best long-term solution to existing problems within the properties.

The regeneration of Cumbernauld’s high-rises would help address an acute shortage of affordable housing, give a £70 million-plus shot-in-the-arm to the local economy, sustain jobs in construction and create new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities.

George and Isabell Vincent lived in Allanfauld Road’s Buchan House block for 33 years. The couple moved into Fleming Road in February.

Isabell, 80, said: “We love our flat. It’s lovely and bright in the morning during the summer and in the evening the sunlight just streams in.

“The high-rise blocks were good in 1979 but when we left the dampness was unreal.

“Our new flat’s warm, there’s no noise and it is ideal for both of us at our age. We’re glad we made the move.”

Upon his visit, Mr Brown said: “Investment in new, affordable housing such as this development by Sanctuary is extremely welcome. As well as providing new homes for people in the local community, these developments help to boost the Scottish economy by providing opportunities both for the construction sector and for those employed in it.

 “The Scottish Government is committed to delivering 6,000 new affordable homes each year, and we are delighted to have exceeded our target already for this year. Everyone in Scotland should live in safe affordable homes that not only meet their needs, but support the development of sustainable communities.”