MORE than 130 new affordable homes are earmarked for Helensburgh under new plans put before Argyll and Bute Council – and there could be more to follow.

A document on proposals for Argyll and Bute Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) was presented to councillors on Thursday.

It states that if approved, 60 new affordable homes could be built by Dunbritton Housing Association by 2022 as part of a major proposed development on part of Helensburgh Golf Club’s course in the north-east of the town.

Thirty-two properties are currently under construction for Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) at the site of the former Jutland Court at the west end of the town, now known as Castle Wood Court, while Link Housing could have 25 homes at the Sawmill Field site on the eastern edge of Helensburgh by 2021.

As reported by the Advertiser last month, the prospect of building 18 further homes at Castle Wood Court is currently being considered.

The report states that development of other sites, including council-owned land at Blairvadach and Rhu, is also being considered.

Two years ago, members of Helensburgh Golf Club voted in favour of opening discussions with their preferred developer, Taylor Wimpey, to build a total of 300 homes on part of the course.

Also in 2016, planning permission ‘in principle’ was granted to Cala Homes for up to 145 new houses on the Sawmill Field site on Cardross Road.

However, no detailed application has yet been lodged to develop either site.  

The new report, by the council’s executive director of development and infrastructure services Pippa Milne, said: “The current year, 2018/19, is covered by a Strategic Local Programme Agreement while the new SHIP is intended to commence from 2019/20.

“It should be noted that the status of many future projects, particularly in the later years, remains provisional and purely indicative at this stage; some may not proceed within the timescale.

“However, there is also scope for additional proposals to be brought forward or included in earlier years.

“Alternative sites are also being considered either to replace or enhance some of the sites listed in above tables, such as council-owned sites at Blairvadach and Rhu.

“A private site at the Jeanie Deans Unit, Helensburgh is also under consideration.”

The report also said that funding available to Argyll and Bute from the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme had increased substantially and stood at over £50m for the next three years.
In total, the SHIP aims to deliver more than 800 affordable new homes across Argyll and Bute, with a council Strategic Housing Fund contribution of over £9m.

Ms Milne added: “The Scottish Government issued revised guidance in August 2018 to assist local authorities in the preparation of their annual SHIPs; which will cover the period 2019/20 to 2023/24, and were required to be submitted by October 26.”

“Local authorities are permitted to submit a draft SHIP at the submission date, subject to confirming the anticipated date of committee approval and submission of a final approved version as soon as possible thereafter.

“This paper summarises the proposals for the revised SHIP, in line with statutory requirements and the latest guidance.”