ARGYLL and Bute MP Brendan O'Hara has cut the first turf on a new housing development in Garelochhead.

The 10 new homes are being built for Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) by Helensburgh-based building firm Stewart & Shields.

They are being built to the 'Passivhaus' design, using a high standard of energy efficiency to cut the buildings' environmental footprint, enabling residents to reduce their energy bills and cutting fuel poverty as a result.

The development is ACHA’s first Passivhaus project, and is part of the association’s ongoing new build programme which hopes to deliver 230 new homes in Argyll and Bute by March 2021.

The contract to build the new homes has been funded by financial support from the Scottish Government, ACHA and Argyll and Bute Council of £1.8million.

Commenting at the site launch, Mr O'Hara said: “I am genuinely excited to see the new housing planned for Garelochhead and the impact this will have on the risk of fuel poverty.

"I am delighted that this cutting edge technology is being used in Argyll and Bute and not only will be of great benefit to tenants who will see lower energy bills but will reduce our carbon footprint.”

Alastair MacGregor, chief executive of ACHA, added: “We are delighted to go on site today for three reasons. Firstly, ten more homes to meet housing need. Secondly, we will have innovation to improve energy efficiency and, thirdly, with a local firm Stewart & Shields, construction jobs in the Helensburgh and Lomond area.

"It is fitting that Brendan O’Hara MP has joined us today as his support for the association’s work in meeting housing need over the years has been much appreciated.”