Crieff Councillors Ann Cowan and Rhona Brock have paid a site visit to inspect progress on a £2 million redevelopment on the site of the long-abandoned Crown Hotel which will provide fourteen new homes for social rent by the end of the year.
The hotel, in the centre of Crieff, had lain unused and derelict for 17 years until Kingdom Housing Association secured funding to redevelop the site.
Bill Banks, chief executive of Kingdom, said: “This has not been an easy project to develop, due to it being located in the town centre and within a conservation area and the site being subject to various constraints. When we first considered the project we wanted to redevelop the original building, however the building had been derelict for too long. It had not been maintained and earlier attempts at renovations had left the building unsafe, damaging its structural integrity.
“The new flats will provide high quality homes and help meet the growing need for affordable housing in Crieff and the project will make a significant contribution to the redevelopment of the area.”
Councillor Brock said: “The site has created a very much needed housing development, the flats are very bright and roomy, affordable and very cost effective. The views towards Turleum and the hills are a real treat.”
Councillor Ann Cowan congratulated Kingdom and building contractor Campion on a great job.
She added: “I was most impressed with these new affordable houses which have been constructed to a very high standard. I was delighted to see that the most up-to-date ideas on heating and sound insulation have been incorporated, as well as good use being made of the available space. The overall impression is one of light spacious comfortable flats, well provided with good storage. I believe that the use of the area beneath the building for car parking is a ‘first’ for Crieff. There is even a small garden area.”
The project should be completed before the end of November 2015 and cost a total of £1.8m to develop. Kingdom received £1.1m funding support from the Scottish Government’s Affordability Housing Supply Programme and the Town Centre Housing Fund. Perth & Kinross Council also provided £45, 000 in grant funding to the project. The balance of the costs were funded by Kingdom.
The project fronts onto East High Street and the flats are accessed from Ramsay Street, where there is also under croft parking. The proximity to the High Street and the sloping site made the construction works difficult and Kingdom appointed Campion Homes as their contractor partner for the project.
Dougie Herd, construction director with Campion, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Kingdom to provide much needed affordable homes in a great locality in the town centre. The project has been a real construction challenge and we are very grateful to the local residents and businesses for their understanding and patience during the contract period.”
Delivering added value, through employment and training opportunities is one of Kingdom’s objectives on all their development projects and Mr Herd said: “This project has allowed us to employ 2 local apprentices, one from Crieff and this makes the project so worthwhile.”
There are 3 x 1 bedroom and 11 x 2 bedroom flats in the development. The new homes have been designed to Kingdom’s high specification and include energy efficient photo voltaic panels and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems. The project has been developed to the Building Regulations Silver Sustainability Standards.
Rents for the new flats range from approx. £286 to £291 per month and applicants for the properties can apply direct to Kingdom or through the Perth & Kinross Common Housing Register.
Kingdom have a management agreement in place with Fairfield Housing Co-operative in Perth, who will provide the local management services for Kingdom.