West Dunbartonshire Council has approved Caledonia Housing Association’s Planning Permission application for the development of 66 affordable homes at Muir Road, the first phase of the £30m regeneration of the Bellsmyre area of Dumbarton.
The new homes provide a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom socially rented houses and flats to cater for a wide range of housing needs for the community.
Working with Caledonia Housing Association (CHA) from the project’s inception, ECD Architects have liaised closely with CHA and the local community for the development of a design which respects the existing context through the application of traditional, durable materials in a light monochromatic palette. With the inclusion of gable end features, contemporary grey brick, deep window reveals and recessed brick details, the homes have a modern, simple and cost-effective design.
Central to the site layout is an urban design strategy which is embedded in the overall Bellsmyre masterplan. This focuses on creating smaller communities that encourage neighbourliness, clearly defined private and communal spaces, high quality landscaped and amenity spaces, and a reduction of high maintenance ‘left over’ spaces without amenity or ecological value. The scheme as a whole provides safe streets which give easy access for residents and better visual and physical links between Bellsmyre and the woodland Nature Conservation Site to the North.
The site itself steeply slopes to the south west offering excellent views, although the topography posed challenges in terms of SUDS, prevailing winds, level-access requirements, as well as providing useable garden spaces and resolving the relationship to the street. Good coordination with the design team and client groups ensured that the completed design fulfilled the aims of the housing association while achieving workable solutions to the site constraints.
Julie Cosgrove, Chief Executive of Caledonia Housing Association said: “This is very welcome news and means we can press ahead with our plans to transform Bellsmyre. We have been working closely with tenants and residents to gain their support for our plans for the regeneration of their community. The redevelopment will provide a range of quality affordable housing to the area to help transform the area.”
David Gallacher, Associate Director at ECD Architects for Muir Road, commented upon the scheme’s success: “We are delighted to be working with Caledonia Housing Association on this initial phase of their regeneration vision for Bellsmyre. We have worked closely with the client, local authority and community groups in developing good quality, energy-efficient housing designs which will provide a positive impact to the local community.”
It is anticipated that construction works will commence early 2021.