Waste land to dream home

New council housing in Bishopbriggs
New council housing in Bishopbriggs

A patch of derelict land and a former garage has been transformed to provide new council housing for a dozen local families.

The Bishopbriggs site has been developed by East Dunbartonshire Council - bringing much-needed social housing to the area.

Fern Grove, a development of 12 one and two bed houses and flats, was launched this week by Councillor Ashay Ghai, depute leader of the council and convenor of neighbourhood services.

He said: “There are two reasons why I am delighted to be here, launching Fern Grove.

“This lovely new development, which embraces the council’s ‘designing streets’ principle, will provide 12 much-needed new homes for couples and families, many of whom have been waiting a long time for the right property to come up.

“It’s also a great success story for the council as it has transformed a piece of unsightly, derelict land, so is good news for the whole community.”

“These high quality and energy efficient new homes, built for the council by Cruden Building and Renewals Ltd, were allocated to existing tenants and applicants from the waiting list.”

Local couple Mr and Mrs Bonner were one of the first to receive their keys -and are pleased they have been able to downsize from a two bed property to a new one bed flat at Fern Grove.

Joyce Bonner said: “We are pleased with our new home, which is much more manageable than our last one.

“The garden is smaller, which is great as we get older and the new gas central heating is much more efficient and affordable than our old electric heating system.

“This means we have been able to reduce our bills.

“It’s been a good move for us and we’re settling in really well.”

The development was built with assistance from the Scottish Government, which provided a grant of £360,000.

It’s thought there are currently more than 4,000 people on East Dunbartonshire Council’s housing waiting list, with many families forced to rent privately while waiting for a suitable home.