Huge investment for council housing plan

Councillor McCulloch with Alan and Margaret Thomson who recently moved into a brand new council house.
Councillor McCulloch with Alan and Margaret Thomson who recently moved into a brand new council house.

North Lanarkshire Council has announced it is to build nearly 1,800 new council houses in the next ten years.

The local authority has already completed or is presently working on 633 of the 1,150 homes it had planned, but additional investment from the Scottish Government means NL Homes can press ahead with delivering a total of 2,150 by 2026.

Housing and Social Work Committee convener Councillor Barry McCulloch said: “This is a massive investment for the people of North Lanarkshire.

“As Scotland’s biggest council landlord we understand that modern, accessible housing is a key priority and I’m delighted we will be able to deliver 1,800 new houses by 2026.

“We already had an extensive new-build programme in place, but we are determined to do what we can to meet considerable need. The quality of our new houses is unbelievable.

“They are energy-efficient, accessible and adaptable, which means the needs of people can really be taken into account.

“It means we can deliver a wide range of housing, including housing for older people, disabled people and young people setting up home for the first time.”

A report to the committee today (Thursday) set out the criteria for the sites of the 1,000 additional homes, which will be partially paid for with the assistance of Scottish Government grant funding.

Councillor McCulloch explained: “We will take into account housing need, acceptability in terms of planning legislation, cost of development and location, as well as the contribution more housing can make to wider regeneration priorities.

“The current programme is diverse and has sites across North Lanarkshire and clearly that’s something we would like to see continued.

“There are huge advantages to planning in this way. We can make sure we get the maximum efficiency through early procurement and a programme of this scale will also create jobs, boosting our economy.”

The committee approved ten new sites today (Thursday) including Caledonian Avenue and Community Road in Bellshill and Mabel Street in Motherwell.

The SNP group’s depute leader Tom Johnston poured scorn on the level of investment.

He said: “I remember the days when (former Secretary of State for Scotland) Willie Ross could build 35,000 council houses in a year, to put it into context.”