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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Catherine Hunter

Concern West Dunbartonshire contamination could make affordable homes more expensive

Almost 90 new affordable homes developed in the east end of Clydebank may be more expensive than anticipated because of contamination on the land.

Plans to build the 88 council properties at Glasgow Road and Mill Road were given the green light this summer following the demolition of 339 homes in 2019.

It comes as a report to the housing and communities committee of West Dunbartonshire Council highlighted that 496 houses had been completed since 2013 with the local authority planning to develop a further 375 by 2024.

READ MORE: West Dunbartonshire plans for new Clydebank homes are moving forward

There are also plans to “buy back” 100 ex-council properties. During the meeting concerns were raised that the homes would not be “affordable”.

Leader of the council, councillor Martin Rooney, said: “I am really happy with the report but there are a couple of things I have questions about.

“There is some suggestion that the homes at Clydebank East may not be affordable so some comment on that would be appreciated. There’s also recognition within the report of inflation of costs which will have a significant impact on the overall costs of the projects.

“You refer to the buy back scheme and the purchase of 100 homes over five years but I hoped there was scope to do more with that particularly larger homes for families who have more than the standard three or four kids.

“I do wonder if there is an opportunity by building the housing stock.”

Councillor Rooney was advised that the land in Clydebank was subject to contamination with specialist officers brought in to help deal with the issue.

Peter Barry, chief officer of housing and employability, said: “With regards to the buy back issue, you are absolutely correct we want to try and increase the value and the number of homes subject to affordability, the properties that we need and if they are empty.

“If they are empty we can then plan a period of renovation and house a family there pretty quickly.

“There are a lot of positives in the report. In terms of Clydebank East, this is the most complicated site in terms of grant conditions. More concern has been raised about contamination issues and the nature of these issues and the impact that would have on future housing.

“So we are in very complicated discussions with scientific officers and contamination experts to work out what we are going to do with an extremely contaminated piece of land.

“We now need to decide what the cheapest and most comprehensive way to build on that land is.”


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