A MASTERPLAN aimed at delivering 700 new homes to a desolate part of Muirhouse is to get under way, with more than £40 million being pumped into the area in the coming years.
The first wave of 193 homes are to be built on the site of the former Craigroyston High School, with a further 500 to be built within the next ten years.
The long-awaited work is due to get under way this summer and is expected to transform the fortunes of the dilapidated district after 595 properties were demolished over the last seven years, prompting remaining residents to brand it a “ghost town”.
Businesses in the area have suffered greatly, with many traders forced to close, while the area’s commercial heart at Muirhouse Shopping Centre is home to a swathe of boarded-up shops.
Planning chiefs have now given the green light for work to get under way on the £42m redevelopment, which will create 356 council homes under the direction of contractor Urban Union Ltd.
Councillor Cammy Day, the city’s vice convener of housing, said the works will “breathe new life” into the community.
Three new streets will join the area’s main thoroughfare Pennywell Road, while to the north a road will link in to Muirhouse Place East.
A cycle lane will also be installed to the west, while a toucan crossing will be installed across Pennywell Road, near the southern entrance to the site.
Locals will also benefit from the creation of a new park, children’s play area, ornamental planting and seating at the development’s centre, with a community garden planted to the north-east.
Cllr Day said: “It is great news to see this major housing development moving closer. We anticipate work will commerce on site this summer.
“This regeneration of the area will create jobs and apprenticeships, as well as many new opportunities for local businesses.”
Last August the Evening News revealed that 36 apprenticeships and 24 new entrant construction positions are expected to be created by the project, which will also sustain 500 jobs.
A report by Mark Turley, director of services for communities, said: “Pennywell is the largest housing project in the 21st Century Homes programme and one of the largest housing-led regeneration projects in Scotland.”
Hundreds of homes were demolished in 2007 to clear a site for the replacement Craigroyston Community High School, while two years later hundreds more were bulldozed – with no new houses to replace them.