A NEW community created to breathe fresh life into a rundown part of the city has opened its doors to its first residents.
The council-funded Pennywell Living complex at Muirhouse, which will comprise more than 700 new homes when complete, is one of the largest schemes of its kind in Scotland.
New resident Adam McIntyre said there was a “buzz” around the first swathe of the £42 million development on the site of the former Craigroyston Community High.
Mr McIntyre, who is settling into his three-bedroom home with wife Tracey and daughters Jodie, 14, and Abby, ten, said: “It’s exciting to be the first family to move into this new community in Pennywell. I’m looking forward to meeting our new neighbours and seeing the development progress.”
Hundreds of homes were demolished in 2007 to clear a site for the replacement high school, while two years later hundreds more were bulldozed, with no new houses to replace them.
The redevelopment has been blamed for the demise of the Gunner pub on Pennywell Road, which closed its doors earlier this week.
But Mr McIntyre, who was brought up in Muirhouse and attended school on the site of his new home, said the negativity was “all in the past”.
He added: “They had the show homes open last weekend and it was absolutely buzzing around here. Everybody knocks this area, but we have got a great community.”
Mr McIntyre bought the three-bedroom home from Urban Union, the firm leading the regeneration project, through the Help to Buy Scheme.
The 49-year-old said it was great to see young couples, several of whom moved in to the complex this week, getting their first properties.
City housing leader and Forth councillor Cammy Day said: “People are getting modern and energy-efficient family homes. I accept that it’s taken a bit longer than I would have liked, but we knocked [the houses] down for the right reasons. Now we are seeing people move into some of the first ever council homes in many years. It’s brilliant news for North Edinburgh and for the city.”
Graeme Nicol, managing director of Urban Union said the team was “delighted” to welcome the McIntyre family to the Pennywell Living site.He said: “It’s great to hear they are settling in well and their new home more than meets the demands of family living.”
A total of 363 new homes for sale and 356 social and mid-market rent homes will be created at the site over a ten-year period. The council ploughed £42m into the regeneration project while the Scottish Government contributed a further £7.9m grant. The complex features one, two, three and four-bedroom flats and homes with prices starting from £110,000.