Falkirk Council to deliver 667 new build homes as £347m housing spend unveiled

Falkirk town centre (Image: Marcin Kadziolka, Shutterstock)

FALKIRK Council’s housing stock is to be boosted with £347 million to be invested over the next five years.

The local authority said that in 2022/23 alone, £38.7 million will be spent on improvements to around 6,800 properties.

It has earmarked £6.5 million for improving the fabric of properties with re-roofing, roughcasting and £3.75 million on replacing kitchens and bathrooms.

Further to this, £15 million is set to be spent on replacement doors and windows over the next year.

In total, £7 million is planned to be spent on energy efficient works, with around 1,100 properties each year benefitting from new heating systems at a cost of £2 million – as well as heating upgrades to three high rise blocks.

The council’s previous housing investment programme seen £5.5 million in funding approved for more cost effective and efficient heating systems for tenants within off-gas areas.

Installation of such gas infrastructure measures is scheduled to get underway during 2022/23, with completion expected in 2023/24. Additionally, for areas where gas supply is not viable, alternative heat solutions – including renewable technology measures such as air source heat pumps – are being considered.

The five year plan also has £2.3 million allocated for estate improvements such as fences, walls and paths. £350,000 will be invested to complete the council’s programme of upgraded smoke and heat detectors, and £1 million to install a range of renewable technology measures across ‘priority properties’.

Also included in the five-year plan will be investment of £25.8m that will deliver more than 633 new build homes for rent in locations including Hallglen, Bonnybridge, Denny, Banknock, Polmont, Bainsford, Stenhousemuir, Torwood and Langlees.

The council also reiterated its plans to continue its programme of ‘buy backs’ of former council homes purchasing around 80 properties a year at a cost of £7 million.

Councillor Gordon Hughes, Falkirk Council spokesperson for housing, said, “We have yet again had to deliver improvements to our housing stock against the backdrop of Covid-19. While it was a very challenging year we delivered a wide range of improvements across our housing stock. We have agreed a £347 million spend over the next five years for improvements to existing homes as well as planning to build 633 new homes.

“This will also allow us to buy back properties to help meet housing demand. Our investment programme also aims to take account of the climate emergency and has a focus on sustainability and protecting the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of our housing stock while keeping our homes warmer and more energy efficient.”