‘Trailblazing’ project to transform Paisley tenements into energy efficient homes

A multi-million pound project to transform a row of historic Paisley town centre tenements into ‘modern, energy-efficient’ homes for social rent is set to move forward.

Being led by Paisley Housing Association, Renfrewshire Council, and the Scottish Government, the housing association described the project as ‘trailblazing’.

It comes after the housing association secured almost complete ownership of the five closes at 3, 5, 7, and 9 Orchard Street and 33 Causeyside Street.

A formal planning application has now been lodged with the Renfrewshire Council which, if approved, will see the transformation of the closes, back courts, and buildings themselves – all whilst preserving the town’s tenement heritage.

Kathleen McCutcheon, chief executive of Paisley Housing Association, said, “There is no doubt that these tenements require major improvement and we are very pleased indeed to have reached agreement with the vast majority of owners who have sold their properties to us after they were independently valued. Negotiations are continuing with the remaining owners and we hope to secure their approval soon.

“Paisley is renowned for its impressive tenement heritage and any initiative which preserves this is to be welcomed. We readily acknowledge the willingness of Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government to work with us to make  this happen. It is a true partnership to deliver much-needed new housing and improve the appearance of a prime town centre location.”

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s communities and housing policy board, added, “We are delighted to be working with Paisley Housing Association on this project, which will transform the look of this street and help keep some of Paisley’s historic tenement properties in use for generations to come. A lot of work has gone in to get the project to this point and we are pleased to see it is now ready to move forward.

“This project fits with our wider work to promote Paisley town centre as a great place to live. This – and other ongoing developments, such as at the former Arnott’s site – will see new social housing available in the heart of the town. And the new residents there and at other private-sector housing developments still to come – such as the new flats nearly complete at the Millhouse on Bridge Street – will create footfall and life day and night, and boost local trade.”