Helensburgh and Lomond residents are being encouraged to give the council their views on the housing elements of the masterplans currently out for consultation.
Argyll and Bute’s spokesperson for rural and island affairs, housing and Gaelic, Councillor Robin Currie, said the proposals would have a major impact on the town’s housing capacity, whichever option was eventually chosen.
He also stressed that this was an opportunity for people to see what the layout of the new housing on the former Hermitage Academy site might look like.
“Through the housing needs and demands assessment, Helensburgh and Lomond has been identified as having the greatest housing need in Argyll and Bute,” Councillor Currie said.
“These proposals have the potential to make a real impact on the housing shortfall in the area. As a minimum, 129 new houses are likely to be built on this site – and if the entire site is given over to housing, then this figure will be 165.
“That represents not just a very significant boost to the town’s housing supply, but also a major change of landscape in that area of Helensburgh.
“The draft masterplan indicates how the new houses might be laid out on the site – where the access and roads may go, which way the properties could face, which areas might be for affordable housing and which for private properties and so on.
“However, this is just indicative at this stage. I would recommend that anyone interested in these issues and with a view on matters such as the type, size and quality of any new housing either takes part in the consultation online or attends one of the two open days in January at Victoria Halls.”
Councillor Currie pointed out that there was also a housing element to the options for the pier head, which would provide additional accommodation of between 16 and 30 units in the town centre.
“This is a very exciting time for Helensburgh in all sorts of ways, not least because there is the promise of significant investment in its housing sector,” Councillor Currie said.
“The options included in the draft masterplans all contain a housing element. In the case of the preferred option for the former Hermitage Academy site, this would constitute a major housing development in any town in the country.
“The fact that it’s proposed for Helensburgh is significant not just for the town’s future housing capacity but for Argyll and Bute’s future housing supply more generally, and I very much hope that people find time to take part in the consultation so that whatever we end up with is has the widest possible support from the local community.”
The dedicated Helensburgh masterplans consultation page on the council’s website is at http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/helmasterplans, where visitors will find copies of the draft masterplans as well as the online response form and other relevant documents.
The two open days are on Friday, January 13 from 1pm to 8pm and on Saturday, January 14 from 10am to 3pm, both in Helensburgh's Victoria Halls.