THE green light has being given to purchase land at Dumbarton Harbour to build 45 new council homes in a deal worth more than £6.2 million.

At a special meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council’s housing and communities committee last week, councillors agreed a number of measures to ensure the commitment to delivering 1,000 new affordable homes by 2021 is met.

Councillor Diane Docherty, convener of housing and communities, told the Reporter: “It was important that the committee gave officers the approval to acquire sites for new houses and also to draw down funding for various housing projects that will contribute to our delivery of 1,000 new affordable homes by 2021.

“The council has set a very ambitious target and it’s one that we are determined to make.

“We must provide desirable affordable and high quality homes for the people of West Dunbartonshire and the decision taken by the committee this week will ensure we are best placed to do that.”

Dumbarton councillor David McBride added: “This is an excellent report, very encouraging and I welcome it. These things don’t happen overnight. It is absolutely fantastic and long may it continue. The future is very bright.”

The council committee announced that developers for the Dumbarton Harbour project, Culross DH, will build the 45 new council homes at an estimated fixed cost of £6.235 million, which included the acquisition of the land.

Peter Barry, strategic lead for WDC’s housing and employability department, told councillors: “This development falls within the average cost per unit and future planned council developments.”

As well as the Dumbarton Harbour project, the committee also agreed to sell land at Muir Road and Talisman Avenue in Dumbarton to Caledonia Housing Association and the Wheatley Group respectively.

Councillor Iain McLaren, vice convener of housing and communities, added: “I was delighted to see more detail in terms of what houses will be built and where, and to be able to give the go-ahead for the next stage of our commitment to be realised.”

The 1,000 new homes by 2021 commitment – part of the More Homes Better Homes programme − will see the council work with housing association partners to deliver the affordable homes where they are most needed across the authority area.

Also announced at the meeting was a schedule for where and when the homes will be built. The council is currently building 40 homes at Second Avenue/Singer Street in Clydebank, with construction on 126 due to begin in financial year 2018/19 at the old St Andrew’s School site in Clydebank. Also beginning this year will be work on the 45 council homes at Dumbarton Harbour and 15 in Alexandria town centre.

In 2019/20, work will start on 60 new council houses in Bellsmyre, 81 in Haldane and 50 in Clydebank East.

Houses to be built by partners include 292 units by Wheatley Group/Cube Housing Association; 86 units by Clydebank Housing Association; 33 Link Housing Association homes; 167 homes by Dunbritton Housing Association and 242 Caledonia Housing Association units.

The Scottish Government has set a national target of 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.