THE creation of 55 affordable new council homes on the site of a former primary school in Dumbarton is under way.

The 1.9 acre site previously housed Aitkenbar Primary, before it was demolished in 2016, and is being transformed into mixed housing, including 24 one-bedroom flats; two, three and four-bedroom semi detached houses as well as four-bedroom detached homes.

The development will also have two accessible three-bedroom bungalows.

Councillors gathered at the site on Thursday, January 9, to mark the start of work, with Councillor Diane Docherty, convener of housing and communities, cutting the first sod.

Cllr Docherty said: “I am so pleased to see work getting under way at this site. The development will bring a great deal of benefit to the surrounding area, and the facilities on offer will ensure it is a popular site when complete.

“As a council, we made a pledge under our More Homes Better Homes initiative to deliver 1,000 new affordable, energy efficient homes by 2021. We are on track to reach that target, and that number will contribute to the Scottish Government’s own aims and targets for housing.”

Tenants living at the new development will benefit from a community garden, which will include a seating area, shrubbery and artwork designed in partnership with local schools and an artist.

A new tree-lined road will also be formed through the centre of the site, from Howatshaws Road, and a new footpath will connect the site with the adjacent children’s play area and woodland path.

Councillor Caroline McAllister, vice convener of housing and communities, added: “Seeing work begin on yet another development of homes which are not only affordable, but also stylish and environmentally friendly, is wonderful.“Each home will be built to the same high quality that our design standard requires – which means extra floor space, home office space, flexible layouts and adhering to the Silver standard for energy efficiency.”

The project is being delivered by building firm CCG on behalf of the council.

The firm – who are the building partner for other Council Housing developments and the new Care Home being constructed at Queens Quay too – have agreed to providing a number of community benefits throughout the works.