Following several meetings and discussions with potential funders, OIC, and others, the proposed refurbishment of Bayview. The project will now provide four apartments (1 or 2 bedrooms) in the main building and a three-bedroom house in the grounds.
Onsite parking will be provided for the new residents.
Our Stage 1 application for financial support has received approval from the Scottish Housing Fund and we now have 3 months to submit the detailed proposal for consideration by the panel.
The architect is preparing the draft plans that will be submitted to a public meeting as soon as they are available. Assuming that the detailed proposal receives the support of the Westray community and is successful in attracting funding in the 2nd stage of the competition then we expect to secure up to 80% of the overall project costs from Scottish Government.
We are also approaching the Rural Housing Fund for grant assistance with the costs of developing the site.
We will be working with a third party, Registered Social Landlord to manage the flats on our behalf, subject to a new housing policy we will develop.
The Project Need
In order to have a final confirmation that the community still desired housing development in Westray, we sent out a Housing Needs Survey in February 2018. There were 27 responses, a good workable number. They all showed that there is a continued need for housing to be developed. The survey was not intended to replace the previous work undertaken over the last 3 years but to give the Board confidence that the need was still present.
On the strength of this last survey in conjunction with the work already completed by the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust, the feedback from the potential funders and levels of staffing hours required to complete the applications. It was decided not to develop new-build housing at this busy time. However, the renovation of an existing property (Bayview) into several 1 – 2 bedroom flats is achievable.
If the Scottish Land Fund and Rural Housing Funds are extended, which we are reasonably confident they will be, a decision will be made to consider developing new builds in approximately 2 years’ time.