Elected members given update on Knab redevelopment

Councillors have been given an update on progress on Knab redevelopment project, including plans for essential infrastructure and the first phase of housing on the cleared site.

 With demolition work on the site due to be completed soon, the next phase would be for ground works to put in place necessary infrastructure.  

Plans have been drawn up for access roads and utility connections to the retained and new buildings, including electricity cabling, water mains, and surface and foul water drainage. 

 Detailed design work would then continue for the first phase of housing to create up to 32 new properties, as part of the overall plan to provide 145 housing units once the development is complete.

The first phase includes plans at the north end of the site for 11 plots, with potentially two plots used for flats, to create 13 new-build housing units overall. 

As part of the Islands Growth Deal funding, these properties would be built to a low energy “Passivhaus” design standard, which the council says will be the benchmark for future housing on the site. 

The former Janet Courtney Hostel will undergo conversion work to create up to 19 flats comprising one, two or three-bedrooms. 

The B-listed “Art Deco” style former hostel building has existing service connections and a separate access road, and is said to lend itself to the provision of modern, flatted development.

The future mix of housing tenure on the site is still to be considered – with options including a mix of social rent, mid-market rent and shared equity with apartment size dependent on demand.

A multi-discipline design team will be appointed to progress the project, including architects and engineers, and a specialist consultant in listed building consent.

The project will be supported by up to £9.6M of Scottish government funding as part of The Islands Growth Deal.

Development chairman Dennis Leask said: “I’m really pleased to hear today of progress on the Knab redevelopment project. 

“With the demolition work almost complete, our teams working on this project will continue work on essential infrastructure to enable the first new housing on the site.  

“This is a long-term project with many stages ahead, and it’s satisfying to see so much now happening on the ground.”


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