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Mayview Site, Anstruther

COMMUNITY action which reversed a proposal to relocate a care home on the main patch of greenspace in Anstruther will now see the development take place as part of a major regeneration project to transform the Mayview area of the coastal town.  Fife Council will demolish four blocks containing 44 flats to make way for an innovative new model of elderly care for the 21st century and beyond.

The proposed care village will host a care home and 12 extra care housing flats for older people in supported tenancies.

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager (East), Fife Health & Social Care Partnership said, “This model represents a mixed economy of care and is working well in other areas of Fife.  People can still retain their independence but have access to care staff who can offer appropriate contact and support if required. In effect, it is sheltered accommodation right next to a care home, so the homes are less isolated and the residents are still very much part of their community.”

Councillor’s at this week’s North East Fife Area Committee will be asked to agree the change of intended use for the Mayview site as well as endorse the council’s intention to redevelop the site of the current care home, Ladywalk, to build 20 new council houses following its demolition.

The same Committee will consider an independent review into housing management of the Mayview site, which was recommended for demolition in March 2019.

Independent housing consultants, Arneil Johnson were appointed in December 2019 to carry out a review of Fife Council’s policy and practice in the 10-year period prior to the Committee’s decision to demolish the four blocks (44 flats), following a verdict informed by structural engineers that they were uneconomic to improve.

The report agrees with the recommendation to demolish and pursue full redevelopment of the site and this will serve to transform Anstruther’s housing assets offering maximum opportunities for placemaking and a housing mix capable of meeting local housing need and demand.

The report also seeks to provide answers to outstanding questions over the wider performance of the housing from a customer, community and housing management perspective.

Head of Housing Services, John Mills said, “It is important for the Council to have clear intelligence as to why popularity and demand for housing at Mayview declined over time and if housing management policy and practice was a contributing factor to this.

“We absolutely do need to take a ‘lessons learned’ approach going forward with decisions about the future design of housing in the Anstruther area as well as Fife wide.  We are keen to establish this in the context of assessing housing led regeneration options and the extent to which this can be influenced by proposed investment, housing or neighbourhood management interventions.

“The review of the Mayview flats will therefore be used to build a series of tools to inform future regeneration proposals which seek to find the most effective solution from an investment, customer and community perspective whilst improving the sustainability of housing assets.  The proposed Anstruther Care Village is an example of regeneration that provides benefits to the local and wider community.

“Furthermore, by taking the views of all stakeholders including staff, elected members and community representatives, with the lived experience of tenants and residents from Mayview, our housing management approach will benefit and recommendations will improve future policy and practice.  The full demolition of the blocks will succeed in destroying any legacy reputational issues, particularly if the community are actively involved in coming up with alternative housing designs.”

The key findings of the review will be available late September.