Published Date: Sep 29th, 2021
THE FIRST wave of delighted customers has moved into affordable new homes in St Andrews – in a luxury block inspired by legendary author Enid Blyton.
The 30 apartments in Malory House are sought-after one and two-bedroom homes and, under a pioneering project, are being split 50-50 with priority cases from Fife Council’s housing waiting list.
Now Bield Housing and Care believes the homes, which are earmarked for people over 60, will free up other properties across the area, easing congested waiting lists and benefitting younger families as well.
Dr Lynne Douglas, Chief Executive of Bield, said: “St Andrews is one of the finest places to live in Scotland. That is brilliant for those lucky enough to call the town their home, but it does place great strain on the availability of affordable housing in the area.
“We are absolutely thrilled that we can help to address the shortage of one and two-bedroom homes through this innovative partnership with the council.”
Malory House is named after the Malory Towers books by legendary children’s author, Enid Blyton. Although her books are set in an English boarding school, the castle-like building she described was widely believed to have been inspired by nearby St Leonards School in St Andrews.
Malory House was constructed as part of Bield’s The Walled Gardens, a prestigious development of 78 luxury one and two-bedroom retirement apartments. Bield took the radical decision to offer the 30 homes for social rent, bringing even greater benefit to the popular seaside town.
Half of the flats have been offered to Fife Council’s Housing department for letting to council tenants aged 60+. Those who are interested in applying can contact Bield directly to find out about availability.
Dr Douglas added: “Fife Council has been an absolute trailblazer for building new council homes and promoting other affordable options. Despite those efforts, there are simply not enough affordable homes to meet demand in St Andrews.
“It is likely that many of those people moving into their new homes in Malory House will be downsizing from bigger properties – and that should free up those council homes or social rent properties.
“That eases pressure further down the housing chain, hopefully meaning young families will be able to find affordable homes in the town, rather than being forced to move out of the area.”
The smart partnership with Bield is now part of Fife Council’s ambitious Affordable Housing Programme that is increasing the number of affordable houses.
Between 2012-17 the local authority delivered 1700 new council homes across Fife. It is on course to deliver a further 3,500 new affordable homes by 2022 and, in late June, the council approved proposals to build 1200 more council houses between 2022 and 2024.
Speaking about the partnership with Bield at Malory House, Councillor Judy Hamilton, Convener of the Council's Community and Housing Services Committee said: "This is exactly the kind of clever thinking that is needed to address housing need in Fife. It’s great news that these outstanding properties are being offered for social rent.
“As a local authority, we will continue to lead the way in Scotland building top-quality new council homes. But everyone needs to play a part – from specialist housing providers like Bield, through social landlords, private landlords and private developers.
“Our successful affordable housing programme is a top priority for the council and we are aiming to create as many safe, warm and affordable homes for Fifers as possible."
Malory House comprises three two-bedroom flats and 27 one-bedroom apartments. Each of the spacious, high-spec homes boasts light and airy rooms, stylish kitchens and bathrooms. Each flat has a video door entry system and secure front doors and double-glazed windows. Every flat can be accessed by a lift servicing all floors.
Fife Council’s Affordable Housing programme is one of the biggest in Scotland and as well as providing more housing it aims to create jobs and apprenticeships, supporting the Fife economy and the construction industry.
Bield is a registered charity dedicated to providing flexible housing solutions and support for older people.
To find out more about Bield, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/housing-and-other-services or follow us on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland.