First residents celebrate milestone moment at Deans South

27/05/2024
Left to Right: Hannah Bardell MP, Tom Leggeat, Kerry Macintosh and Sandy Adam

THE transformation of a once condemned housing estate in Livingston is celebrating a historic milestone with the official handover of the first few new homes.

Leading housebuilder, Springfield, has presented the keys to the first new residents of Deans South, many of whom have waited over 20 years for this moment. After a fault was identified in the concrete of the original homes, the estate was earmarked for demolition in 2004 and the area fell into disrepair.

The first handovers have taken place within a highly anticipated regeneration project from Springfield to deliver high-quality affordable and private new homes across the 2.9 acre site, giving the community a new lease of life.

To mark the milestone moment, Deans South veteran, Kerry Macintosh was joined by the Springfield team and Hannah Bardell, MP for Livingston as she collected her keys and took the significant step over the threshold into her brand-new home.

Kerry bought her three-bed home on the estate in 2002 but in 2004, West Lothian Council condemned the site and earmarked it for demolition. Unable to move, Kerry remained on the site to fight for a fair deal for herself and the remaining homeowners. Now, 20 years later and with the transformation of the site well under way, Kerry has received the keys to her long-awaited new home.

Kerry Macintosh said: “Having waited for this day for over 20 years, I can’t quite believe this is actually happening. It’s hard to put into words how it felt to be handed the keys and to take the very first steps into my brand new home, it was a mixture of relief and pure joy.

“The whole team at Springfield have been amazing. They have been an enormous support over the last eight years and have been determined to find a way forward even when we were all frustrated and things seemed bleak. A safe and secure home in a thriving community is all I’ve ever wanted and we’re finally in a position to make this happen. I can’t wait to get settled into my new home!”

Springfield and one of the UK’s largest builders of social rented homes, Wheatley Group, signed a deal worth £9.7 million in June 2023 to drive the regeneration of the site. Construction is underway for 55 high-quality new homes, of which 46 are affordable homes while the other nine private homes will be built for existing homeowners. All of the private homes will be handed over to residents along with the first affordable homes next month.

The properties have been built by Springfield using sustainable timber kits constructed off-site at their timber kit factory and are extremely energy efficient, using air source heat pumps. The homes for social housing have been delivered for tenants of Wheatley Homes East, part of Wheatley Group. 

Tom Leggeat, Springfield Partnerships Managing Director, said: “Handing the keys to brand new homes to the people that have lived in an abandoned estate for so many years marks a momentous moment in the story of Deans South. We are incredibly proud to have played a pivotal role in delivering high-quality and energy efficient homes that the community deserve.

“It has been a journey to say the least, and these new homes now stand as testament to our commitment to deliver much-needed social rented homes, as well as our promise to provide a ‘home for a home’ for those who have lived in Deans South for decades.

“We were delighted to watch Kerry take the first steps in her new home after years of tireless campaigning and we’re looking forward to watching the neighbourhood come to life as our new community members settle in.”

Hannah Bardell, MP for Livingston, added: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Deans South residents at this exciting time.

“I have worked on behalf of Deans South residents for a number of years now and I know what this new development means to them. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved and I wish the residents the very best in their new homes.”

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