New Lerwick flats ready to hit the housing market

TWENTY SEVEN new one bedroom room flats are set to be advertised for rent this month after Hjaltland Housing Association (HHA) announced the imminent completion of its flagship project at King Harald Street in Lerwick.

Following consultation, the ten ground floor flats will be allocated to existing Hjaltland and SIC housing tenants who are under-occupying their existing properties and would benefit from a move.

The remaining 17 flats are set to be allocated in line with Hjaltland’s existing policy, head of housing and customer service Ian Bray said.

The 27 properties opposite the Islesburgh Community Centre were designed by Karen Manson of PJP Architects and built by DITT Construction.

The new housing development at King Harald Street.

The site was gifted to the housing association in 2016 by Shetland Islands Council to enable the provision of social housing. Work got underway in spring 2018 after the project received £3.2 million in grand funding from the Scottish Government.

Bray described the development as “another important step in the journey to meeting the exceptionally high demand for single person accommodation in Lerwick”.

He added: “I would encourage existing tenants who are in larger properties to consider submitting an application, with this being a unique opportunity to downsize.

“By prioritising our existing tenant base for the ground floor flats, we can then free up additional family-sized accommodation for re-allocation.

“Whilst there will be 27 new tenancies created at King Harald Street, this will in reality create a domino effect to alleviate housing need for many more families.”

All 27 properties are one bedroom, two person flats with the ten ground floor units designed as accessible homes to meet the differing and changing needs of tenants as they experience life events.

Hjaltland’s technical officer Jason Montgomery inspecting one of the new flats.

All properties are fully networked with fibre to promote digital inclusion, maximise broadband speeds and enable the use of assistive technologies.

Chief executive Bryan Leask said it was a shame that due to the Covid-19 pandemic the housing association was unable to hold an open day to showcase “these fantastic new homes”.

However, as current Covid-19 guidelines allow people to move home the association will instead share information and photos of the development on its social media pages and website.

The association’s head of investment Paul Leask added: “It’s great to see this project coming to fruition and bringing, what was essentially a derelict site, back into use.

“I think the whole team have done a fantastic job in designing and constructing this high quality project and look forward to seeing tenants moving in.

“It’s been a very challenging year and it’s great that this investment has helped sustain some of our local businesses as they deal with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Manson said: “With its location in the heart of the conservation area and directly opposite the very prominent category B listed Islesburgh Community Centre the site presented a challenge but also a unique opportunity to bring some new life to what had become a fairly derelict site.

“We are delighted with the end result and feel that the new buildings sit comfortably within the existing street, providing a contemporary new addition to King Harald Street but one which is sensitive to its surroundings.”

More information about Hjaltland Housing Association including the organisation’s allocation policy can be found at their website at https://www.hjaltland.org.uk

Shetland News