Author Archives: saveourhomes

Scottish Housing Minister Denies Malpractice Claims

(by getting a civil servant working on planning for the Commonwealth Games to answer for him!)

“Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your e-mail of 9 December 2011 to Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Housing and Transport, asking about clawback arrangements at the housing developments at Maryhill Locks, which falls within the Maryhill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA).

Mr Brown has asked me to reply on his behalf. While contractual legal agreements govern any disposal of land in these circumstances, clawback is waived in Activated Transformational Regeneration Areas (TRAs) – currently Maryhill, Lauriestonand Gallowgate – to help facilitate the regeneration of these areas, making sites more affordable to develop. This policy for all Activated TRAs, has been agreed between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association and Scottish Government and is fairly common in many regeneration projects throughout the United Kingdom. All developments within the TRAs are progressed within the context of a wider framework of agreed planned development.

For clarity, I should confirm the current position at Maryhill Locks. Phase 1 was the Botany development of 35 social rented properties, completed in October 2010 and in the ownership of Maryhill Housing Association. A significant number of these tenancies were taken up by former Botany residents who were keen to return to the area. Phase 2 commenced in June 2011 and an advanced works programme is underway.

Maryhill Housing Association will provide 106 homes for social rent and 19 units for New Supply Shared Equity. The remainder of the site will, in time, be developed for affordable private housing.

I hope my .Ietter clarifies the position.
Yours sincerely,
Alex Robertson
Head of Planning, Finance and Glasgow
Victoria Quay.”


Waterlogged in new home

Reproduced from:

New flats built for Maryhill Housing Association in the past two years, are leaking badly, according to residents.

The houses in Ruchill Street, G20 have had ceilings collapse and one resident is sleeping in her living room because of the water in her bedroom. Said Debbie McKenna: ‘My bed was drenched. I was glad I was not in it at the time. I’d noticed water dripping off the light bulb. I’ve had to throw out some of the bedclothes and the mattress.’

Debbie, who stayed with neighbours for a while says that the problem has still not been resolved though her deluge happened on Sunday 4 December. ‘It means my grandson can’t come to me at weekends as he usually does in case my ceiling falls in or the water starts coming through again.’

Another neighbour, who wishes to remain nameless, claims to have fallen because of the water cascading down the close stairs.

Said Iain MacInnes, Secretary of the Scottish Tenants’ Organisation: ‘This shouldn’t be happening in such a new property. But it seems to be taking an inordinately long time to find why and where the water is coming in and to fix it. Landlords have a legal responsibility to keep a place windproof and watertight.’

A spokesman for Maryhill Housing Association said that Chief Executive Willy Briody had visited the homes, personally, to check out the situation with senior staff. ‘We agree it is totally unacceptable to have water coming in, especially at this time of year. We are doing everything possible with Bellway, the building contractor to fix this.’

We reproduce this story in the Burgh Angel, not just because it is scandalous that tenants must live in these conditions, but also because Maryhill Housing Association was the very body which is to own and manage the pitiful number of new social homes in the Maryhill Locks.

Can they be trusted?

Tell us your story.

“Investing” (This is not satire)

“Glasgow’s Canal is a place full of opportunities for investors, as this area of the city is transformed.

A wide range of investment opportunities are currently available along the canal. Land is for sale. Old buildings are available to be redeveloped. Feasibility studies have been carried out as the first step for some exciting new projects, where funding is now required to move forward. The Glasgow Paddlesports Centre and Urban Etive are both exciting examples of opportunities to invest in watersports. Put these new opportunities in the context of projects in progress to appreciate the scale and rate of change that’s afoot.

Visit our Completed Projects page to learn how Glasgow’s Canal – and the area around it – is gradually changing. Milestones are celebrated; new projects are completed; people move into the area; old preconceptions are overturned.

If you would like to contribute to the transformation of this part of Glasgow through investment, redevelopment or relocation, please contact us.”


Cllr Alex Dingwall on Maryhill Locks “social home swick”

“Guys, really surprised by this story as the development of this site has been fully discussed for over three years in LHO and HA meetings, numerous community meetings at St Mary’s , presentations to community councils including both Maryhill and Wyndford & District and there is most certainly new social housing being built”

Author : Cllr Alex Dingwall
E-mail :

The facts speak for themselves.

Council and Scottish Government officials have been reluctant to release documents relating to the land deals underway. Documents which have been leaked to the Angel feature ‘redactions’ (censored details). What have they got to hide?

The amount of houses to be built is 800 overall. 146 will be for social rent. That’s just 17% – less than a fifth. This makes a mockery of the hundreds and hundreds of social homes which were demolished to make way for this largely private development.

In the initial phase of development the council waived £3.8 million that was due to it, from the sale of the land. No-one was asked whether we wanted to give away £3.8 million of public land to private developers for free. In total it is estimated that the entire development will cost the council £100 million in such handouts to developers. Although no-one really knows exactly how much has been doled out, because the information is being withheld.

What we do know is that this is a plan created by a Labour ran council committee, which was endorsed by and SNP Minister, and is being supported by a Lib Dem Councillor. They all have to answer for why they demolished hundreds of our homes to give the land away for nothing to private developers.

Maryhill Locks Social Housing Deficit

‘Transformational Regeneration Areas’ abandon social housing

The land around Maryhill Locks has long attracted property developers. The Maryhill Locks regeneration Masterplan, which includes the Botany (‘The Butney’) and the Valley, was approved in 2008, and the first phase of 35 homes at the Botany was completed in 2010. Now, as part of the so-called Maryhill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA),Maryhill Locks is set for a £15 million ‘regeneration’ programme with a “long-term goal” of 800 new homes. The Maryhill Locks TRA is one of three piloted TRA areas out of a total of eight in Glasgow.

Lib-Dem Councillor, Alex Dingwall, sent a newsletter through local letterboxes this summer expressing his pleasure at the development. He noted the shortage of social rented homes locally, so he was “delighted” to see around 100 new Housing Association properties being built. But wait a minute! With representatives from three local Housing Associations and the Maryhill LHO on the Local Delivery Group (charged with the delivery of the Maryhill TRA), surely 100 social rented homes out of a total 800 homes is a measly return?

The Maryhill Locks scheme is in many ways typical of new ‘mixed-development’ schemes. The idea is allegedly that private development ‘unlocks’ money for social housing. But what we really end up with is less social housing. With Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) committed to demolishing 30,000 of its homes, we are now seeing the replacement of that figure with more and more private homes, reducing the overall amount of social housing drastically. The crush on social housing supply keeps the private property market going, while ‘mixed-communities’ like the Locks raise prices through gentrification, and make the crush on “affordable” housing even more extreme.

The citywide TRA scheme is the brainchild of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and the Scottish Government. A key element of the scheme was to persuade Scottish Ministers to ‘waive’ the “stock transfer clawback arrangement”, allowing any profits generated through private sector activity to be “recycled” into all eight regeneration areas. But the “clawback” arrangement ensured that income generated by the GHA from formerly council-owned land, could be “clawed-back” into public coffers. ‘Waiving’ this arrangement effectively amounts to a £100m million subsidy for the private sector to continue building and selling private and shared equity homes.

How do the figures stack up? Development and Regeneration Services figures show that the aggregate housing element involved in the eight TRA’s is 11,000 GHA demolitions, 6,000 Private Sector new build, and 3,000 Social Rented new build. That means Glasgow overall loses 8,000 Social Rented homes! Some transformation!

It’s about time we accepted that ‘regeneration’ is little more than “sugar-coated” gentrification – raising rents, privatizing everything, displacing the poor, and catering to middle-class taste. A recent report by the National Housing Federation confirms this viewpoint, predicting the UK housing market, already overheated, will soon be plunged into an unprecedented crisis with, “steep rises in the private rental sector, huge social housing waiting lists, and a house price boom – all fuelled by a chronic under-supply of homes”.

The need for strong independent tenants and residents networks to fight our corner becomes more obvious everyday.