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Green light for Cullivoe houses

A SMALL ISLAND village in Shetland will this summer see the start of work on six new affordable houses, to be built next to the community’s primary school.

Hjaltland Housing Association (HHA) announced yesterday afternoon (Thursday) that they had received approval from the Scottish government to go ahead with the Cullivoe project.

The association’s property services manager, Bryan Leask, said the development on the island of Yell was due to get underway this summer.

“There has been a lot of press recently about the reduction of funding Hjaltland are facing next year.

“While it is true that we are facing a 46 per cent cut in our core funding we are in the fortunate position of having a good working relationship with the SIC which affords us the use of a bridging facility to support our development programme.

“This innovative approach has been recognised by the Scottish Government as an excellent example of partnership working to meet the common goal of meeting the current housing demand throughout Shetland,” Mr Leask said.

Scottish housing minister Alex Neil said the government was investing over £761,000 in HHA’s latest development.

“The provision of quality affordable homes is vital to ensure the prosperity of Yell and it helps to house and retain the local population.  It will also sustain the local building trade and related businesses,” the minister said.

The six house scheme, developed by Scalloway architect firm Redman + Sutherland, has been designed and grouped in a way to create a “sense of community” among people.

The firm’s principal architect, Iain Malcolmson, added: “The materials we have chosen, such as white render and timber from sustainable sources, combined with how the buildings step down the site compliments the local architecture and although the houses are unashamedly modern they are designed to feel timeless.

“Along with Hjaltland Housing Association, Redman + Sutherland Architects are committed to sustainable designs therefore the houses are well insulated, air tight, ventilated and warm with low running costs.”

Mr Leask added that despite the proposed cut in the housing association’s funding allocation it continues to be a busy time with 64 houses already under construction at Quoys, Sandwick and Aith.

HHA also proposes to commence work at Herrislea House, Eshaness and the new Baptist Kirk, in Lerwick, over the next 12 months.