Media Release: Innovative housing development comes to Oban

A PIONEERING new housing development for older people – complete with its own eco-friendly sun-powered heating system – is set to make its mark on the Oban community.

The development by Bield – one of Scotland’s leading providers of housing, care and community services for older people – is made up of 14 cottages, eight of which will be rented with the remaining six available for purchase through a ‘shared ownership’ scheme, the first time Bield has offered this service in the Highlands and Islands.

The spacious, well-appointed one and two-bedroom cottages at McKelvie Road, Glenshellach, have been designed to provide a choice of affordable, independent living for older people with the benefits of additional safety and security measures.

Bield, which has more than 40 years experience in providing quality housing and services for older people, was only able to develop the site thanks to a generous donation from the former Abbeyfield Oban Society in 2008.

Brian Logan, chief executive at Bield, said: “The McKelvie Road development is exciting for us on so many levels – and we hope what we have created will be well received both by the people of Oban and by those people who will move into the properties.

“Bield is, and always has been, committed to providing comfortable secure homes where people of all ages are respected, can make their own choices and are able to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

“We believe we have created a high quality development in a superb setting that provides high specification matched with security and peace of mind.”

The development is the first Bield scheme to have solar thermal roof panels to provide constant, low-cost hot water. Residents will also receive access to Bield Response 24, a smart technology emergency call system.

The development offers the option of shared ownership, which provides an opportunity for older people to become part owners in a property which they might not otherwise be able to afford. The owner purchases a share of the property and pays an occupancy charge on the remainder.

The owner receives all the benefits of other tenants, except that they are responsible for their own internal repairs and maintenance and for their own contents insurance.

The purchase price for a two-bedroom cottage at McKelvie Road is £105,000 – owners would own 80 per cent of the property and would have to pay a charge to cover the 20 per cent, which includes the service charge for the shared services.

Brian said: “Shared ownership at McKelvie Road offers people the chance to live their own lives in a secure, safe and quiet new development.

“We think this form of home ownership is the way of the future for older people who are looking for high quality, affordable accommodation with a level of support – that allows them to still have a stake in the property market.

“Finally, we would like to say a big thank you to the Abbeyfield Oban Society for their donation, without which the McKelvie Road development wouldn’t have been possible.”

The Abbeyfield Oban Society was a small volunteer organisation which provided very sheltered housing for up to eight residents at any one time at Glenmore Road, Oban.

Roger Parry, who was chairman of the Abbeyfield Oban Society, said: “Everyone connected with Abbeyfield Oban Society is delighted to see the new development at McKelvie Road take shape.

“The development is exactly what we had envisaged in 2008 after we sold our house and transferred the majority of our funds to Bield, with the rest going to various other charities.

“We are delighted that the volunteer work we began in 1978, to provide companionship and sheltered housing accommodation for older people in Oban and North Argyll, continues today through this new development.”

As well as the initial development, Bield has worked in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council to adapt one of the cottages for a tenant who has been in hospital for a number of years to enable him to live an independent life once he comes out.

Bield – a registered charity – has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 15,000 people across 22 local authority areas.

People interested in the properties should contact marketing and sales agents Bell Ingram, Tel 01631 566122.

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