Gorbals Housing project gets it right

08 Jun 2009

by Ewan Fergus, Evening Times

A £13million housing development at the heart of plans to transform the Gorbals has been opened.

The state-of-the-art Hutchesontown project is the final piece of an acclaimed regeneration scheme. It is the culmination of 20 years of work by New Gorbals Housing Association which has poured more than £70million into the area.

The new estate replaces the infamous "Hutchie Dampies" high flats, which attracted bitter criticism from residents who claimed they caused ill-health. They were demolished in 1982, just 14 years after they were built.

The development, designed by Page\Park and JM Architects, marks the 700th new-build for the association and was funded by Glasgow City Council in partnership with the Scottish Government.

It will provide 104 quality socially rented homes, featuring a seven-storey tower, 13 family maisonettes and four flats designed for wheelchair users.

The Oregon Street development will also include a shop and a new base for the Gorbals' Credit Union.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who opened the project, said: "This new development in the Gorbals is a shining example of how affordable housing can enrich a community."

Bill Sharkey, chairman of New Gorbals Housing Association, and a life-long Gorbals resident, said: "Past regeneration efforts have been immense failures but having local people in control has led to getting it right this time.

"All this would not have been possible without the generous support of Glasgow City Council and we are immensely proud to have made such a significant contribution towards making the Gorbals one of the most attractive areas to live in Glasgow.

"I lived in the notorious Hutchie Dampies for 10 years. But this time round, we've got it right.

"Giving local folk ownership produces places like this which are recognised for their quality and success.

New residents in Hutchesontown development were delighted with their new homes.

Linda Reid, 44, has been allocated a specially designed flat to suit daughter Caitlin, 9, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Linda said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be moving into such a magnificent development.

"The fact the flat is purpose-built for Caitlin's needs is more than I could ever have expected when I applied for rehousing.

"Now she can be much more independent and move around within the courtyard area in a secure environment."

New Gorbals Housing Association has been recognised for its role in the regeneration of the Gorbals area, winning six Saltire Awards for its Crown Street development and a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) award for Best New Neighbourhood.

David Page, partner at Page\Park Architects: "Redeveloping the site was an exciting challenge for us as it sits in between high-rise flats, 1960s maisonettes, new developments and a listed Victorian library building.

"Our aim was to create a place with a clear layout which links these areas together, reinforcing a real sense of community with green space for the new residents to share in a secure environment."

Reproduced with the permission of the Herald & Times Group.

  • The new flats in Hutchesontown, Gorbals

Oregon Street
  • Oregon Street