By Moira Rodger
West Dunbartonshire Council will conduct a series of tests on homes in Clydebank in a bid to reduce the impact of aircraft noise.
The noise mitigation trial initiative, which is being run in partnership with Glasgow Airport, will focus on 12 households in the Whitecrook area, and aims to identify the best solution for managing noise levels.
The most successful measures explored throughout the trial may be rolled out as part of phased works across all 563 households in the area which are affected by aviation noise, as well as used to inform future work in other authorities.
The proposal for the trial, which will cost up to £192,000 and will be paid for equally by the Council and Glasgow Airport, was given the go ahead when it was brought before the Housing and Communities committee this week.
Members were told that the chosen properties are still subject to tenant agreement but have been based on variety of house type, construction type and size.
Officers will now work to procure a leading expert in the field to manage the trial on the Council and Airport’s behalf, and it is anticipated the project will begin within 2019/20.
The full specification of work carried out will be agreed in partnership, and if successful, a phased programme of works would be rolled out to other affected properties, alongside existing window replacements and insulation programmes.
The Council will also seek funding from the Scottish Government’s Better Homes Division as the learning from the trial will also inform future practice across other local authority areas.
Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “While Glasgow Airport falls outwith the West Dunbartonshire Council boundaries, there has been a long standing community issue within the Whitecrook area of Clydebank in terms of aircraft noise.
“This trial project will explore different measures that can be used to minimise and where practical reduce the adverse impacts of this, so this is positive news for residents in that area.
“As a housing provider committed to benefiting the health and wellbeing of our tenants we are keen to maximise our role and provide added value to our tenants.”
Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “Of the 563 addresses in West Dunbartonshire which are in the noisiest areas, 212 are Council homes.
“While all our properties already meet Housing standards expected in terms of glazing and loft insulation, I am pleased that we are working alongside the airport and taking a prominent role in attempting to develop a sustainable resolution to this long-standing sound issue.”
The outcomes of the trial will be reported back to a future meeting of the Housing and Communities committee, alongside a number of recommendations for future action.
Current UK Government policy within the Aviation Policy Framework (APF)now requires financial assistance to be offered towards the noise insulation of residential properties in high noise contours.
New partnership will create more new homes in West Dunbartonshire
Cllr Diane Docherty is housing convener in West Dunbartonshire.
Meanwhile, West Dunbartonshire Council’s Housing service has created a new partnership with local housing associations to develop more new affordable homes.
Caledonia Housing Association, Clydebank Housing Association and Dunbritton Housing Association have all been instrumental to the Council’s increased provision of new housing for rent and other affordable housing solutions.
The Council is now approaching the final two years of the More Homes Better Homes initiative – which will see over 1000 new homes constructed across West Dunbartonshire.
The new partnership had led to a firm commitment from all parties involved to creating an Affordable Housing New Build programme beyond that.
Officers are currently working on this latest plan in partnership with developing Housing Associations.
It is anticipated that an excess of 800 new homes will be delivered in the West Dunbartonshire area through the new strategic partnerships over the next five-year period.
Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “We are committed to working with Housing Associations, so I welcome this new partnership which recognises the extremely valuable contribution these organisations can have when we think about regenerating areas and providing more new homes to meet housing needs.
“Of course it is all hands on deck at the moment to ensure that our commitment to delivering 1000 new affordable homes by March 2021 is achieved.
“But I am extremely pleased to see that plans have been put in motion for the years following this, when we will still be aiming to improve our areas and provide greater numbers of homes for rent.”
Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of the Committee, added: “All three of these housing associations have contributed greatly to the provision of new affordable housing in West Dunbartonshire since the announcement of the Scottish Governments More Homes Scotland initiative and they significantly feature in Affordable Housing Development Plans going forward.
“I know this partnership will make positive changes to our housing stock going forward, but the additional investment it generates will bring with it much needed construction jobs, training places and apprenticeships through each organisation’s approach to community benefits.”