The regeneration of the former mining village of Twechar collected two awards at last night’s Scottish Home Awards, held at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow. Designed by Cooper Cromar, the Roman Fields project was awarded Community Partnership of the Year and Davidson Crescent was awarded Small Affordable Housing Development of the Year.
The Roman Fields site comprises 150 new homes and forms part of the overall Twechar Regeneration project which is a partnership between Places for People (PfP), East Dunbartonshire Council, the Local Community, and the Twechar Regeneration Group to revitalise the village by providing 300 new homes, open space and infrastructure.
The project was the catalyst for the establishment of a collaborative partnership between PfP and EDC to pilot an assessment methodology to ensure this, and future applications, test and deliver the principles of Designing Streets, and shall form part of a case study by the Scottish Government as a Model of Excellence in implementing Designing Streets principles and sustainable place-making.
The judges noted that all the entries were impressive but the winner’s focus on one project was compelling and impressive. They also noted the joint commitment from the community, the council and the developers to create something of real long term merit.
A member of the Design Working Group commented: “The process was extremely transparent, and great care was taken to involve the residents of the village. All in all, a very inclusive experience for me, and I’m sure everyone else involved. A big step forward in the regeneration of the village.”
The 45 unit expansion of Davidson Crescent, awarded small Affordable Housing Development of the Year, forms the beginning of this redevelopment. Set within a shared surface street environment, the streets and spaces are designed with a pedestrian emphasis. Private car parking is positioned within a mixture of street parking and rear courtyards, with landscaped pocket parks connecting the development with the surrounding countryside.
Davidson Crescent was praised by the judges for regenerating an area which was previously high density council housing and by introducing ownership into the community.
Chair of Twechar Tenants and Residents Association said: “I am delighted with the style and standard of the new houses, and they have made a huge difference to the living standards of many people from the village as well as the new families who have chosen to come and live in Twechar.”