PROPOSALS to turn empty council flats in Alloa into affordable housing will be taken forward after regeneration plans have been agreed by the local authority.

Two blocks of flats at Engelen Drive, which have lain empty since 2019, are to be demolished to make way for 10 affordable homes in the southern area of the town.

Kingdom Housing Association will be taking the works forward to create a high-quality residential development for social rent by individuals or families with varying needs after purchasing the site from Clackmannanshire Council.

The project brief calls for a “distinctive environment for residents, including attractive areas of both public and private landscaping to create a safe and usable development”.

Two-storey pitched roof houses with private rear gardens will be built with units grouped together to form a mixture of semi-detached homes and terraces.

The design proposal calls for a shared central area, incorporating parking, with the site arranged so that rear gardens are private and parking is to the front of the properties.

All houses will be provided with level access from pavement to front door and to rear doors as well while meeting Housing for Varying Needs standards internally.

The development, which includes two- and three-bedroom homes, will also seek to be sustainable with a “fabric first” approach taken to energy reduction.

This includes “enhanced levels of insulation to walls, floors and roofs along with increased air-tightness and triple-glazed windows”, the design and access statement explained.

Air source heat pumps will be provided to all houses, located at the rear, while water butts are also proposed to aid in the collection of rainwater.

Clacks Council, which originally owned the site, identified Engelen Drive as a regeneration site in June 2018 with blocks 12-26 and 28-38 empty since the start of 2019.

Originally, it was to be developed under the same contract as Elm Grove, however, abnormal costs including the relocation of an electrical substation had taken the project over benchmark costs.

Elected representatives agreed to demolish the site at a 2021 meeting, approving £30,000 from council tax income from second homes and the same amount from affordable housing funds.

The substation situated at the site was due to be moved to another location before the purchase could be concluded with Kingdom HA, which will take forward the demolition and rebuild contract, a November 2023 council report explained.

The demolition and rebuild plans submitted by the housing association have been approved by the council's planning department, subject to conditions, at the end of March.