A start at last for Murray’s homes

Sir David Murray, third left, at the launch of work at Torrance Park.

Sir David Murray, third left, at the launch of work at Torrance Park.

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Work on Sir David Murray’s long-awaited £60 million housing development alongside a golf course near Holytown has begun at last.

Planning permission for homes at the Torrance Park site was granted seven years ago, but it’s only now that the former Rangers chairman’s Murray Estates has announced the start of preparatory work for the first phase of 222 homes.

The first of those will go on sale early next year while work will start on a clubhouse for Torrance Park Golf Club.

The developers blamed tough economic conditions for delays to the project. They twice had to ask North Lanarkshire Council for extensions to the deadline by which work was supposed to start.

Permission was granted originally for 180 homes, but four years ago the council agreed to increase this to 270 after being told the difficult economic climate meant a development of 180 was ‘financially unviable’.

The golf club, an associated development, opened to the public in 2009. It doesn’t have a clubhouse yet and a condition of planning permission is that one must be built and open before work starts on the 25th dwelling of the housing development. There will be a new road and roundabout linking with the A723 Carfin-Holytown road near Holytown.

Willie Burns, of builders Taylor Wimpey, said there will be a mix of three, four and five-bedroom homes and the first residents are expected to move in by the end of 2015.

Holytown councillor Jimmy Coyle, convener of the planning committee, is delighted work has started. He said: “It’s been a long time coming. The development will bring jobs, homes, infrastructure and facilities to the area.”