An ambitious housing scheme in North Ayrshire has been scrapped in favour of building 26 council houses.

The site of St Mary's Primary School in Largs was to be used for the Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) project, which was launched by the Scottish Futures Trust  and North Ayrshire Council in 2019.

The pilot scheme would have seen 33 properties built in the seaside town, which would have been to say for first time buyers for £5,000.

The sum would have secured prospective buyers a stake in a house or flat - with the council owning the rest - and all the rights of a homeowner with fewer responsibilities.

First time buyers would not have had to pay stamp duty or for repairs or maintenance, - which would be covered by a monthly occupancy fee that would rise in line with inflation - while having the right to decide when to sell their stake and freedom to decorate and furnish in any way they wanted.

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Two and three bed homes would have been available for people who lived locally in the North Coast area - Cumbrae, Largs, Fairlie, Skelmorlie and West Kilbride - and had a maximum income of £45,000 per year, or £65,000 for joint applications.

There would also have been a provision for £40,000 homes for over-60s who were looking to downsize.

However, the HOME scheme has been deemed to be financially unworkable due to the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation, and a rise in construction costs.

The Herald: North Ayrshire Council

Instead 26 council homes will be built on the site in Linn Avenue.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Green Environment and Economy at North Ayrshire Council, said: “We have one of the most ambitious housebuilding programmes in Scotland and the development at Largs will be yet another exciting addition to that programme.

“It will be a natural extension to our recently-completed 122-home development at Flatt Road which neighbours the site and will provide a range of general needs homes and amenity properties.”

The Scottish Government will fund the scheme through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme, with the site in condition for work to begin immediately.