Wednesday 12 January 2022

Improving home warmth in Logie #dundeewestend

As reported in the Courier and Evening Telegraph earlier this week, I have been highlighting that the housing in Logie is now over 100 years old, many tenants and owners highlight how difficult to heat the houses are and there needs to be urgent action by the City Council to improve insulation in the houses in Logie.

I have over the years spoken with many residents about this issue - and at other locations in the West End. In many parts of the city, council housing and ex-council houses have now benefitted from external insulation. However, because of solid wall construction and its historic and conservation area status, Logie cannot have external insulation measures.

The answer is, of course, internal insulation and there were two 'trial' properties for internal insulation in Sycamore Place and Birchwood Place some time ago. The results were positive but I have real concerns that any progress on this has stalled.

I therefore contacted the City Council's Head of Housing and Communities seeking an update and he has responded as follows :

"As you are aware, properties in the Logie estate are of solid wall construction and as such would not be suitable for an external wall insulation solution. The area, however, comes under consideration as being of specific architectural significance in Dundee’s history and heritage.

This means that changing the outward appearance of the flats is unacceptable to city planners which in turn means we have to consider other options such as internal wall or cavity wall insulation to improve the thermal efficiency of the flats and overall buildings.

Proposals are currently being developed along with timescales and funding for this is being allowed for in the housing revenue account capital investment programme but timescales are still not clear as to when this will be delivered during the 5 years of the plan in light of competing priorities which we have also had to factor in.

Once we are clearer, we will of course update you further."

I have responded making very clear my view that there must be progress soon. I have made the point that, of all the council-built properties in my ward, the Logie houses are - unsurprisingly, given their construction - some of the hardest to heat.

This particularly worries me given the number of elderly tenants in the sheltered area north of Logie Avenue.

I have made the point that, in terms of the council's housing capital plan going forward, priority for insulation works should be given to properties that are particularly hard to heat and residents in fuel poverty.

I will, of course keep residents updated on this important issue as I am anxious to see real progress on this, particularly given soaring energy costs.