THE last three housing blocks will be knocked down before Christmas to make way for the final phase of Fraser Avenue's £30 million regeneration.

Fife Council said the huge redevelopment in Inverkeithing, involving the demolition of old and unpopular flats and replacing them with modern homes, has faced "major challenges" but was proving to be a success.

When it was approved in March 2015, it was described as one of the biggest regeneration projects in Scotland and work on the third and final phase should begin in spring.

At the South and West Fife area committee, housing officer Debbie Ford said: "It's been a long-term, complex project and it's been very much about working in partnership with Kingdom Housing Association and Campion Homes but also with the local community and local members.

"We have had major challenges throughout – we've learned many lessons which we'll take forward into future projects – but in general, we feel the outcome for the majority of the people involved has been a positive one and the housing situation has certainly improved as a result."

The remaining 50-60 units will be provided in the third and final phase, with a planning application in the process of being finalised.

Kingdom expect work to start on site in spring 2023 and be completed by autumn 2024.

Preliminary work was carried out and Dem-Master, who won the contract, started demolishing the remaining properties in mid-October.

They've knocked down the first block and all four will be down before Christmas, followed by site clearance which should be done by the end of January.

Ms Ford told councillors: "The main success story is that so many people were able to remain in the local area, being able to keep families together and kids at local schools, and a high percentage still in the same homes they moved into as part of the project, which I think is also positive."

Built in 1956, the original homes on Fraser Avenue were in three-storey blocks of flats.

The area was ranked was one of the most deprived areas of Scotland and the council decided to knock it all down and start again.

Land was transferred to Kingdom Housing Association who were chosen to build, own and manage the new homes.

Campion Homes were appointed as their design and build partner.

The first phase saw 53 new homes and three new shops – a Stephens bakery, Shad Superstore and Goodfryers Chip Shop – built and occupied.

Phase two was scheduled to be complete in the summer of 2021 and the 61 homes were finished finally in May of this year.

Since 2014, 190 tenants and residents of Fraser Avenue have been rehoused. This includes 45 who were rehoused in the Kingdom development and four in the council’s Spencerfields development.

Ms Ford told councillors: "The main costs for the Fife Council elements of the project were for demolition and the construction of the shop units, which was a big chunk, buying back 17 flats and four shop units was approximately £3.5m.

"There were also revenue costs of about £1m which included setting up decamp properties for moving tenants between phases and disturbance and home loss payments to tenants.

"Within that we also recouped about £168,000 in debt which has gone back to council tax and rent arrears."