A miraculous new community in the East End

IT was not that long ago the sprawling area of land opposite Celtic Park was a wasteland boasting only weeds and dumped rubbish.

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While housebuilders were fighting over sites on the riverside, they walked away from the prospect of spending millions building a new development in that part of the East End.

All that was to change with the announcement Glasgow had won the right to stage the Commonwealth Games.

Four city developers came together, under the name City Legacy, and set about achieving what had seemed impossible.

They built the £150million Athletes' Village, which has won countless design and energy awards, with 400 homes for social rent and 300 for sale.

A developer would normally expect to take up to three years to sell so many new properties.

But the flats and houses on the newly landscaped site hugging the Clyde have been snapped faster than anyone could have imagined.

The first 242 sold in record time and last week, City Legacy announced the final batch of 52 will go on sale later this month.

What is more exciting for Dalmarnock and Glasgow is that the developer has now announced it is to press ahead with the next phase of housing.

That will involve a further 200 new homes being built.

It is almost certain they will sell as quickly as the properties where the athletes lived and slept during the Games

The entire project got off the ground thanks to the ambition and determination of the city council.

It saw the Games as a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring new hope to the East End.

As a result, it footed the bill for cleaning up the contaminated land where the new housing would be built.

The work was not cheap, but the council saw it as an investment in the future of the area, and one worth taking.

It is a gamble which has paid off and in the next few months, hundreds of people will move into their new homes.

They will create a new community on the riverbank, where once there was little or no hope.

Next year, work should start on the second phase of The Village and a further 200 homes.

In all, there will be around 900 award-winning properties on a piece of land which was previously a wilderness.

For those of us who stood on that wasteland seven years ago it is nothing short of a miracle.

Not only are the new houses almost ready for occupation but the Emirates Arena and Velodrome have proved a huge success with the public.

Who would have thought clearing up contaminated land would have such a glorious outcome.

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