The transformation of a Glasgow area once synonymous with deprivation is taking shape with people beginning to move into the latest phase of housing.

Sighthill was home to ten massive ‘slab’ blocks that loomed large over the north of the city for decades.

The huge blocks housed more than 7000 and, in a familiar story of Glasgow high rise living, people were happy when they first moved in but over the years the area fell into decline amid a spiral of unemployment, drugs and crime and the homes fell into disrepair and decay.

What is happening now is one of the biggest regeneration projects in the city for decades.

The massive project was part of Glasgow’s bid to host the World Youth Olympics in 2018 and Sighthill would have hosted the athletes village.

Even though the bid was unsuccessful the regeneration was not dependent on hosting the games and plans were drawn up for the largest of Glasgow’s eight Transformational Regeneration Areas.

Now, the biggest housing regeneration plan in the UK outside London is taking shape into a landscape unrecognisable from what was there before.

The work includes more than 800 homes, some social housing, some mid-market rent and some home ownership to add to the 141 that GHA already built on an earlier phase of the site more than five years ago.

A mix of flats and terraced houses are nearing completion and the new streets are taking shape.

The huge site overlooks the city centre and the west end.

Canal terraces and walkways will also connect northwards to other regeneration work starting at Dundashill and further along the canal at Hamiltonhill.

A linear park weaving through the development ensures there is an abundance of green space, a stark contrast from the grey concrete that characterised the old Sighthill even though it also had green space.

One of the issues with the old Sighthill was a perception it was cut off from the city centre and the neighbouring communities.

To address that the “gateway” pedestrian and cycle bridge over the motorway will link to the north of the city centre, and the main span was recently lifted into place.

A road bridge was built by the city council at the other side of the development over the main Glasgow to Edinburgh railway line to connect to Keppochhill.

A community campus school is already open and a new church built on the site as well.

Space is earmarked for community facilities and commercial premises for businesses as well are planned on the main Sighthill Avenue which runs into the site form Springburn Road.

Graeme Baillie, Sighthill development team leader at Glasgow City Council took the Glasgow Times on a tour of the site to show the work the council had taken forward to facilitate the housing developments.

He said: “Sighthill Avenue, [which runs through the heart of the site] will connect from Springburn Road through to the pedestrian and cycle bridge over the M8.

“All the roads will be a 20 mile per hour speed limit. There is a Civic Square for outdoor events and markets.”

He explains the drainage system using the nearby canal with Scottish Water and Scottish Canals.

Part of the plan has been a smart drainage system using the nearby Forth and Clyde and Monklands canals with ‘street canals’ taking rainwater which can then be discharged into the main canal, whose level can be altered by discharged into the Kelvin and Clyde.

The council said Sighthill symbolises the regeneration going on in Glasgow.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The progress being made on the massive regeneration of Sighthill is remarkable, with recent work really showing how much the area has been transformed.

“The linear park and the canal terrace are striking examples of the high environmental quality of this regenerated neighbourhood, and all around the site are further examples – such as the main span of the bridge over the M8 – of ongoing work within Sighthill.

“When complete, Sighthill will be a symbol of the wider transformation of north Glasgow that will take place in the coming years.”