LAR Housing Trust completes record development deal

A housing charity which was set up two years ago to provide much needed mid market rental properties across Scotland has completed its biggest ever deal for a development in Edinburgh.

LAR Housing Trust has purchased Westwood House on the city’s Gorgie Road for an undisclosed sum.

The deal also marks LAR’s first project in the capital and its first conversion from a commercial building to residential.

Planning permission is expected imminently to convert the former office block into 47 flats.

LAR chief executive, Ann Leslie, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this building. We have a number of developments in Mid and East Lothian, but this is the first in Edinburgh itself. It is a significant move for us and is the biggest deal we have completed both in terms of the number of properties on one site and in purely financial terms.”

The development will consist of 18 one bed, 27 two bed and two three bed flats. LAR will be looking to appoint a builder as soon as planning permission comes through with the aim of completing the project and welcoming the first tenants by summer 2019.

Ann Leslie added: “LAR is making a big impact on the housing market in Scotland with over 200 homes already occupied and a further 240 in construction – that equates to buying a new home every other day since we launched. There are still huge numbers of people who can’t afford the private rented sector nor have a realistic chance of being allocated social housing. We are filling a gap and will continue to seek new opportunities across Scotland going forward.”