Dunedin Canmore completes first homes in new East Lothian village

The first phase of a major expansion of an East Lothian village has taken shape and residents are delighted with their spacious new homes.

Dunedin Canmore’s 44 energy-efficient houses in Wallyford are part of a wider regeneration project which will see almost 1500 new homes, new primary and secondary schools, open spaces and sports facilities.

East Lothian Council’s housing spokesperson, Councillor Jim Goodfellow, marked the completion of the first homes, which are all for social rent, and welcomed tenants to their new community in Affleck Rise.

The £5 million development is a mix of one and two-bed cottage flats and two and three-bed terrace houses. Solar panels have been fitted to generate electricity, helping tenants cut their fuel bills.

The ground floor flats have walk-in showers, with one designed for wheelchair access, and all tenants have a private garden.

Councillor Goodfellow said: “Meeting tenants today and seeing how happy and settled they already are in their fantastic new homes was a real privilege.

“Of course, ensuring that our residents have access to high quality social housing is a key aim for East Lothian Council and it’s essential that we work with organisations like Dunedin Canmore to deliver this. But it also goes wider than that and this regeneration of Wallyford is all about building strong communities. To that end, the council has been invested in ensuring that all of our new tenants will have great access to shops, facilities and new schools. Indeed, construction of the new primary school on this site is already well advanced.

“East Lothian is a popular place to live and, as a council, we are continually working to make sure we develop and enrich strong and vibrant communities. I’m sure our new tenants here in Wallyford will very much enjoy their new homes and the community that surrounds them.”

He was joined by some of the new residents, staff from Dunedin Canmore and its parent company Wheatley Group, local elected members and representatives from Scottish Government, East Lothian Council and contractor Hart Builders, part of the Cruden Group.

Tenant Angela Coyle moved into her new house with her young family at the end of March. She said: “We had lived in Wallyford for years but got moved to temporary accommodation in Tranent last year when our landlord sold our home. We really wanted to come back as we love the area.

“It’s great, there’s so much space. The kitchen is huge and the bedrooms are big too. I love our patio doors that open out onto the garden.

“There’s a community feel to the place and everybody is getting on. My son Liam is always out on his bike with the other kids on our street.”

Dunedin Canmore, as part of Wheatley, is committed to increasing the number of affordable homes in support of the Scottish Government’s More Homes agenda. The housing association has already built 385 new homes in the last two years in Edinburgh and the Lothians and is currently on site building another 195. There are plans for further 171 homes approved.

Dunedin Canmore chair Mary Mulligan said: “We’re really pleased to have built these lovely new affordable houses in Wallyford. Our plans were shaped by what tenants in the area told us they needed and we’re particularly pleased we were able to deliver private gardens for every flat as well as the energy efficient features like solar panels. We hope all our tenants will be happy there for many years to come.”

The development was part-funded with a £2.4m grant from the Scottish Government.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “I congratulate Dunedin Canmore on the completion of these new, energy efficient houses and I wish their new tenants all the very best in their new homes.

“This is a very exciting project for Wallyford and I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to co-fund the project with £2.4 million investment, giving more people access to high quality social rented housing with this 44 unit development also including nine amenity homes.”