Planning approval welcome as figures underline ‘huge need’ for affordable Borders homes

Eildon Housing Association has welcomed planning approval for two Borders developments which will provide more than 90 new affordable homes.

Working with Edinburgh-based Hart Builders, the Association will deliver 63 affordable homes in a second phase of development at Newtown St Boswells and at Huddersfield Street in Galashiels.

The Sergeants Park development at Newtown St Boswells

The scale of demand for affordable housing within local Borders communities was underlined when more than 3,300 bids were received for the 53 homes built in the first phase of the Newtown St Boswells’ development. 85% of the homes went to local people across the Borders with four homes built to accommodate specific care needs - around 10% of Eildon’s homes are built to enable wheelchair access.

Eildon’s chief executive Nile Istephan said: “Planning approval means we can now press ahead with providing much-needed affordable homes for people living and working in the surrounding communities.”

Mr Istephan anticipates a similar level of demand for the proposed 63 homes in phase two of the development.

He added: “Housing need is a major issue across towns and villages in the Borders. People at all stages in life – from young people and families, to older people with care requirements – they’re all looking for affordable housing. The Borders needs modern, high-quality affordable housing and the Sergeants Park development illustrates how Eildon is working closely with local communities, Borders Council - as part of their current Strategic Housing Investment Plan, and the Scottish Government to address this most fundamental of social and economic priorities.”

Andy Mallice, managing director of Hart Builders, said: “We look forward to delivering the next phase of the Sergeants Park affordable housing development on behalf of Eildon Housing Association. These high-quality homes will be built to Silver Standard energy efficiency levels, providing residents with warmer homes that have fewer carbon emissions and are cheaper to run. Throughout this build, we will provide a wide range of benefits for the local community - including employment opportunities, schools’ initiatives and site based work experience.”

Newtown St Boswells and Huddersfield Street developments contribute to Eildon’s commitment to deliver 388 affordable homes across nine sites in the Borders. This is part of the wider commitment by the Scottish Government to deliver 50,000 new affordable homes across Scotland by 2021.

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