Crosbie Homes delivers new homes for SBHA and Midlothian Council
Crosbie Homes, the new build housing arm of Morris & Spottiswood, has delivered high-quality social housing in Oxton and Pathhead after entering into its first new-build contracts with both Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA) and Midlothian Council.
The developments provide much needed social housing in the Scottish Borders and Midlothian, regenerating and investing in the local communities, and have helped deliver against Scottish Borders Council’s Housing Investment Programme (SHIP) to provide 1,125 new affordable homes over the next five years, and Midlothian’s strategic housing investment plan to deliver just over double that figure over the next five years.
The new build development in Oxton consists of four three-bedroom semi-detached homes, whilst Crichton Avenue in Pathhead offers two-bedroom accommodation over ten flats on both ground and upper levels.
Both developments were built on previous lock-up garage sites in rural villages, requiring innovative solutions to address access issues, limited storage for materials and extreme weather conditions.
Time constraints for service installations due to neighbouring properties also had to be considered resulting in precise project planning and communication to overcome these challenges. The Oxton development used local suppliers for ease of delivery and was constructed using forklift trucks alone, whilst Pathhead had to be accessed via surrounding residents through a narrow corridor which was monitored and kept clear at all times to minimise disruption.
Both developments have been fitted with solar panels to increase the energy efficiency of the homes, and the Oxton homes are also fitted with Air Source Heat Pumps.
The Pathhead site also bordered the local primary school so materials were delivered during school hours to ensure safety to staff and pupils.
Crosbie Homes generated wider benefits for the local community by providing a new sewer line to the community hub in Oxton, and running an outreach project with Tynewater Primary School in Pathhead with the school children participating in a Health & Safety Poster design competition, with all entries displayed on site hoarding and the winners, selected by the site team, receiving a book token as their prize.
Emma Diffley, parent council chair, gave great feedback after the socially distanced sessions with pupils around how building sites operate, what materials are used, and most importantly on how to be Health & Safety conscious saying: “It is with great pleasure I write to thank you for the engagement you and your team have had with the school.
“You have helped the children to make the most of this opportunity, despite the pandemic restrictions in place, encouraging them to watch and to learn more about the processes of construction. I have no doubt that many eyes have been opened to the number of different jobs, skills, tools and equipment involved in creating buildings that we all take for granted. The safety poster competition you held was a real success and I know that all the participants enjoyed it. The winners were especially delighted and proud to see their posters displayed on your site.”
Henry Coyle, director of customer services at SBHA, added: “It is always special when our residents receive the keys to a new home, and even more so when we have built such fantastic houses in a village that really needed more high quality, energy efficient, secure and affordable homes. It’s a beautiful place to live and I’d like to wish every happiness to the four families moving to Oxton.
“I’d also like to thank all our partners, including Morris & Spottiswood, Scottish Borders Council, the Scottish Government’s More Homes Division and Oxton and Channelkirk Community Council, for their help in delivering these new homes under such trying circumstances in the last year or so.”
Hugh Meikle, project manager surveyor at Midlothian Council, commented: “Despite the pandemic Morris & Spottiswood were proactive in resolving site issues and kept pushing the build forward as quickly as possible whilst delivering high quality housing units.”