First tenants move into Osprey Housing’s flagship Lossiemouth new builds

First tenants move into Osprey Housing’s flagship Lossiemouth new builds

Local Diane Laing outside her new Osprey home on the Kinneddar Meadows estate in Lossiemouth with son Kelvin and daughter April. Handing over the keys was Osprey housing officer Rhiannon Garbutt (left).

Social landlord Osprey Housing has handed over the keys to six homes in the first phase of a flagship new-build project at Kinneddar Meadows on the edge of Lossiemouth.

The three-bedroom semi-detached houses — all with gardens — will be followed by a further seventy properties being built for Osprey by Moray-based housebuilder Tulloch of Cummingston as part of a wider development programme.

All the Osprey homes are “tenure blind” meaning their specifications closely mirror those of the properties being built for sale, with the aim of increasing social integration within a carefully planned community.

Among those moving in this week was midwife Diane Laing and her two children — Kelvin, eleven, and eight-year-old April.

Born and raised in Lossiemouth, Ms Laing works as a neonatal midwife within the maternity unit at Dr Gray’s, Elgin. She is also a carer for her 45-year-old sister, who lives with their retired parents and needs specialist support.

She said: “I have faced a range of struggles since the start of the Covid pandemic, including a major bereavement and a change in circumstances that meant me and the children had to move in with my parents and sister.

“We were staying in their dining room, and this — coupled with all the personal and professional challenges of the pandemic — really took a toll on my mental health.”

Ms Laing applied for the house with Osprey through These Homes, a digital lettings service which allows applicants to register their interest in specific properties online.

Osprey — which currently owns and manages approximately 1,800 properties across the north-east of Scotland — is one of 16 Scottish social landlords involved in These Homes and has been using the scheme since the summer.

Ms Laing said: “I was awarded a silver priority pass based on my personal circumstances, and we are so grateful to have our own home after all our recent difficulties.

“In the current economic climate, and with housing costs rising, I urgently needed help and support and I cannot thank the Osprey team highly enough. They have given us exceptional customer service and shown us enormous compassion throughout the full process — I have really felt I have been listened to.”

She added: “My top priority now is to start afresh and build a solid, nurturing environment for my children in this lovely home where we each have our own bedroom at last.”

The Laings’ home is part of the first phase of Osprey’s Kinneddar Meadows investment which represents a £2.85 million undertaking — the group’s largest new-build project yet — with grant support from the Scottish Government of £1.75m.

Osprey director of housing, Daniel Thompson, said: “At Osprey, we are aware of the many challenges facing our communities at present and our teams are focused on providing suitable support to assist any tenants that require it.

“Diane’s experience reaffirms the need for Osprey to continue investing in quality housing to meet local needs.”

He added: “We wish Diane and her family and all other residents at our Kinneddar site a warm welcome to their new homes.”

The first phase of building for Osprey comprises twenty affordable homes, with a further six properties due for handover before the end of the year. The development will then continue on a rolling programme basis.

When complete, Osprey’s Kinneddar Meadows first phase mix will feature:

  • Eight three-bed, six-person semi-detached houses
  • One three-bed, six-person detached house
  • Six four-bed, seven-person semi-detached houses
  • One five-bed, nine-person detached house
  • Four one-bed, two-person semi-detached bungalows

The bungalows will all be fully accessible with ground-floor access shower rooms and widened doors. The four- and five-bed family homes will have ground-floor bedrooms and shower rooms, with the same accessibility features as the bungalows.

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