Huge demand as new BHA homes handed over in Ayton

A new development of energy efficient and affordable homes in Ayton has proved extremely popular with Berwickshire Housing Association’s (BHA) tenants.

Huge demand as new BHA homes handed over in Ayton

(from left) Allan Callaghan (Cruden Building managing director), Angela Taylor (BHA property director), Michelle Meldrum (BHA chief executive), BHA tenant Derna Lough and Frank Gallagher (Cruden Building construction manager)

The Association has not built any affordable housing in Ayton for 18 years and the 31 homes at Beanburn attracted a total of 3,293 applications.

Built by Cruden Building (East), these homes make up phase 1 of the development providing a mix of bungalows, wheelchair accessible properties and three and four-bedroom family homes.

The street names in the development will extend the existing numbering in Lawfield Drive and Summerhill Park and also create two new streets - Mennon Loan and Claypots Cottages.

BHA has owned this site for over 20 years and has spoken of its delight that it is being developed. It has worked in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Government, bringing much needed affordable homes to Ayton.

A masterplan exercise was carried out with architects Smith Scott Mullen, which included public consultation, and the results of this were fed into the final design with a mix of house types and sizes aimed at meeting local demand as identified in the recent local housing needs assessment. The family housing will also help support the local primary school and local amenities.

As part of BHA’s policy, 50% of new-build homes are let to existing customers. One existing BHA tenant to be allocated a new home at Beanburn is Derna Lough who moved to her new home in Lawfield Drive from just around the corner.

Derna said: “I am just so, so pleased with my new home – I’m delighted, overawed and over the moon!

“It’s great having a beautiful and bright new home. I especially love my bedroom and the downstairs toilet is invaluable. I wouldn’t change a thing. Everyone at BHA has been so helpful and nice and I cannot thank them enough. It’s just a wonderful feeling to have a new house.

New BHA tenants Marion and Kenzie Dickson are also delighted with their new ‘wheelchair friendly’ home in Mennon Loan. Kenzie said: “We are very happy with our new house as it has been purpose build for disabled access. The whole layout and the way it flows is great.”

Marion added: “Getting outside to the garden in my wheelchair is just so much easier and I can get around the rooms without any problems. We are really happy here and have been enjoying being in the garden with our dogs during the lovely weather.”

Huge demand as new BHA homes handed over in Ayton

Allan Callaghan, Michelle Meldrum, Angela Taylor and Frank Gallagher at the new development in Ayton

All properties are set in generous plots and offer modern and spacious homes that are energy efficient, keeping running costs low for tenants. All houses meet Silver Standard for energy efficiency and have the latest in heat pumps for hot water and space heating and two meet Gold Standard.

The range of properties proposed takes account of existing BHA stock and aims to fill unmet demand by providing more housing choice for applicants in the Ayton area.

Angela Taylor, BHA’s property director, said: “We are excited to be bringing these high-quality new homes to Ayton, our first new builds in the village for 18 years, providing a welcome boost to the local community.

“Thanks to our excellent working relationship with Cruden Building (East) we are providing a total of 31 affordable homes which meet a very high standard of energy efficiency and, with the support of our partners the Scottish Government and Scottish Borders Council, we are increasing the numbers of much needed affordable housing in Berwickshire.”

The Beanburn project is the fifth project to be delivered by Cruden Building (East) in partnership with BHA and will bring the total number of homes they have delivered jointly to 129. Smith Scott Mullan Associates led the design team and were also the project architects.

Cruden has supported the local economy through the use of Borders companies as sub-contractors including A.S. Crawford, Denholm (groundworks), Teviotdale, Jedburgh (plumbing) and CIS, Duns and St Boswells (bricklayers). They have also generously donated £2,000 to Ayton Primary School, located close to the new development, as part of their commitment to investing in the local community.

As part of the development some land has been allocated to Abundant Borders for use by the community while bird and bat boxes have also been included in the work carried out

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building (East), said: “We are pleased to continue our strong working relationship with Berwickshire Housing Association as we deliver our fifth project together - bringing quality, energy-efficient homes to the local area. At Cruden, we take pride in building communities, not just homes and we have supported local sub-contractors throughout the build programme and donated to Ayton Primary School to help maximise the benefits to the local economy.” 

Planning approval was granted for a total of 50 homes at Beanburn with phase 2 expected sometime in the future.

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