New council homes nearing completion in Dunbar

Halhill_Opening_305x250East Lothian Council will mark the completion of its latest council housing development when 11 new homes at Dunbar’s Hallhill estate are handed over to the council at the end of March.

These latest properties at Hallhill, which is on the outskirts of Dunbar, complete the council’s plan to build 70 new council homes in the area. Building work first started in August 2015, with the first tenants moving in during the summer of 2016.

These final 11 homes mark the completion of a development that followed a legal agreement between East Lothian Council and Balfour Beatty to purchase 70 new flats and houses on two sites from Mansell Homes, part of the Balfour Beatty Group.

The homes were built by local firm Hart Builders using £2.43 million in a Council House Building Grant from the Scottish Government.

These two sites form part of the larger Hallhill housing site which is on the south west side of the town, close to the A1. It is one of the strategic housing sites identified in the East Lothian Local Development Plan 2008 and had planning consent to deliver 525 houses, a quarter of which are required to be affordable in line with the council’s Affordable Housing Policy.

These affordable homes have been built on three separate sites. The council purchased two of the three sites to provide a total of 70 new council houses. The other site was purchased by the Places for People group who have provided 60 homes through a mixture of housing for social rent, through Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association, with some available for mid-market rent and housing for shared equity.

The new council housing ranges in size from one bedroom flats to larger family houses, and have been allocated to people in housing need on the council’s housing list. The homes have been built to meet the appropriate Housing for Varying Needs standards to make them as accessible as possible and to suit people with mobility issues, and generally provide more flexible living spaces.

Staff in the council’s community housing department worked closely with colleagues in health and social care to ensure that those with particular needs were met in this new housing development. The new homes also benefit from a range of energy efficiency measures including highly efficient heating systems, high levels of insulation, and solar panels, which will help reduce heating costs and fuel poverty.

East Lothian Council housing spokesperson, Councillor Norman Hampshire, said: “The completion of these final council homes is great news as increasing and improving the supply of good quality housing in East Lothian is crucial to ensuring our communities thrive. These new homes are energy efficient, which is good for us all – for the environment, for people’s health and wellbeing, and good for tenant’s finances as they make homes cheaper to heat.

“As well as benefiting from a range of energy saving measures, these new homes have also been given Secure by Design accreditation by Police Scotland, a scheme which has been proven to reduce housebreaking and risk of criminal damage, improving the safety and wellbeing of communities.”

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