Stracathro Estates wins rural housing award
A new housing development that provides homes for let to young, local, working families at affordable rents of around 40% less than the open market has been recognised at the Helping It Happen Awards 2022, run by Scottish Land & Estates.
Recognising the dearth of affordable housing in North Angus, and by using Scottish Government grants, Stracathro Estates has built 11 homes and let to young local working families.
The 2014 project was a conversion of a traditional steading into five houses, retaining both the original footprint and the stone walls and slate roof. All houses are three-bedroomed, and all with individual gardens, with a communal playing field. The 2021 scheme compromises six houses, again three bedroomed and with their own gardens. These are new build and built to a high standard (silver/bronze level 2011 Building regulations). Under slate roofs, local stone has been used on gable ends sills and lintels. It is intended to establish a community garden in the autumn.
The houses are environmentally friendly, with a communal boiler, fired by locally sourced biomass pellets providing hot water and heating to the six houses at Huntlyhill, whilst ground source heating, again communal, supplies hot water and heating to the new houses in Inchbare. The motivation for building these houses was to ensure the community was sufficiently large and diverse in age to sustain the social capital of the school, village hall and the church.
The threat of closure hanging over the primary school has now been removed, although the church has now closed. A play area was provided at Huntlyhill, and it is intended to construct a community garden adjacent to the houses in Inchbare. Both schemes were designed by local architects and constructed by local builders.
The development has now taken home the Rural Housing Award, sponsored by Velux, after an in-person ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh this week.
Scottish Land & Estates executive director, Sarah-Jane Laing, congratulated all the winners, finalists and entrants and said: “We are delighted that our first in-person awards ceremony since 2019 has seen such an array of wonderful businesses, each doing great things for rural Scotland. Entries were consistently strong and inspiring and judging once again very challenging. The highest standards, the latest technology and embracing the expectation to prioritise environmental sustainability are key challenges facing rural enterprises and I take delight in seeing many succeed in meeting these demands.
“Having the chance to celebrate with our winners in person this year has been incredibly rewarding. Our rural communities are fortunate to have so many champions and contributors.”