Work underway on over 100 affordable homes for Dunbar

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREEast Lothian Council has concluded a legal agreement worth £8.3 million to purchase 71 flats and houses on two sites at Hallhill, Dunbar from Mansell Homes (part of the Balfour Beatty group).

The houses, which will become part of the council’s housing stock, will be built by local firm Hart Builders. Building work started in August.

The first homes will be ready by summer 2016 and the whole development will be completed by autumn 2017.

These two sites form part of the larger Hallhill, Dunbar housing site on the south west side of the town, close to the A1. This is one of the strategic housing sites identified in the East Lothian Local Development Plan and has planning consent to deliver 525 houses, of which 131 are required to be affordable in line with the council’s Affordable Housing Policy. These homes will be built on three separate sites.

The council is purchasing two of the three sites, providing a total of 71 homes. The other site is being purchased by Places for People which will provide 60 units through a mixture of housing for social rent, for mid-market rent and housing for shared equity. The other homes on the site will be delivered by Castle Rock Edinvar, which is part of the Places for People group and already owns around 80 homes in Dunbar. These will be a mix of housing for social and mid-market rent and shared equity housing for sale.

The housing being purchased by the council will range in size from one-bedroom flats to three-bedroom houses. The homes will be built to meet the appropriate Housing for Varying Needs standards to ensure they are as accessible as possible to suit people with mobility issues. They will also benefit from very energy efficient heating systems and high levels of insulation which will help reduce heating costs and fuel poverty.

East Lothian Council housing spokesperson, Councillor Norman Hampshire, said: “Increasing the supply of good quality affordable housing is key to ensuring our communities thrive and are sustainable. The health and wellbeing benefits of improved energy efficiency in people’s homes are also widely recognised. I am delighted that Harts, the East Lothian-based property development firm, will be involved in delivering these new homes and in doing so, creating more jobs for local people.”

Ken Macarthur, Mansell Homes regional director, said: “As an experienced developer in delivering new homes in both the private and affordable sectors, we are delighted to be working again with both East Lothian Council and Places for People to provide much needed affordable housing to the Dunbar area.

“The 131 homes being built at Hallhill are providing a wide range of accommodation from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom houses to a variety of affordable housing tenures.

“This development further enhances our excellent working relationship with the Council’s housing delivery team having previously completed 100 homes for East Lothian Council in Tranent. We look forward to successfully developing the new homes over the next two years.”

Tricia Brocklebank, head of development – Scotland, Places for People, added: “As well as fulfilling a need for quality affordable rented housing in East Lothian, we will also be offering people the opportunity to secure a step on the property ladder with shared equity homes for sale. The mix of tenure will help create a vibrant new community in the area and we are now looking forward to working in partnership with East Lothian Council to finally make this vision a reality.”

The properties will receive approximately £2.1m in Council House Building Grant from the Scottish Government with the remaining £6.2m being met by the council.

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