Work on an £18 million residential development is due to start soon on a gap site which has lain vacant for almost twenty years in Edinburgh’s Wester Hailes area. This is the latest development in a partnership initiative by Places for People and City of Edinburgh Council to build 1000 new affordable homes in Scotland’s capital where average house prices have risen by 29% in the last 10 years.
Developer Places for People invited Cllr. Ricky Henderson, convenor of Health, Wellbeing and Housing at City of Edinburgh Council and local councillor for the area, to visit the site as preparations for the site start were underway.
The new site at Harvester’s Way is adjacent to the successful Places for People development of 168 mixed tenure homes which completed in 2010. All of the 183 proposed new homes will be available for affordable rent and sale when the development completes next year.
First time buyers at Harvester’s Way will be able to buy for less using the shared equity scheme available on some of the properties. This means they will require a smaller deposit and mortgage repayments will be reduced by purchasing between 60% and 80% of their home. In addition the development will offer rental properties to suit different income levels.
Commenting on the plans Alister Steele, managing director for Places for People Scotland said: “The site start at Harvester’s Way is an important milestone in our promise to deliver 1000 new affordable homes for Edinburgh and we are grateful to our partners who are helping to make it possible. This is an important site for the Wester Hailes community and our proposals, which are about to become a reality, will breathe new life into an area which has been derelict since old council properties were demolished some twenty years ago. By retaining an ongoing commitment to management and maintenance we aim to create a new, vibrant community where people will want to live. The success of our neighbouring development has shown what we can achieve.”
Harvester’s Way will include a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, and two and three-bedroom duplexes and townhouses with private outdoor spaces built on the six acre site, offering much needed affordable and family accommodation in the city. The energy efficient homes will benefit from a centralised heating system and will be well equipped with modern kitchens and contemporary bathrooms.
Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health, Social Care and Housing Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Building quality housing at a price that people can afford is an important step in the Council’s bid to tackle poverty and to give every child the best start in life. It is fantastic that this derelict site will be transformed in such a positive way. Working with our partners we are now delivering more than three times as many new affordable homes than we did five years ago; over 1,200 new homes completed last year compared to 400 in 2008/09. This is one of 23 brownfield sites on which new affordable homes are currently under construction. We have provided funding and loans which have enabled the construction of over 1000 new homes which are under construction across the city.”
“We are committed to working in partnership with organisations such as Places for People to deliver more developments like this one, which not only provide much-needed quality homes but also create jobs and boost the local economy.”
“The local community have been campaigning for a number of years to have this site developed and I’m pleased that this will contribute towards the ongoing regeneration of Wester Hailes.”
Harvesters Way is due to open in 2015 and anyone interested in homes on the development should contact 0131 559 2212.