Council leader praises largest ever new homes development in Dumfries

Council leader praises largest ever new homes development in Dumfries

(from left) Jo Threlkeld, head of housing Wheatley Homes South; Lindsay Lauder, director of development and regeneration at Wheatley Group; Jo Boaden, chair of Wheatley Homes South; Councillor Gail Macgregor, council leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council; Alison Ostroznik, Wheatley Homes South tenant; Steven Henderson, Wheatley Group chief executive

The leader of Dumfries & Galloway Council has praised a massive £22.9 million new-build development – the largest new affordable housing project ever seen in the region.

Wheatley Homes South, part of Wheatley Group, is building 89 affordable homes on the site of the former Curries Yard depot in Heathhall, Dumfries.

The development will be a mix of two and three and four-bedroom homes, all for social rent.

The new site is part of the pledge by Wheatley Homes South, Dumfries and Galloway’s largest social housing provider, to build 800 new homes across the region by 2026.

Tenants moved into the first 18 homes at Heathhall in January, with the remaining 71 properties expected to be completed by September 2024.

Councillor Gail Macgregor, leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see these modern, well-constructed, affordable homes which are a much-needed lifeline to the families moving into them and providing a better start for many children. But there is also additional value to our local communities, with the building of new homes comes a boost to our construction industry, and therefore jobs for local people, building sustainable communities and boosting the economy.”

Wheatley Homes South and Wheatley Group contributed £8.6m to the development, with £14.3m grant funding coming from the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Jo Boaden CBE, chair of Wheatley Homes South, added: “There is a high demand for affordable housing across Dumfries & Galloway. The commitment we’ve made to building 89 new energy-efficient homes here in Heathhall will go a long way to meeting that need.

“However, our investment at Curries Yard and across the region is about far more than just bricks and mortar – it is about creating better homes and better lives for our tenants for today and for generations to come.”

Wheatley Homes South tenant Alison Ostroznik welcomed the guests, including Wheatley Group chief executive Steven Henderson, into her home.

Alison, 57, lives with her granddaughter Courtney, 22, and their seven-month-old Labrador, Skye.

Alison said: “It’s absolutely perfect. I love it here. It’s a really lovely house. It’s well insulated, warm, bright and spacious and is feeling like our home. Everyone has been really nice to speak to and it’s lovely to see lots of kids out playing.

“My granddaughter and I are both really happy here. We’re very grateful to have such a nice home.”

Ashleigh Hart also lives in the new development with her fiancé Ethan and daughter Demi, 10, and son Mason, eight. Ashleigh, who is a care support worker, moved from a private let nearby.

Ashleigh, 29, said: “It’s an excellent home with a very nice garden in a lovely area and the neighbours all seem really nice.

“The private let that we had been staying in wasn’t suitable for us, so we needed a new home. We’re very happy here.

“The kids go to Locharbriggs Primary, so we’re now nearer to the school, which is really helpful, too.”

Dumfries & Galloway Council, Wheatley Homes South and Wheatley Group signed a strategic agreement in 2023 to build new affordable homes and deliver better services to communities.

The partnership recognises the roles of the council and Wheatley Homes South in delivering housing, regeneration, care, and support to the most vulnerable, driving carbon reduction and contributing to social, economic, and other objectives, including tackling homelessness.

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