Hundreds of affordable homes to be built on former public sector sites

Alex Neil
Alex Neil

Vacant land and buildings which were previously in public sector ownership are being redeveloped to allow the construction of hundreds of affordable homes, the Scottish Government has announced.

Social justice secretary Alex Neil said today that the government will work closely with public sector partners to support projects on surplus sites including hospitals, prisons and police stations.

A £34.2 million redevelopment of the former Eastern General Hospital in Edinburgh will provide 291 homes, 191 by the Hillcrest Group and 100 by Dunedin Canmore Housing and Bield Housing and Care.

In Perth and Kinross, 62 new homes are nearing completion on land previously owned by the UK government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Around 120 homes will be built on the site of the former Craiginches Prison in Aberdeen while a development of 18 new council homes is starting on the site of a former police station in Stenhousemuir.

In the Highlands, around 25 homes are to be built at former NHS sites in Moray and Fort William, and six homes are being built in Inverness, Caol near Fort William, and Glencoe using former Police Scotland property.

Mr Neil said: “Housing is, and will remain, at the heart of the Government’s ambitions to create a fairer and more prosperous country.

“Vacant land and property which was previously in public sector ownership – such as by NHS Scotland and Police Scotland – is being used to add to the provision of affordable housing across Scotland.

“The redevelopment of the former Eastern General Hospital site is an excellent example of what can be realised when partners share a vision of what can be achieved for the benefit of the local community.

“This Government has invested record funding in housing and has developed a range of pioneering approaches to tackle Scotland’s housing challenges.”

Fiona Morrison, deputy chief executive of the Hillcrest Group of companies, said: “We are delighted to be bringing 191 more top-quality affordable homes to the capital in partnership with the Scottish Government.

“Forged on the site of the former Eastern General Hospital, our Seafield Apartments development will deliver a mix of one, two and three-bedroom, modern, energy efficient and desirable properties for social and mid-market rent.

“In addition to helping those on low incomes, we initially target our mid-market rental properties at key workers such as nurses, members of the police and fire services.”

Cllr Cammy Day, City of Edinburgh Council, added: “The City of Edinburgh Council is delighted to work in collaboration with the Scottish Government, NHS Lothian, Hillcrest, Bield and Dunedin Canmore Housing Associations to deliver 291 social and mid-market rent affordable homes on the site of the former Eastern General Hospital.

“Edinburgh has a shortage of affordable housing but we are working hard with our partners and have trebled the number of homes being built; this £34m redevelopment is a great example of what we can deliver when we work collaboratively.”

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