Work underway on innovative Borders housing project

Work underway on innovative Borders housing project

(from left) Emma Garry, SBHA director of development, Grant Davidson of M&J Ballantyne, Maria Lyle, SBHA chief operating officer, and Robin Hill, board chair

Work has officially commenced on Scottish Borders Housing Association’s latest development in Newtown St Boswells.

SBHA’s chief operating officer Maria Lyle, director of development Emma Garry and chair of the board of management Robin Hill were joined on-site by for the official start of works by Grant Davidson of M&J Ballantyne Limited, who will deliver the project.

The project will see the reconfiguration of the existing eight bedsit flats into four 2-bedroom homes. The new design reuses much of the existing structure rather than demolishing and building new, thereby minimising environmental impact in line with SBHA’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

The decision to take this approach came from a detailed options appraisal of how best to use the building. The innovative solution to integrate the building vertically was designed by Edinburgh-based architects 56three. They are joined on the design team by engineers Bayne Stevenson, M&E consultant RSP and QS firm Langmuir and Hay.

Emma Garry said: “We are excited to be on-site here today to mark the start of this project. Housing demand continues to increase in the Borders and it’s vital that we are able to provide the right homes for people. Demand for two-bed houses is extremely high here in Newtown St Boswells, and this project underscores our determination to meet housing need through all the means at our disposal – whether through new build, reconfiguration or open market purchase.

“We are delighted to be working with MJ Ballantyne to make this vision a reality. M&J Ballantyne have a demonstrated their commitment to championing the local economy through the use of local labour and suppliers, reflecting our own commitment to support growth here in the Borders.”

Grant Davidson added: “M & J Ballantyne Ltd, as a local, multi-disciplinary construction firm, are delighted to be working with Scottish Borders Housing Association to deliver much needed family housing in Newtown St. Boswells. Not only does this project provide employment to our own direct workforce but also that of local subcontractors and suppliers. As an award winning building contractor in the renovation and conversion sector, we look forward to delivering a quality product ready for new residents to move into.”

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