Peebles affordable housing plan unveiled by SBHA

Henry Coyle

Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA) is planning to build six new affordable homes in Peebles.

Proposals for the new 2-bedroom flats, which would be situated at Glensax Road, were agreed at a recent meeting of SBHA’s Board of Management, and will be submitted to Scottish Borders Council for approval this summer.

Director of assets and property services, Henry Coyle, said: “Since SBHA began building homes in 2013 we have delivered 59 fantastic new build homes in Hawick, Earlston and Galashiels and we plan to build another 65 new homes in 9 communities, Borders-wide, over the next three years. Tenants are delighted with their new homes and our customers consistently tell us that we should continue to strive to meet our strategic objectives to ‘Anticipate Opportunities to Develop and Grow’ and ‘Create Great Places to Live’.

“Our housing needs analysis shows that there is considerable demand for affordable housing across the Borders and as buying land is expensive, SBHA is looking to make best use of the land it already owns, as well as considering additional land acquisition opportunities. According to SBHA’s housing register, 485 applicants are currently seeking affordable housing in Peebles. During 2017/18, we advertised 11 two-bedroom homes for rent in Peebles. Having received more than 200 bids for these properties, we know that affordable housing in Peebles is in high demand. There are no plans to demolish existing SBHA housing in Peebles.”

Scottish Borders Council has also designated Peebles as currently having a high level of housing need and has incorporated the Glensax Road site in its current Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP). This means it has been scored against criteria such as demand, deliverability, strategic fit and equalities impact and it can therefore be considered for grant funding from the Scottish Government.

The site includes garage plots in Glensax Road and tenants of the garages have been sent letters to advise them that there are plans to re-acquire the garages. This letter also explains the expected timeframe for development so as to give the garage Tenants as much notice as possible.

Mr Coyle added: “We appreciate that it may be inconvenient for people to make alternative storage arrangements, however we feel that the creation of affordable housing is of paramount importance. Parking provision will be addressed in the planning application and we hope that by informing people affected so far ahead, we can assist them to make alternative arrangements.”

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