Despite the challenges of the pandemic and the effects of Brexit on the labour market and supply of construction materials, East Lothian Council and its partners have delivered 283 affordable homes across the county in the past two years.

Perhaps the most notable are the new council houses on the Blindwells site. These have been built by Cruden Homes. The council has taken ownership of the initial 10 properties, with a further 11 due to be handed over later this month and the remaining 39 due to complete this financial year. The homes are a mix of two, three and four bedroom houses and cottage flats.

These 60 high quality social rented properties are being delivered with the help of over £3.5 million of grant subsidy provided by the Scottish Government through their Affordable Housing Supply Programme.

Councillor Andy Forrest, East Lothian Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Housing and Property Maintenance, said: “Having the first new council homes available on the brand new Blindwells site, between Tranent and Prestonpans, is a major milestone. Blindwells will be the first new town in East Lothian and will have a strong focus on travel and community connections and sustainability so it will be a great place for our new tenants to live.”

Fraser Lynes, Managing Director of Cruden Homes (West) Ltd said: “We are thrilled to continue Cruden’s strong working relationship with East Lothian Council in delivering this landmark development of quality and affordable new council homes in Blindwells. Cruden Homes has a positive track record of building sustainable new communities and we look forward to seeing the first plots occupied by tenants. This project, one of several we are currently building across the East Lothian region, has also brought important benefits to the local area, including new jobs and work placement opportunities.”  

Bruce Lindsay, Development Director at Hargreaves Land, said: “The delivery of high-quality affordable housing has always formed a key component of our vision for Blindwells. We have made a significant investment in the site’s infrastructure to help facilitate the construction of range of house types for the people of East Lothian and it is fantastic that several housebuilders have already made excellent progress, with many more homes to come in the years ahead. We look forward to seeing the first tenants moving in and enjoying their new homes.”

Councillor Forrest added: “In addition to these new homes, we are on target to complete a further 73 (133 in total including the 60 at Blindwells) council houses this financial year, 26 of which have completed already. In addition to this our Housing Association partners are also on target to deliver an additional 68 social rented properties this year with a further 50 properties for mid-market rent.

“As East Lothian is one of the fastest growing local authorities in Scotland, we have committed to spending £174 million between 2020 and 2025 on building new council housing and modernising existing stock.

“We will continue to work with developers, housing associations and the Scottish Government to stay on track with our plans to deliver the maximum number of council houses, homes for social rent via housing associations, and low cost home ownership opportunities.”

Published: Tuesday, 16th August 2022