Construction gets under way on city’s first ‘ghost estate’

An artist's impression of the �30m Madelvic project at Granton
An artist's impression of the �30m Madelvic project at Granton
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CONSTRUCTION work on the first of the city’s ghost estates – major developments mothballed in the recession – has got under way as part of a £30 million investment in family homes.

The project launched on the Granton Waterfront last week is the first of five sites which will bring 350 new homes to Edinburgh and West Lothian.

The first images of 62 low-energy homes, a mix of townhouses, maisonettes and flats for the mid-market sector, were released as work began.

The development is situated close to the Granton gas holder adjacent to the former Madelvic plant, Britain’s first car factory.

Places for People, one of the UK’s largest regeneration companies, has committed £30m to deliver the homes from the National Housing Trust and the Scottish Government through its Scottish subsidiary, Castle Rock Edinvar.

The development is the largest affordable project currently under way in the Capital and it is estimated 640 local jobs will be supported over the three years it will take to complete.

The new homes will provide a range of opportunities to rent and buy.

Places for People chief executive David Cowans said: “Although we are operating in very challenging times, through an innovative funding package involving Scottish Government support, recycling receipts from the sale of redundant properties and Bond finance through Places for People we have been able to bring forward proposals for these two sites to provide 178 new homes in key neighbourhoods in the Lothians.”

The £8m Madelvic development site will be followed immediately by the creation of 126 new homes at Lochend Butterfly as part of an £18.5m investment.

Three other sites in the Lothians will be supported through the Scottish Government fund, at West Pilton and Craigmillar in Edinburgh and West Calder in West Lothian.

Housing Minister Keith Brown added: “Coupled with their developments being supported through Scottish Government’s Innovation and Investment Fund, Places for People are making a significant contribution to the supply of affordable homes in Scotland.”

City housing leader councillor Paul Edie said: “These are houses that are badly needed in an area that badly needs them. The National Housing Trust is about mid-market homes, which is still affordable housing, but housing for hard working families, workers in key sectors, a bit above social rent but not able to get into a mortgage.”

He added: “Of the 16,000 affordable homes we have to build over the next ten years, around 6000 of these fall into that mid-market category and the more of these we build, the more pressure is taken off social housing.”

QUALITY STREETS

MORE than two-thirds of council homes have been brought up to the quality level demanded by the Scottish Government.

Tens of millions are being spent improving kitchens, bathrooms and energy efficiency in hundreds of homes to bring them up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard, with 69 per cent now at that level.

When the scheme began in 2007 just 17 per cent of properties complied with this standard.