Plans for new homes unveiled

Tweed Court Kelso
Tweed Court Kelso

Scottish Borders Housing Association has revealed plans to build 29 new homes across the region.

The social housing provider wants to build 13 family homes at Tweed Court in Kelso, four three-bedroom homes at Heriotfield, Oxton, and six two-bedroom flats at Glensax Road, Peebles.

There are also plans to create six three-bedroom homes over two sites at Queens Way in Earlston.

Henry Coyle, director of assets and property services, 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 nine communities, Borders-wide, over the next three years.

“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.”

Speaking to Kelso Community Council last week, neighbourhood housing officer Helen Bulman said: “We have plans for 65 new affordable homes in communities across the Scottish Borders, and a proposal for 13 new family homes at Tweed Court forms part of that proposal.

“There’s a demand for family homes in the area and so we are planning to build 13 three-bedroom houses at the site.

“The plan is to demolish the two amenity housing blocks within the site as well as the Abbeyfield building, but the six houses at the front will remain.”

Kelso councillor Tom Weatherston said it was “very exciting news”, but community councillor Kerry Yule raised concerns on behalf of residents of the six remaining homes.

She said: “They were told two years ago that their houses were part of the plans and would be knocked down.

“Three weeks ago, they found out that their houses will not be demolished after all. They are going to be living on a building site.”

Ms Bulman told the meeting that the association was responsible for four of those six properties, with another belonging to Waverley Housing and the remaining house being privately owned.

She added: “We had hoped to do this project some time ago, and the plans have changed since then. We will be servicing the properties belonging to us to ensure those standards are met.”

The new homes form part of the SBHA’s contribution to the Scottish Government’s target of creating 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

Planning applications will be submitted to Scottish Borders Council at the end of the month, with decisions expected in October.