Plans to build more than one 1,300 new homes on the agenda

Five-year housing plan is revealed.

When members of the local authority’s decision-making Executive Committee meet this week, they will be presented with the Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) for 2024 to 2029.

A SHIP is the document councils are required to submit to Scottish Government outlining their plans for housing investment over a five-year period.

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The plan outlines a number of priority areas for which house building is earmarked, including the former primary school site at Duns, an expansion at Gavinton West, also in Duns, land to the rear of Reston Primary School, Burnside at Eddleston, Main Street, Reston, Heather Mill at Selkirk, Channel Street in Galashiels, Balgownie and Eildon Brae, both in Newtown St Boswells and Howdenburn in Jedburgh.

The report outlines the challenges the council faces to deliver on its pledges due to inflationary pressures and increased construction costs.

But the aim is to build 1,122 affordable homes over the five-year period, which together with the homes to be built over the next year (201), brings the potential number of new dwellings to be built up to 1,323.

In is report to the committee, Councillor Robin Tatler, the council’s executive member for Communities and Equalities, says: “The ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic and the current economic uncertainty due to high levels of inflation and increased interest rates continue to play a significant role in the delivery of the programme for 2024-2029.

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“While there are challenges, we continue to be ambitious in increasing the supply of affordable housing in the Scottish Borders.

“In total this SHIP sets out ambitious proposals for up to 1,122 new affordable Borders homes at an estimated investment value of £267m during 2024-2029.

“Together with the envisaged completion of around 201 homes in 2023/24, around 1,323 homes could potentially be delivered to Borders communities over the next six years.”

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