Plan for 2,622 new affordable homes wins council support

Councillor Ann Ross

A council has pledged to approve more than 2,600 affordable homes over five years.

The communities committee of Aberdeenshire Council agreed a Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2018-2023 that will see 2,622 affordable homes built.

The plan will now be submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.

Of the 2,622 homes, 2,263 are proposed for social rent, 110 for mid-market rent and 249 for low-cost shared equity.

A report for councillors said: “The Strategic Housing Investment Plan has been presented to the six area committees and their comments have been included.”

In addition to approving the housing plan councillors also agreed to accelerate delivery of the homes using the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund.

In February 2016 Aberdeenshire Council agreed to support the delivery of affordable housing by allocating £4 million from the regular fund.

Currently only £187,000 of that has been spent, in delivering 41 homes in Peterhead and Inverurie.

Following the approval at the committee meeting yesterday, the council will look at further potential projects in Stonehaven, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Kintore, Boddam and Inverurie.

Banchory has already been identified as a pilot for the accelerated project which would see 36 new affordable homes built in the town.

This was put in doubt because council officials were unsure whether a developer was in place.

Councillor Ann Ross, who represents Banchory and Mid-Deeside, said: “I would like to know as soon as possible from officers if Banchory is going to be see the affordable houses built soon.

“There is a need for affordable housing in Banchory so the sooner we get this clarified the better.”

Council officers agreed to inform the committee about their discussions with developers.

Meanwhile, councillors on the Banff and Buchan area committee will be asked to take a decision on Tuesday about 44 affordable houses with associated parking at the Former Campbell Hospital, Portsoy.