Who We Are

Rural Housing Scotland is a Scottish Charity No. SC031239 and a company limited by guarantee No. 216096. It is managed by a Board of Directors drawn from its membership. The current Board of Directors was elected at our AGM in Dunkeld on the 27th February 2020.

Staff

Derek Logie – Chief Executive

Derek has been Project Manager, Director, & now Chief Executive, of Rural Housing Scotland since 1996. He is responsible for the delivery of Rural Housing Scotland activities. He is responsible to the Rural Housing Scotland Management Committee for the development, delivery and ongoing management of Rural Housing Scotland activities. Derek has worked with communities across Scotland to tackle local housing problems and has supported the development of several practical projects to address housing need. Derek was previously a  committee member of the Scottish Land Fund and of the Rural Development Council.

Cameron Anson – Our Island Home Development Officer

Cameron joined Rural Housing Scotland in May 2017. Cameron’s role is primarily to support island community groups/trusts to develop affordable housing projects. This involves, but is not limited to, meeting island communities to raise awareness of community action on housing, helping communities to develop proposals for new island housing and supporting applications to the Island Housing Fund.

Sam Foster – Project Officer

Architect Sam Foster originally qualified in 2005 and worked with leading ecological design practice Gaia Architects before setting up his own practice in 2011. He has worked on a wide variety of cutting-edge ecological design projects across the UK including new private houses, primary schools, cultural, community and tourism projects with a value between £50k – £8.5m. Before joining Rural Housing Scotland he worked with RHS on a number of rural community housing feasibility studies, including in the west-Highlands and Aberdeenshire.

Sam’s experience and interest has focused specifically on the design and refurbishment of buildings to be extremely energy efficient and prevent fuel poverty; that are a joy to occupy; that have a positive visual and ecological impact on their immediate context;  and that are built from low-carbon materials that are non-toxic to human and animal health.   Sam is also an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, working on a competition project to design and build a solar-powered house for this year’s ‘Solar Decathlon’ in Dubai.

Kirsten Gow – Communications and Membership Officer

Kirsten joined Rural Housing Scotland in November 2019 having worked in a variety of communications and project management roles in housing and the third sector.  Kirsten’s role involves raising the profile of Rural Housing Scotland and the work we do in order to proactively engage with communities and advocate for meaningful solutions to their needs.

Rural Housing Scotland Board and Staff at annual Away Day at Comrie Croft

Board of Directors

Dr. Annie McKee – Convenor

Annie is a Social Researcher in Land Management at the James Hutton Institute. She completed her PhD with the Centre for Mountain Studies, as part of the ‘Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century’ research team, following a Geography undergraduate from St Andrews University, and Masters in Sustainable Rural Development from the University of Aberdeen. Her PhD aimed to examine the role of private landownership in facilitating sustainable rural communities in upland Scotland.

Annie joined the James Hutton Institute in October 2010, her research interests include stakeholder and community engagement practices, action research and effective knowledge exchange, rural governance and institutions, rural community development and achieving sustainable development in rural areas. In 2016 she completed a Comparative Research Fellowship funded by the OECD, undertaking fieldwork in central Norway in order to develop understanding and lessons for Scottish land reform. She is a Trustee of the Andrew Raven Trust and Tarland Development Group, in particular participating in the Tarland Community Housing Project.

Alastair Cameron – Vice-Convenor

Alastair is the former Chief Executive of Scottish Churches Housing Action, which mobilises the churches in working towards a Scotland free of homelessness. He has been a board member of Rural Housing Scotland from its inception in 2001 and was previously a member of the Rural Forum Housing Service Committee. His background is in community development and homelessness activism, working in the past for Rochdale Council in Lancashire and Edinburgh Council for the Single Homeless. He sees community engagement as crucial in tackling Scotland’s problems of homelessness and inadequate housing.

David Stewart

David joined the Scottish Land Commission in April 2019 and his remit includes work on land assembly, placemaking, land value capture and affordable rural housing. He joined the commission from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations where he led on the delivery of new build affordable housing, planning reform, energy efficiency and regeneration.

David was previously involved in the delivery of new build affordable housing and housing led regeneration with housing associations in Glasgow and Edinburgh and with the City of Edinburgh Council.  He was previously on the board of PAS, the planning and place charity, and a community based housing association in Greenock.

Richard Heggie

Richard is founding Director of Urban Animation, an Edinburgh-based planning and development consultancy. The practice aims to ‘animate’ and bring life to the built and natural environment. He is also a partner in Dhu Rural, a Moray-based rural development consultancy.

Richard is a planner and urban designer working throughout Scotland. He is an advisor to Reforesting Scotland‘s 1000 Huts campaign and a co-author of the SRUC’s Rural Scotland in Focus 2014 report. He was an advisor to the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Review Group, which published its report in May 2014. He was a member of RTPI Scotland’s Executive Committee in 2016 and 2017. 

In 2010, Richard was selected as the Royal Town Planning Institute’s UK Planning Consultant of the Year. The awards recognise outstanding achievement that has advanced significantly the art and science of planning through originality, innovation and a sustainable approach to development. 

Urban Animation handles a wide range of projects throughout Scotland but is best known for work in master planning, rural development and regeneration, community land/asset ownership and community engagement. The focus is always on delivery – making things happen. Major projects are on site at Bowmore (50 affordable homes in three phases to date) and Inveraray (12 affordable homes and a Co-op retail store to date). Other projects are ongoing at Wanlockhead, Kyle of Tongue, Braemar, East Linton, Forres and Tomatin.

Debbie Mackay

Debbie is a planning and rural development professional with over 20 years experience in the rural sector. She started her career as a Planning & Economic Development Officer at Argyll & Bute Council, where key roles involved developing the Argyll Air Services project (airport at Oban and airstrips on Coll and Colonsay), coordinating the Argyll & Bute Agricultural Forum, managing the Council countryside access staff, promoting renewable energy and community engagement. After a move to Edinburgh and brief sojourn at Edinburgh City Centre Managment as the Edinburgh City Centre Action Plan Manager, Debbie returned to rural work when recruited to set up the Smiths Gore planning service in Scotland and became a partner in due course.

In 2015 Debbie became a Director at Savills when Savills and Smiths Gore merged. She heads up the Rural Planning Service for Savills in Scotland covering large scale master planning projects, renewable energy schemes, Whole Estate Strategic Planning and Development Review and has particular expertise in planning for housing in the countryside.

Debbie is the retained Planning Advisor for a number of Scottish Estates including Scone Estate and The Crown Estate. Debbie is coordinating Savills’ initiative to provide land management and specialist property advice services to the new wave of community landowners in Scotland seeking to reduce conflict and achieve positive dialogue and joint working. She also sits on the National Policy Group for Scottish Land & Estates.

Norma Robson

Norma is a Team Leader in Planning and Policy for Housing and Communities in Perth and Kinross Council. In 1986, Norma started work in housing as a Housing Assistant covering rural areas in the north and west of Perth and Kinross. Over the past thirty years, she has worked mainly in strategic planning in housing. Her main areas of work focus on the Local Housing Strategy, the Strategic Housing Investment Plan and the implementation of the Affordable Housing Policy throughout Perth and Kinross.

In more recent years, Norma’s role with Perth and Kinross Council has been broadened to include planning and policy for Care Services.

Dr. Madhu Satsangi – Treasurer

Madhu is an experienced social science researcher with a long record of leading policy-relevant research. He is a Lecturer in Housing Studies at the University of Glasgow and became Treasurer of the RHS in February 2015, after being its Convenor

Madhu’s doctoral thesis looked at the social relations of rural housing provision and he is qualified in Environmental Science and Town and Regional Planning. From the late 1990s, Madhu has led and published researched into rural housing provision, including work on rural housing associations, the role of private landowners in affordable housing, emergent community land ownership and the rural home ownership grant. He wrote ‘The rural housing question’ with Nick Gallent and Mark Bevan.

Madhu is currently Convenor of Positive Action for Training in Housing (Scotland).

Angela Williams

Angela is currently Chief Officer of Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company who are in receipt of community benefit funds from local windfarms and hydro schemes.

These funds are reinvested back in the community through local grant giving and through investment in projects that will benefit the community long term, including the purchase of a 3 bed flat, the build of a new medical centre leased to the NHS,and the build of a 12 house development due to start later in 2020.  The properties will be owned, managed and allocated by the community company and leased out at levels in line with Highland Council rents.

Prior to moving to Fort Augustus, Angela worked for the Knoydart Foundation and its trading subsidiary, Knoydart Renewables on a wide range of projects.