We are working with Braemar Community Limited to develop community-owned affordable housing for mid-market rent that will help meet local housing need. This follows a 2019 feasibility study for Braemar Community Ltd by RHS and Sam Foster Architects, who worked closely with the community to show it was possible to provide up to 16 homes on the site – an increase of five on a previous, unrealised planning permission
Since then Rural Housing Scotland has been working closely with Braemar Community Ltd and the project steering group to secure the land, obtain funding and develop the design proposals for the project in more detail. Residents and businesses are being regularly kept up to date with progress through leaflet drops and articles in the local press and were invited to a covid-compliant drop-in session at the village in late 2020 to view proposed plans and provide feedback.
Following refinement of the plans it is now planned to create 15 homes. To reflect the design of many of the homes in Braemar, these will be set out in three terraces, all orientated to optimise the amount of sunshine they get throughout the year. Five houses and ten flats will be created – with two of the flats being fully wheelchair accessible. Landscaping between the terraces will be open to the adjacent woodland, helping the homes merge into their setting.
All of the homes will be built to the Passivhaus standard of energy efficiency: an essential step towards minimising greenhouse gas emissions and to helping prevent fuel poverty – particularly in Braemar, which is the third coldest place to live in the UK. The homes will also be built from low-carbon, non-toxic construction materials, both to further reduce their environmental impact and to create healthy homes for occupants.
Find out more
Hear from Simon Blackett of Braemar Community Ltd about how local people have developed plans for community-led housing to tackle local housing need in Braemar, and from Sam Foster of Rural Housing Scotland about how they have worked with the community to develop plans for high-quality, sustainable housing and access the funding and expertise to move the project forward. (Recorded Oct 2020).
A full planning application for the new homes was lodged in May 2021, with the ambition of securing planning consent by summer 2022. Planning permission was approved on 24th July 2022.
An application has been made to the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund and it is anticipated that mortgage finance will be provided by an ethical lender such as the Ecology Building Society or Triodos. The project has also received significant financial and project support from Cairngorms National Park Authority and Scottish Land Fund.
In June 2020, Braemar Community Ltd (BCL) was awarded two small grants to help progress the Kindrochit Court affordable housing project. This includes a donation from Marr Area Partnership for funding towards ongoing community consultation work and an additional amount from Marr Area Committee to help build on the feasibility we carried out for the community in 2019.
In July 2020, we learnt that an application to the CAF Venturesome Community-Led Housing Fund to fund pre-development work had been approved. The money will be used to allow the community to work closely with an architect-led team to develop designs; submit applications for planning and building warrant approval; and secure tenders from contractors to build the homes.
The design team (which includes John Gilbert Architects, DEW Engineers and NBM Cost Consultants) will now be moving on with the Building Warrant, before inviting tenders for the construction work.
More information can be found here: https://www.braemar-eco-homes.co.uk/
If you have ideas or thoughts about the project, or are interested in living in one of the new houses, contact Rural Housing Scotland’s Project Officer, Sam Foster on 07421 369 263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org