Braemar

We are working with Braemar Community Limited  to develop community owned affordable housing for social rent in the village that will help meet local housing needs. 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

Over the course of 2020 Rural Housing Scotland will be working closely with Braemar Community Ltd to secure the land, obtain funding and develop the design proposals for the project in more detail so that construction work can begin in 2021. Residents and businesses are being regularly kept up to date with progress through leaflet drops and articles in the local press. To make sure these views are clearly heard we plan to hold ‘virtual village hall’ sessions while restrictions on movement remain in place.

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 sam@ruralhousingscotland.org

Latest update

We have been working with Braemar Community Limited on an application to the Scottish Land Fund to take on the ownership and management of a small, but well-used, area of woodland beside the proposed community-led housing site. Community ownership of this piece of land, which will be maintained as woodland for community use, will allow much-needed maintenance to take place, as well as improvement of the paths that run through it so they are accessible to all.

The woods are known to be home to a number of birds and animals, including red squirrel, pine marten, a rookery and woodpeckers. Bringing the woodland under local control will enable much-needed thinning of the trees, improving their general health and increasing the level of biodiversity found in the woods, and is expected to result in the creation on a part-time Community Ranger post.

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).

Project progress

Our work has included a housing needs study, community engagement events, a financial appraisal and consultation with local business. An application has been made to the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund and it is anticipated that mortgage finance will be provided by the Ecology Building Society. 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) were 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. 

In September 2020 the project team celebrated being awarded a grant from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase woodland and green space in the village as part of the place-making element of the project.

Project documents

Energy efficient homes

As one of the coldest places in Scotland, Braemar’s residents are at significant risk of cold homes and fuel poverty, known to cause both poor physical and mental health. To address this, as well as making homes that address the climate crisis, the houses will be designed to achieve very high levels of energy efficiency and built from non-toxic, low carbon materials.

(Images courtesy Sam Foster Architects)