Plans submitted for new community-led homes in Cairngorms National Park

A planning application has been submitted for 15 new affordable homes in the village of Braemar, Aberdeenshire.  The proposal has been developed as a result of extensive community consultation and assessment of local housing need and includes 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed homes as well as wheelchair accessible flats.

The application was made following a public exhibition of the proposals in the village at the end of 2020. Local feedback from the event was used to refine the designs to ensure that the new development was something that felt right for the whole community. The homes are planned for a site at the heart of the village. Each home will be designed to achieve the Passivhaus level of energy efficiency helping to tackle fuel poverty and reduce the environmental impact of the new builds.

“Throughout the pandemic we have continued to work with the community to develop and refine the plans, as well as secure funding and get all the logistical elements in place”, explained Sam Foster of Rural Housing Scotland, who is supporting Braemar Community Limited as they develop the project.

“We’re excited to be at the stage of submitting the plans to the council and we hope to start construction in early 2022 with folk moving into their new homes at the start of 2023.”

The team behind the project has spent time gaining an understanding of local housing need and this will be used to inform the allocations policy for the new affordable-rental homes to support the aspirations that local people have for the village.  The project has been successful in gaining financial support from Cairngorms National Park Authority and charity loan funder CAF Venturesome to allow them to get to this stage and map the future of the project.

“The provision of affordable primary homes was one of the priorities identified in our 2017 – 2022 Park Partnership Plan, and we have set ourselves a target of delivering 200 new affordable homes over the plan period,” explains Liz Henderson, Rural Development & Communities Manager at the Cairngorms National Park Authority. “We are delighted to be supporting this important community-led project in Braemar as part of this commitment and welcome the focus in high quality, low impact, affordable housing.”

More information on the project, including a video of the story so far, can be found on our Braemar project page.