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Housing Minister opens development on historical Edinburgh site

New affordable housing development constructed into the historic wall of Edmonstone’s walled garden in Edinburgh.

 

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A £7 million affordable Edinburgh housing development, which has been constructed into the historic wall of Edmonstone’s walled garden, was officially declared open on Wednesday by Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart.

Welcomed by Hillcrest Chairman Alan Russell, Hillcrest Chief Executive Angela Linton, Cruden Homes East Managing Director Steven Simpson, and Hart Builders Business Development Director Gill Henry, Mr Stewart enjoyed a tour of the homes and spoke to local residents.

The 47 homes, which were delivered by the Cruden Group have been innovatively constructed using the historic wall as an integral part of the structure of the new homes.

The homes, which offer a mixture of one, two and three-bedrooms have been built facing into the old walled garden compound, with the historical structure forming the rear wall of the properties.

Of the 47 affordable homes, 28 are for social rent while 19 have been developed for mid-market rent – an initiative that offers good quality affordable properties for working people on a modest income.

Funding of £2,106,720 was provided by the Scottish Government for the social-rent portion of the development under its Housing Investment Programme which aims to drive delivery of 50,000 new affordable homes in Scotland.

A further £944,794 of government funding was provided for the mid-market rent portion, meaning a total of £3,051,514 was provided by the Scottish Government for the project.

The affordable homes also form part of a wider development comprising 28 properties for private sale by Cruden Homes on the old Edmonstone Estate.

Construction on the project began in May 2018, and the new homes have already scooped Police Scotland’s Secured by Design Gold Award.

Secured by Design is a national police initiative that encourages developers to create housing projects with security in mind, using landscaping that promotes natural surveillance as well as high performance windows and doors to help prevent break-ins.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Everyone deserves a safe, warm, affordable place to live, which is why we’re committed to delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

“We rely on the hard work and support of housing associations, like Hillcrest, to deliver quality developments like these to help us achieve our ambitious target.

“I am impressed by the way these 47 affordable homes for social and mid-market rent have been integrated into the walled garden that was once part of Edmonstone House. These unique homes will transform the lives of their tenants by giving them a sense of identity and belonging and contribute to a vibrant community with strong links to its history.”

Alan Russell, Hillcrest Chairman, said: “The wall of Edmonstone Estate’s historic garden is a nod to the extensive heritage of the area, and we’re delighted to have been able to preserve and respectfully incorporate this piece of history into these new homes.

“Not only has the inclusion of the wall into the design of the properties resulted in unique and innovative homes, it also gives the area a fantastic identity, all while helping boost Edinburgh’s affordable housing provision.”

Cruden Homes’ Managing Director, Steven Simpson, said: “As with all Cruden Homes developments, securing desirable and interesting locations is key, and Edmonstone is no exception. The range of product and tenure, combined with the heritage of the site and the mature natural environment, has generated a sustainable new community that has proven extremely popular with those who reside here.”

Councillor Kate Campbell, Edinburgh’s Council’s Convener of Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work, said:

“With so many people in need of a safe and warm home, I’m pleased to see yet another key development reach completion in Edinburgh. It’s all part of our major programme of investment towards improving services for existing and future tenants and investing in much-needed affordable new homes.”

The original Edmonstone House, which once stood at the site was believed to have dated back to the 13th century and was occupied by the Edmonstone family until 1626, when it was sold by Andrew Edmonstone to James Rait.

In the 18th century, the Wauchope family, who now owned the estate built a new mansion house on the site of the previous one. The house was demolished in 1950, with only the walled garden and other ruined structures such as stable houses and an icehouse surviving.

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