Sanquhar family become the first tenants at new DGHP development
The former school site is part of plans by Wheatley Group to build 5,500 homes by 2026.
Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) tenants Andy and Mary McDowall are celebrating after becoming the first people to move into a new housing development in Sanquhar.
Built on the site of an old school, the development is made up of 12 homes consisting of four one-bedroom bungalows, six two-bedroom bungalows and two further homes specifically adapted for wheelchair users.
DGHP, part of Wheatley Group, completed the development in March 2021 with 12 families being handed keys to the new affordable homes.
The homes at Sanquhar are part of plans by Wheatley to build 5,500 new homes across the country by 2026.
Andy, a retired joiner and newspaper editor, and wife Mary, who used to run a B&B, have been married for 33 years. Mr McDowall said: “We really love our new house. It’s made such a difference to Mary due to her health.
“The property is so warm and has been fully adapted for wheelchair use, making things so much easier for us.
“Sanquhar has been our home for many years and we are very glad we were able to move to this specially-adapted property just along the road.”
Construction work is also ongoing at sites across Dumfries and Galloway which will see another 69 new homes built for social rent. Five properties in Monreith are now also complete with several families already moved in.
DGHP has plans to build 800 new homes for social rent by 2026.
The development programme by Wheatley includes properties built to wheelchair standard and accommodation to help older people live independently for longer in their own homes.
Despite the lockdown restrictions on the construction industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, last year Wheatley completed 413 new homes in Glasgow, West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh and Dumfries and Galloway – with 329 homes for social rent and 84 for mid-market rent.
Tom Barclay, Wheatley Group Director of Property and Development, said: “We’re delighted with the progress of our new-build programme, especially during one of the most challenging years for the construction industry.
“Our continued investment in affordable housing allows us to make a real contribution to housing at a national level. This type of investment is only possible due to our size and scale and by working with our strategic partners, including local authorities and the Scottish Government.
“Our new-build programme has already made a real and lasting difference to communities all over Scotland and the new homes we’re building will help transform the lives of those who live in them.”
Work is currently underway to build 1,229 homes on 25 sites – with 16 more sites in development.
Almost 700 new homes are due to be completed this year across south and central Scotland, from Glasgow to Dumfries, Edinburgh to Clydebank and Livingston to Stranraer.