23 December 2020

New council homes for rent completed in Stonehaven and Laurencekirk

More than 30 new properties are being made available for social rent in Stonehaven and Laurencekirk following the completion of two new developments.

In Stonehaven, four existing properties that were used as Aberdeenshire Council education offices at Cameron Street have been converted to form eight one-bed flats.

Work on the £600,000 project began in November last year but, due to the ongoing pandemic, was paused this year between March and June in line with national guidance around construction work.

The conversion was carried out by Chap Construction, funded by the Scottish Government’s New Build Grant and Aberdeenshire Council’s Housing Revenue Account.

A further 28 flats, houses and bungalows are also nearing completion as part of the third phase of development at Blackiemuir Avenue, Laurencekirk.

Representing an investment of just under £4million, Muir Group began work on the properties in September last year, with the project also resuming in June.

Some of the units are being specifically adapted to meet the needs of tenants with physical disabilities.

The first of these units will be ready between January and March next year. The earlier phases of the development saw 22 units completed in 2018.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, Cllr Anne Stirling, said: “This has been a very challenging year for everybody, so it’s great to see work on these properties reaching completion, adding capacity in two communities where we’re seeing high demand for accommodation.

“In particular, I’m pleased to see former council offices being converted into accommodation. This supports our office rationalisation plans and allows us to bring vacant properties back into use.”

Committee vice-chair Cllr Doreen Mair said: “These two schemes take account of a number of factors, including the needs of our new tenants.

“Planning these projects isn’t just about the housing itself, it’s about how we can integrate new homes into our communities and make best use of the sites and resources available to us.”

Both developments form part of the eighth phase of Aberdeenshire Council’s New Build Housing Programme which will see approximately 177 new flats, houses and bungalows built for social rent.

Meanwhile, three houses are currently being developed at a former hostel site at Ardanes Brae in Banff.

The £576,000 project is funded by the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council and is being developed by local contractor Scorgie Construction.