Minister Opens Aberdeen Development

From left to right:  Bill Chapman, Osprey Chair; Housing Minister Kevin Stewart; 1 year old Ariah; Liam Wilson; Chelsey McElroy and Glenn Adcook, Osprey Chief Executive.

November 2017

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has officially opened a flagship development for two housing groups in Aberdeen.

The first tenants have now moved into both Osprey Housing’s and Castlehill Housing Association’s properties at Countesswells, built by Stewart Milne Homes on the western outskirts of the city. This is the first planned new community for Aberdeen and the only housing development in the UK supported by HM Treasury’s UK Guarantee Scheme, along with £7.3 million of funding from the Scottish Government for 106 units.

Osprey Chief Executive Glenn Adcook said: “We are delighted that the Minister has been able to open our new development at Countesswells. This is a milestone for us and a hugely important part of our plans for Aberdeen . Together with Castlehill we are proud to be providing the first affordable housing in such a strategically important development.”

“I should also like to pay tribute to Stewart Milne Homes for providing such high quality homes for our tenants.”

Mr Stewart toured the site and met some of the new tenants. He said: “I am delighted to see the completion of the first phase of affordable housing at Countesswells, which will bring great benefits to the area. It not only provides high quality, affordable accommodation, but an exceptional place to live.

“Support for this development is a great example of how the Scottish Government is helping provide the right homes, in the right places, and to a standard anyone would be proud to call home – a core part of our drive to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country.

“We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament - backed by £3 billion of investment. As this projects shows – with a promise of 106 affordable, energy efficient homes on this particular development - I am confident that target can be achieved.”

Among the first tenants to move into the development are Liam Wilson and Chelsey McElroy with their one year old daughter Ariah. The couple are expecting their second child, due on Christmas Day. Chelsey said: “This move has completely changed our lives. Countesswells is a fantastic environment and we love it. We previously lived in a small multi-storey flat in an area rife with anti-social behaviour. We couldn’t be happier to have moved here.”

John Low, managing director for Stewart Milne Homes North, said: "New developments with the right mix of homes, including affordable, are key to tackling the housing shortage. We're proud to play our part in meeting demand with quality homes in the right locations that have the potential to make a real difference to individuals, couples and families.

"With the right blend of types and sizes of homes at Countesswells, we're creating a genuine, new community within a unique landscaped and natural environment."

Osprey has a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bed flats and houses at the development providing a mix of social and mid market rental (MMR) properties. The organisation’s 12 remaining MMR units will be handed over by mid November. Castlehill’s remaining 12 MMR units will be handed over by the end of November with the final nine social rented units handed over by mid January.

Castlehill Housing Association Chief Executive, David Lappin, said: ”We are delighted with the handover of these much needed new properties. This is a landmark for Castlehill Housing Association that brings our stock in the North East to over 2,000 homes.”

Countesswells, which will have 3,000 new homes including 750 affordable, will be phased in over 15 years, boosting the local economy and supporting 1,000 construction jobs in the region. Facilities within Countesswells will include a new secondary school and two primary schools, healthcare facilities, local business units, retail and leisure, together with high quality open, civic spaces and extensive parkland linking the community to the existing mature woodland.

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