10 February 2011


  I thought the following news release would be of interest.

Edinburgh’s ambitious project to build the first new council homes for a generation has taken an exciting step forward.
Award-winning architects firm Anderson Bell + Christie have been appointed to provide outline designs and guides for the North Sighthill and Pennywell & Muirhouse elements of the 21st Century Homes programme.

The North Sighthill plans will see 320 new homes being built and the Pennywell & Muirhouse will result in 700 new homes. Half of all these homes will be affordable and the other half for sale on the open market.

Around 35% of the total homes in Pennywell & Muirhouse will be for families with children – exceeding current regulations in the Capital for providing homes for families.
Construction work has already started on the first phase of the 21st Century Homes programme at Gracemount, where 215 homes will be built.

Councillor Paul Edie, housing leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It’s great news that one of Scotland’s leading architects firms are on board. I am sure Anderson Bell + Christie’s design guidance will leave a lasting legacy in North Sighthill and Pennywell & Muirhouse for generations to come.

“The 21st Century Homes programme is a vital element of our ongoing long term regeneration plans for the Capital, which will boost the economy by providing new jobs in both the construction industry and support for local businesses.

“However, we are still a long way from plugging the huge gap in affordable housing, which is why we are working closely with the Scottish Government to explore new and innovative ways of building more homes such as the National Housing Trust scheme which could see up to another 600 affordable homes being built.

“We have an ambitious target to meet the need for 16,000 new affordable homes over the next 10 years and we will do everything we can to achieve this.”
Karen Anderson, partner at Anderson Bell + Christie, said she was delighted that their firm has been appointed for the North Sighthill and Pennywell & Muirhouse design project.
She said: “We are looking forward to working with the City of Edinburgh Council and the communities involved. We will draw upon our extensive knowledge gained in housing and master planning from working on projects like the masterplan for the Raploch regeneration, our built housing projects throughout Scotland, and on our wide-ranging design guidance experience.”

The flats and houses will be in a range of sizes up to four storeys in height. The 50% affordable mix consists of 30% council rent, 10% mid rent and 10% shared equity.
It brings the total amount of Scottish Government funding for new council homes in Edinburgh to £7.5m over the past two years.

The 21st Century Homes programme aims to build up to 1,300 mixed tenure homes for sale and rent across the Capital over the next eight years.

It will also result in up to £150 million of Council-led investment in the regeneration of the Gracemount, North Sighthill and Pennywell & Muirhouse areas of the city.

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