12 new affordable houses are being built in Tomintoul. Picture by Alpha Projects
12 new affordable houses are being built in Tomintoul. Picture by Alpha Projects

New affordable homes being built in Tomintoul will help sustain the population and cut fuel poverty.

The 12 houses are expected to be complete in the summer and are now open to applications.

People with connections to the area, through work or family, are being prioritised as a way to promote the sustainability of rural communities.

Houses have homeworking space

Eight of the properties are 2-3 bedroom houses available for affordable rent, one of which has a homeworking space.

Four are 3-bedroom houses for discounted sale, including two with homeworking areas.

The Rural Housing Burden is applied to the homes for discounted sale.

This gives a discount percentage in perpetuity which protects the ongoing affordability for local buyers.

Artist impression of the affordable housing project.

The development also tackles fuel poverty and social isolation.

The homes are designed around a communal space and include individual electric vehicle charging points, PV panels on each home to generate electricity, and are highly insulated.

The community-led development on the site of the old secondary school is led by Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust (TGDT), with support from the Communities Housing Trust.

Tilly Smith, chair of TGDT said: “This development has been a huge project for TGDT and we’re delighted to be offering these 12 amazing houses at a significant discount against market rates to support and sustain our communities.

“The development, which includes live-work units, will help regenerate our area and provide long term, high quality, affordable housing for people who live and work here.”

Development based on community needs

Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, says community-led developments are important in small and rural communities, because they’re based on what the community wants and needs.

He said: “This development is also helping to tackle wider issues such as fuel poverty, and working towards net zero.

“The homeworking spaces signal a shift we’ve all seen since Covid to work more flexibly, which can also help to diversify local economies.

“We’d like to congratulate the Tomintoul and Glenlivet communities on finalising such a high-quality development so swiftly, in a national park setting.”

The houses will help tackle fuel poverty.

The project is funded by the Scottish Land Fund, the Scottish Government’s Rural & Islands Housing Fund, Social Investment Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, the Community And Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), Dorenell Windfarm Community Benefit Fund, TDGT, and is constructed by Aberdeen-based Alpha Projects.

In December 2020 TGDT bought the former Tomintoul Secondary School.

It later received a £349,750 loan from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) and a grant of £157,250 from its recently-launched Growth Challenge.

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