Scottish Minister for Housing visits Longniddry Village

Scottish Housing Minister visit at Longniddry Village

On Thursday, 6th June, the Scottish Minister for Housing, Paul McLennan, visited Longniddry Village, an award-winning development from Places for People and Cruden Homes in association with Wemyss and March Estates. Located on the East Lothian coast, the development’s current success represents the value and positive influence of multi-tenure communities in Scotland. During the Minister’s visit, he met representatives from the development and discussed how working together on mixed-tenure developments like Longniddry Village enables the creation of thriving communities and provides solutions to Scotland’s housing crisis, where 110,000 households are currently on the waitlist for social housing. 

In research recently commissioned by Places for People, three-quarters of Scotland respondents believe new developments should be multi-tenure and over 80% believe they should offer community facilities, such as cafes, restaurants, and shared social spaces.* 

Named ‘Large Development of the Year’ at the Homes for Scotland Awards 2023, Longniddry Village comprises affordable housing as well as homes for private sale. This not only appeals to a range of prospective buyers, from first-time buyers to downsizers but also helps to support Scotland’s vision for everyone across the country to have a safe, warm, and affordable home that meets their needs. 

The Minister’s visit involved a tour of Longniddry Village, where he saw the first phase of the development, which showed the delivery of outright sale, affordable rented housing, and older living properties. This was then followed by a tour of the ambitious conversion of the historic Longniddry Steading where a number of the commercial space are nearing completion, followed by the second phase of residential development, where he could see Longniddry Village’s mid-market rent offering and plans for other sales tenures. Places for People understand placemaking and have successfully delivered mixed-tenure communities of blended development before, such as Tornagrain in the Scottish Highlands. The organisation understands that by focusing on this way of building it can remove the stigma of social housing and act as another way to address the housing crisis.

Colin Jack, Production Director for Places for People comments: “It was wonderful to show the Scottish Minister for Housing around Longniddry Village, where he could see our progress and witness the growing and friendly mixed-tenure community, who are enjoying their new homes in this idyllic setting.

“However, our main topic of discussion remained on the current housing crisis, and how we can work collaboratively to deliver the new homes required. With an overwhelming number of households on the waiting list for social housing, we need to find solutions that can support developers to build at the scale and pace required to address our housing shortages. 

“At Places for People, we are committed to building new homes as we see it as our responsibility and will look to deliver 2,500 new affordable homes across Scotland in the next five years. As a social enterprise, all our profits are recycled back into the organisation, so we can focus on helping those struggling the most to meet their living needs.”

Housing Minister Paul McLennan said: “The new mid rent homes at Longniddry Village will play a valuable role in boosting Scotland’s affordable housing supply. Everyone deserves a warm and safe place to call home and these high-quality, energy efficient properties will help to meet the needs of the local community for generations to come.”

Martin Andrews, Factor of Wemyss and March Estates comments: “Our collaborative vision for this development represents a long-term commitment to Longniddry, which can become an exemplar of how to accommodate community and housing needs in a way that does not detract from the qualities of the place that people love and enjoy, but instead enhances the opportunities for living locally by integrating mixed-uses, mixed-tenure housing, footpaths and greenspaces within a location that is sought-after, well-connected and makes good use of existing assets”.

Fraser Lynes, Managing Director of Cruden Homes, said: “Longniddry Village is an ambitious mixed-tenure development that plays a vital role in the creation of much-needed quality housing in East Lothian. The landowners, Wemyss & March Estates, had a clear vision for this vibrant new community and we are proud to play a key role in delivering what has been praised as ‘one of the best examples of new housing ever seen’. 

“This multi-award-winning development is a seamless and sustainable extension to the existing local community, providing beautiful, carefully crafted architecture and high quality, energy efficient new homes across all tenures."

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