We are delighted that the Old Sawmill development at Rothiemurchus near Aviemore has been selected as a joint winner in the Rural Housing category of the Scottish Land & Estates Helping It Happen Awards, at a virtual ceremony on 27 October.
The development is a collaboration between members of the local community, the Rothiemurchus Estate, and the Communities Housing Trust.
It provided a total of six self-build homes on Rothiemurchus land: four affordable plots for the local community that required no public subsidy, and two open-market plots, within the Cairngorms National Park.
This cross-subsidy model has now been incorporated into the Cairngorm National Park's Local Development Plan, to provide affordable housing on exception sites, which will support other communities adopt a similar model if needed.
The affordable self-build homes all have the Rural Housing Burden attached, a legal title condition which protects the property’s affordability in perpetuity and prioritises the local community in future sales, helping prevent holiday- and second-home ownership.
Read more about the development in the case study here, and more on the award here.
Watch a short clip with Lesley McKenna, Old Sawmill co-operative member and resident who helped drive the project forward:
Susan Hunter, Principal Officer of CHT, said: "We are delighted to win this award as it exemplifies the objectives of CHT. This development has been successful thanks to Johnnie Grant of Rothiemurchus for being open to finding a way to provide land for affordable housing; the absolute determination and staying power of the four families who put in a tremendous amount of work in taking it through the planning process; the CNPA for recognising the cross-subsidy model and the desperate need for affordable housing; and the CHT team involved in developing the model and making the serviced plots available. The importance of the Rural Housing Burden in rural housing provision is illustrated in these hard-fought homes, as if they are offered for sale, CHT's right to buy back will ensure they will be sold on to other families in the community at a discount from market value."
On the night, we were really pleased that Rothiemurchus also won the award for Tourism & Visitor Management, and Scourie Community Development Company (SCDC) won the award for Working With Communities. We are working in partnership with SCDC on the north west coast to provide community-led affordable homes, and have conducted a land audit, a housing needs survey, and community engagement work on their behalf.
Click here for the full list of winners. Congratulations to all finalists and winners, and thank you to SLE and all the event sponsors!
This blog features a variety of CHT’s developments and projects located throughout the central and northern Scotland. It also includes the latest news and updates regarding the Trust.