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Case Studies > Rothiemurchus co-housing self-build

Near Aviemore


Case Study Rothiemurchus co-housing self-build Near Aviemore www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Rothiemurchus co-housing self-build Six new build properties have been awarded planning consent at Rothiemurchus, Aviemore. Driven by the “Sawmill Co-operative” co-housing group and facilitated by The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust alongside working closely with the estate, is an excellent example of successful collaboration on estate land within the Cairngorms National Park.

In 2011 members of the co-operative approached the Rothiemurchus Estate wishing to build their own homes as land in the locality was difficult to source, especially on an affordable basis. The Estate agreed to sell plots at a discounted price and HSCHT finalised the terms of the agreement with the Estate. This facilitation process has resulted in a win-win cross-subsidy solution, providing four affordable homes and two open market plots for the Estate and ultimately, a reduced price plot for each family to purchase.

The co-operative sought their own planning consent for the six plots and met all associated costs, along with the costs of providing an access road and utilities to the site. Success: 67% of homes on the development are affordable, which is above the required level; No public subsidy (grants) are being provided to enable the four affordable properties; The Estate has been compensated financially by being able to sell two open market house plots and also benefits by selling land to a registered charity (HSCHT); There is a reduced provision of affordable properties to rent and to buy near Aviemore and this model can be used in other areas; The Highland Self-build Loan Fund is expected to be used as bridging finance for the new builds; Local families who are actively involved in the community can remain in the community and have access to lifetime homes.

Obtaining planning consent took longer than anticipated on this challenging and sensitive site as the process began in 2012.

Planning consent was granted in December 2016 and the purchase of the land is underway by HSCHT, who will then sell on individual plots to each family with a Rural Housing Burden on the title to protect on-going affordability on resales. This project demonstrates that affordable homes can be provided through strong partnerships using mechanisms in place such as the Rural Housing Burden and the Highland Self-build Loan Fund, while also achieving the aims and objectives of the Local Authority and the Scottish Government.
 
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