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Thu October 17 2019

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Aberdeenshire sets out £150m housing plan

21 May Aberdeenshire Council has published a plan for an investment of more than £150m in the delivery of affordable housing over the next five years.

It estimates that more than 2,350 homes could potentially be built across Aberdeenshire over the period, with around 590 suitable for households with particular needs, and 73 fully accessible for wheelchair users.

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) was considered by the council’s communities committee in November. The Scottish Government has now provided feedback on the document, commenting that ‘engagement between local authority officials and their housing partners in Aberdeenshire is strong’ and saying that the plan ‘clearly fits’ with the authority’s local housing strategy.

The majority of homes (1,949) are proposed for social rent, with 126 for mid-market rent and 279 for low-cost shared equity purchase.

Councillor Anne Stirling, who chairs the communities committee, said: “The core purpose of the SHIP is to set out our investment priorities for affordable housing over the next five years and the feedback from the Scottish Government is encouraging.

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“As well as setting out our investment priorities, the document also demonstrates how these will be delivered, the resources required to deliver them, and how we will involve our key partners. We look forward to these homes taking shape over the next few years.”

Councillor Iris Walker, the committee’s vice-chair, added: “The geographical challenges we face in the delivery of affordable housing has also been recognised and we remain committed to prioritising opportunities in the areas of most need.

 “We are also working to increase the provision of accommodation for those with particular needs to ensure that properties are equipped for as broad a range of people as possible.”

Work is already under way to deliver the new plan. Each development will be subject to the usual planning process, and delivery of the SHIP will be influenced by the wider housing market, as a high proportion of the new homes will be part of larger schemes by housing developers.

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