Housebuilders give sector boost with plans for new sites

Three housebuilders have unveiled plans to construct hundreds of homes north of the Border, going some way to plugging the gap between supply and demand.
Barratt's Douglas McLeod said demand for homes 'is still high across Scotland'. Picture ContributedBarratt's Douglas McLeod said demand for homes 'is still high across Scotland'. Picture Contributed
Barratt's Douglas McLeod said demand for homes 'is still high across Scotland'. Picture Contributed

The biggest of the announcements will see FTSE 100 heavyweight Barratt Developments rolling out 14 new sites during the course of the year, creating almost 2,500 homes across Scotland.

It said the sites will underpin more than 6,000 existing jobs and support about 200 additional posts, “reflecting the continued demand for new homes in key locations”. Among the developments launching this year are Weirs Wynd in Renfrewshire, a scheme in Portobello, near Edinburgh, and Allan Park in Aberdeen.

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Douglas McLeod, regional managing director for Barratt Developments in Scotland, which also encompasses the David Wilson Homes brand, said: “Demand for good quality homes in desirable locations is still high across Scotland, and our ambitions for the year ahead are a reflection of our confidence in the housing market.”

In a further boost for the sector, Kirkwood Homes, one of the longest established property developers in the North-east, has outlined plans to acquire six sites in 2017 as it expands its operations to Inverness, the Highlands and Dundee.

The family-owned business has doubled up on its finance facility with Bank of Scotland and is aiming to build more than 300 residential properties on the new sites, which have a combined value of £77 million.

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Aberdeen-based Kirkwood, which has an annual turnover of more than £40m, is known for constructing large, detached homes with a high specification.

The expansion will see it grow its product offering and target the mainstream market with two, three and four-bedroomed properties, aimed at first-time buyers as well as those looking to move up the property ladder. The development of the sites will create 40 jobs in Inverness and 80 jobs in Dundee.

Managing director Colin Crombie said: “There’s a strong demand for quality homes in good locations and we’ve been careful to invest in sites with great potential.

“The funding has taken the company to the next level, allowing us to increase our total number of sites to 14.”

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Meanwhile, Hart Builders plans to construct 146 homes in Edinburgh after securing a £6.9m funding package from Royal Bank of Scotland.

The company – part of construction outfit Cruden Group – will build the housing development at Western Harbour in partnership with Forth Ports. The project will create 30 jobs at its peak.

Kevin Reid, managing director of Cruden, said: “The financial support from RBS gives Hart the opportunity to supply more high quality housing stock to the Edinburgh property market. It also allows us to further expand our presence in the Lothian area.”