Craigmillar family homes unveiled in bid to kick-start stalled revamp

FIRST images have been unveiled today of a major new family housing scheme in Craigmillar.

NEW LOOK: An artist's impression of the Primary, which could see the first families move in by the end of this summer

Work is now under way on the plan to turn part of the grounds of the former Craigmillar Primary School into a development of 83 homes and flats.

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It is hoped that the scheme – which includes a memorial garden for Diana, Princess of Wales – can help kick-start the regeneration of the Craigmillar area, which has slowed since the recession started to take its toll on housebuilders.

Many of the properties, which include three and four-bedroom townhouses with front and back gardens, are aimed at families and will boast views across to Arthur's Seat.

More than half of the 83 homes, which are being built by the Castle Rock Edinvar housing association, will be available on a shared ownership scheme – where the buyer will only have to get a mortgage for between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of the home's value. The remainder are to be available as affordable housing to rent.

The first of the homes on the site, to be known as The Primary, are expected to be completed in late summer.

Housing leaders in the Capital say that the development will help to plug the gap in affordable family housing in Edinburgh.

Alister Steele, managing director of Castle Rock Edinvar, said: "We are pleased to bring such high quality housing within reach of those who could not otherwise afford it.

"The Primary will be an asset to Craigmillar, which is regaining popularity as a location thanks to the ongoing regeneration and investment programme in the area."

The old primary school building itself has already been turned into a social enterprise and arts centre known as Space. It will remain at the centre of the site, with the new homes, streets, public areas and private gardens being developed around Space.

Pupils at Craigmillar Primary created a memorial garden for Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. The Diana Garden of Hope is to be restored as part of the development.

Shared ownership homes will cost 95,000 for two-bedroom flats, while four-bedroom townhouses will cost 155,000.

Developers say they hope the shared ownership scheme will help people who cannot secure a mortgage for the full value of the home – or who struggle to save up a deposit – to get on the property ladder. However, they will still need to pay Castle Rock an "occupancy charge" for the share of the home that they do not own.

The scheme is open to current council or housing association tenants, those on a housing waiting list, and people who have left the armed forces within the last year.

Councillor Paul Edie, the city's housing leader, who was today set to officially launch the scheme, said: "Innovative projects like The Primary provide a great opportunity for those families struggling to get on the property ladder to find a new home.

"This is a truly exciting development which is creating affordable homes and helping to regenerate the Craigmillar area."