The Conservative/Independent council in Moray tried to block plans to build 22 affordable homes on the south side of the small town of Hopeman. The town has seen no affordable house building in 40 years and desperately needs these 22 homes.
According to the report in Scottish Housing News:
‘The size and scale of the proposal did not reflect the settlement pattern, failed to integrate into the surrounding area and would be detrimental to the existing open character and identity of Forsyth Street and Hopeman.’
However, the Scottish government has overturned the decision and the homes will be built perhaps preventing the re-location of poorer families to other towns as, perhaps, the local council had hoped.
The Scottish Government reporter did not agree that the houses would be detrimental to the existing character of the area, insisted all the homes should be affordable and said:
‘The unique circumstances of this case include the contribution that the proposal would make towards addressing an urgent unmet need for affordable housing across the Elgin housing market area.’
If these houses prevent people having to relocate because of the high cost of living in their hometown, then this clearly a good outcome.
This decision by the Scottish Government reporter would seem to reflect the strong commitment we see in Scotland to dealing with the shortage of affordable homes across the country. See: