Mix of affordable homes for Ayton

A 3D view of the Ayton housing development site from Summerhill Park.
A 3D view of the Ayton housing development site from Summerhill Park.

Berwickshire Housing Association has submitted plans for 51 affordable houses it wants to build at Ayton to Scottish Borders Council planners.

The development on land south of Ayton Primary School at Beanburn, includes a mix of two, three and four-bed family homes, plus one-bed and three-bed bungalows and two wheelchair accessible bungalows.

The scheme is designed to provide housing for varying needs of tenants, plus houses suited to older people, and the housing association says that “the proposed housing mix has been carefully considered to help address specific local housing needs”.

Once built the houses will be rented by Berwickshire Housing Association which already owns the land as well as owning and managing the housing development immediately to the north and east of the site.

In its application BHA says: “The proposed development in Ayton will create a distinctive new neighbourhood within the village of Ayton as well as addressing local affordable housing needs.”

The new housing estate has been designed so that each home’s habitable rooms are located to the south to maximise solar gain from the windows, with south facing gardens and the south facing roof surfaces will be fitted with solar panels. There will be 120 parking spaces within the scheme.

In February last year Berwickshire Housing Association commissioned a housing needs assessment of Ayton by Rural Housing Scotland and based on the recommendations in that report BHA has requested that the design proposals should include two six person four-bed houses, a limited number of one bed bungalows and two, three bed bungalows.

BHA say that they plan to construct the new housing scheme in at least two phases.

The design statement continues: “All public areas not adopted by Scottish Borders Council will be actively maintained by the housing association or an appointed factor or maintenance contractor. Areas in private occupation by the association’s tenants will be subject to tenancy agreements including requirements for maintenance and upkeep of buildings and garden grounds.

The land has been prone to flooding in the past and prior to the planning application the housing association installed a flood alleviation basin adjacent to the four houses on Lawfield drive, which so far has been effective at mitigating flooding issues.

A local organisation called Abundant Borders currently has a short term lease to grow vegetables on an area of land to the south east of the site and the housing scheme has been designed to retain that area for vegetable growing so that Abundant Borders can continue to use it.

A pre-application meeting with Ayton Community Council and public meetings held between April 2017 and September 2018, saw 80 people engage with the process and four main categories of comments and concerns arose from these sessions.

There was generally enthusiasm for more affordable housing and a wider selection of housing types but the capacity of Beanburn to accommodate increased traffic was raised, as was drainage capacity in the area and the impact of the construction process on the neighbouring primary school and surrounding area.