Construction starts on new care homes in Penicuik

Philip Jones, Midlothian Council Project Manager; Duncan McIntyre, Planning Officer for Learning Disabilities; Eibhlin McHugh, Director of Health & Social Care; Provost Joe Wallace; Martin Letham, Contracts Manager, ESH Border Construction

Philip Jones, Midlothian Council Project Manager; Duncan McIntyre, Planning Officer for Learning Disabilities; Eibhlin McHugh, Director of Health & Social Care; Provost Joe Wallace; Martin Letham, Contracts Manager, ESH Border Construction

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Work is now underway to build 12 new council houses in Penicuik designed for people with a learning disability and additional care needs.

Midlothian Provost Joe Wallace (SNP) helped with the excavations at a visit to the site earlier this month.

These purpose-built single-storey houses in the Eastfield area of Penicuik are self-contained, single person homes. They have been individually designed to meet the needs of each prospective tenant. Four of the houses are being designed for people with additional physical disabilities.

Provost Wallace said, “These houses are a substantial commitment by Midlothian Council and I am delighted to see that building is underway.

“The people who live in the houses will be a diverse group and their support will be tailored to their particular needs, strengths and interests.

“They will be supported to live independently in an environment that enables them to stay safe and take part in things in their local community.”

Eibhlin McHugh, director of Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership who also visited the building site, added: “The development represents a key element of the redesign of support for people with a learning disability in Midlothian and will support people, regardless of the level, range and complexity of need, to live independently in comfortable and homely surroundings with the same opportunities and choices as any other citizen.”

The council is currently selecting a support provider for the residents. The tenants, their families, and carers will play a key role as partners in the selection process.

The development is being funded by the council’s second phase of new council housing and is being supported by Scottish Government housing grant funding of £552,000.

ESH Border Construction has been appointed to build the houses.

Each property will have a living room/dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, utility area and an enclosed garden.

The building costs are £2.8 million and works should be complete by February 2017.