Penicuik development wins award

A Midlothian Council housing development in Penicuik has scooped a top UK national award.

The development at Eastfield Drive is being nationally celebrated - and has been selected as one of the top 50 best new affordable housing developments in Britain by Inside Housing.

The complex includes the council’s flagship extra care housing flats at Cowan Court as well as council homes for homeless households and a home for looked after children.

Judges were impressed with the 32 self-contained flats of which 28 were one bedroom and 2 being 2-bedroom flats at Cowan Court.

They also commented on the 30 new council homes, as well as a home for looked after children in care with four bedrooms with en-suite facilities.

Other highlights included the housing development’s energy saving benefits, and the communal hub which is used by the whole community.

The design of the buildings was also commended, for example Cowan Court was designed in a dementia-friendly way for older residents.

The development cost £8 million in total and took just over a year to build. The council also received £1 Million funding from the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Investment Programme.

Councillor Owen Thompson (SNP), cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for one of our affordable housing developments to be named as one of the top 50 in the UK.

“The modern facility has been a great boost to the local area and has provided homes for older people with varying physical and mental health needs, as well as general council homes and a new children’s home.

“Built with the local community in mind, I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this show-stopping affordable housing development.”

Hilda and George Kelly live at Cowan Court, which is part of the new development.

Hilda said: “Things have gone really well since we moved into Cowan Court and it’s a lovely setting.

“Before we moved in, we got a say on how the apartment should be decorated, which was exciting.

“In our situation, it’s the best move we have ever made and we’ve very happy here.”