Case Study: Chance Inn Development- Inverkeilor, Angus

A new affordable housing development has opened in the Angus village of Inverkeilor and is already attracting interest from prospective tenants.

The impressive conversion of the former Chance Inn includes six apartments, a communal courtyard and parking. Developer Carling Property Group said there was already “a strong amount of interest” locally in what will be a boost to the area’s affordable housing stock.

Called New Chance Inn Court, the development will also include one detached and two semi-detached homes, due to open later this year.

Funding for the £900,000 project came partly from a £300,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund, which aims to increase the supply of affordable housing in rural Scotland.

Dundee-based Carling Property Group, the company behind New Chance Inn Court, has a track record of providing high-quality housing, mainly through existing building conversions.

Co-founder Graeme Carling, a strong advocate for affordable housing, hit the headlines this week with his views on the state of the private rental sector.

Graeme said:

“The strong amount of interest we have received in New Chance Inn Court already, through emails, phone calls and letters, proves that this development fills a need locally. We’re grateful to the Rural Housing Fund for helping with this project, and we’re excited about the second phase opening later this year.

“We feel strongly that good quality accommodation should become the norm in the private rental sector, no matter where in the country people live or how much they earn.”

Carling Property Group, run by husband and wife Graeme and Leanne Carling, owns and manages 350 rental properties all over Scotland, mostly in the Dundee and Angus area. The award-winning company is Scotland’s largest private residential landlord.

Case Study: St. Stephens Development- Blairgowrie, Scotland

Carling Property Group makes history with conversion of primary school into affordable apartments

When Carling Property Group embarked on a project to transform an old primary school in Blairgowrie into private apartments, little did it know it would be making history.

The affordable housing project converted the former St. Stephen’s RC Primary School into seven one-bedroom and a studio apartment. The project qualified for a substantial six figure sum from the Scottish Government’s Rural and Islands Housing Fund, the only private property developer to qualify for RIHF money.

Carling Property Group also worked with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, with SEHP providing support with grant and property applications.

The apartments – let through Perth and Kinross Council-run PKC Lets – filled up quickly, with priority for applications given to those working in the local area, over-55s and applicants with medical needs. They feature secondary glazing, new flooring, private parking and disabled access.

One of the tenants, George Retrick, downsized from a larger property in nearby Rattray, which was proving difficult to keep warm over winter. Said George: “This flat will be easier to keep heated, and it’s much closer to the facilities in the town centre. It’s perfect for me.”

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, which hosts the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership on behalf of the Scottish Government, said:

“The conversion of this former school is a fantastic example of how empty properties can be part of the solution to Scotland’s shortage of affordable homes.

“Particularly in more rural communities it can be much more cost-effective to renovate existing empty homes or convert empty non-residential buildings to housing rather than start building from scratch on a greenfield site.”