A new affordable housing project in the heart of a north-east village has been praised by residents old and new.
Thrilled tenants unveiled Strichen’s first homes for rent in years yesterday at a ceremony attended by proud local leaders.
The properties were built within the Buchan village and have provided homes for 12 families through Sanctuary Scotland and the local authority.
Locals have been just as enthusiastic about the impact the School Park development will have on the village as those who have already moved in.
Susan Summers moved from a flat in Fraserburgh to a three-bedroom house at the site earlier this year.
The sheltered housing warden lives with husband Graeme, 45, daughter Lucy, 19, and son Ben, 10.
The 44-year-old said: “The house is brilliant and we’ve settled in really well.
“The village is lovely and quiet but very friendly – everyone waves and says ‘hello’ when you pass them.
“We really like Strichen and are happy to call it home.”
Developers behind the £1.9million scheme – which is next to the primary school – built 10 new houses and two flats.
Gordon Laurie, director of Sanctuary in Scotland, said: “We are proud of School Park, the first of many new Sanctuary homes in the north-east.
“This development again shows the positive impact attractive, quality, affordable housing can have.
“The reaction of tenants is obviously most important, and this has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Alex Salmond was also at the launch yesterday.
The former First Minister has lived in the village for 28 years.
He said: “In terms of the future, there is nothing more important than having affordable accommodation for families. This ensures that our school and local facilities remain vibrant and growing.”
Councillor Anne Allan, chairwoman of the local authority’s housing and social work committee added: “The lack of affordable housing creates real challenges for people and businesses in Aberdeenshire and it is not an issue Aberdeenshire Council can tackle on its own.
“That is why we are once again working with Sanctuary Scotland to provide much-needed social housing, this time in Strichen.
“Providing a range of affordable housing options is a priority for Aberdeenshire Council in order to recruit and retain key workers in the area.”