Big housing boost

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It’s great to be able to report this week on some more good news on the affordable housing front.

That Arran Development Trust has got to the advanced stage of applying for planning permission for 18 rental homes in Lamlash is remarkable – particularly in the midst of a pandemic.

Yes, it is more than two years since the Banner first reported on the plans, but at that time the trust was only in its infancy having been born out of the work of Arran Economic Group.

There has been a huge amount of work done since, particularly in funding applications to the various government bodies which have come up with the £3 million which should allow the ambitious plans to come to fruition.

Eighteen houses might not sound much, but if you add them to the 34 council houses under construction in Brodick and the 38 in the pipeline in the future from Arran Development Trust then 90 affordable houses for rent in the next few years sounds like we are getting somewhere.

The critical lack of affordable housing was first formally identified in 2007 so it has taken 13 years to get to this stage, but it is one of the key factors if Arran’s economy is to recover, particularly after this year of woes.

The planning process will take time and we will have to be patient, but it would be great to see a start to the work early next year to give the trust, and everyone involved in this project, the spring boost they deserve.