WORK has started on 26 new flats at the former Cockenzie Boatyard.

Housing charity LAR, which was established to provide more affordable homes, has started construction on the site, which it has called Harbour View.

And it has said there is already interest from people keen to move into the development once it’s complete.

Kevin Stewart MSP, Scottish housing minister, visited the site as work got under way.

Andrew Robertson, chairman of LAR, said the Cockenzie development was a “game-changer” for the charity, which was formed two years ago to provide 1,000 properties at mid-market rent across Scotland.

He said: “Up to this point we have bought turn-key properties or homes under construction. This is the first chance we have had to be involved from the outset to influence the design and build of the development.

“We have a superb site at Cockenzie with fantastic harbour views and we look forward to improving the local environment and providing much sought-after new homes.”

The development consists of four one-bed and 22 two-bed apartments and is being built by Hart Builders, part of The Cruden Group.

Colin Macdonald, Hart’s managing director, said: “Hart Builders are delighted to be taking forward LAR’s first design and build project and demonstrating the benefits of early contractor engagement and partnership working.

“It’s a challenging project but is progressing at pace and we look forward to enhancing Cockenzie’s heritage with highly efficient new homes which residents can enjoy and hopefully take full advantage of their seaside location. ”

The development has been welcomed by East Lothian Council and Councillor Jim Goodfellow, cabinet spokesperson for housing, said: “This new development of homes is good news for Cockenzie as well as the wider East Lothian community.

“These homes, which will be for mid-market rent, will provide more much-needed affordable housing in the county and we look forward to seeing its completion.”

The development, which should be ready for tenants by late summer 2018, has piqued the interest of the local community, with a number of people expressing an interest in renting one of the apartments when completed.

Although applications are not yet being taken, to receive more information about the development contact LAR at: