WORK has started on an £18.9 million affordable housing development in East Lothian.

The 90 new flats at Wallyford are being built for Wheatley, a housing, care and property-management group in Scotland.

McTaggart Construction is building the one, two and three-bedroom flats on a site between Wallyford Primary School and Rosehill High School, off Futures Way.

The new homes, which should be ready in 2026, include 61 for mid-market rent and are for people whose household income is less than £40,000 a year but who may not qualify for social housing.

The other 29 flats will be Livingwell homes, a service provided by Wheatley Care for tenants over the age of 55.

The new development forms part of a wider masterplan for Wallyford, which will see a community of 1,450 homes – up to 500 of which will be for affordable rent – a public park, two new schools and a sports facility.

East Lothian Courier: An artist's impression of the new affordable housing at WallyfordAn artist's impression of the new affordable housing at Wallyford

Lindsay Lauder, Wheatley Group director of development and regeneration, said: “We’re excited to start work on these new, high-quality homes in East Lothian.

“We want to increase the supply of affordable housing and these fantastic new mid-market rent homes will help those who don’t qualify for social rent but can’t afford to buy or rent privately.

“These homes will also provide security for older people who have additional support needs but still want to live independently in their community.

“Thank you to our partners at the Scottish Government, East Lothian Council, McTaggart Construction and Allia C&C for their support in bringing this development to life.”

The development is being funded by grants of £6.4 million from Scottish Government and £3 million from the Scottish Charitable Bond programme.

Wheatley Group is funding the remaining £9.5 million.

Janice Russell, managing director at McTaggart, said: “We’re delighted to be delivering much-needed, quality affordable homes in East Lothian.

“We look forward to working closely with Wheatley Group and the community to build an important development that will make a positive difference to many lives, from providing wonderful homes to creating local employment opportunities, including apprenticeships and additional work for local suppliers.”

County MSP Paul McLennan, Scottish Government housing minister, said: “Wheatley play a valuable role in increasing the range of housing available to rent throughout Scotland, and I am delighted to see this development progressing.

“The Scottish Government has supported these homes with £6.4 million of funding from the Affordable Housing Supply Programme and also through a further £3.1 million that we have generated from the Scottish Charitable Bonds programme. This Scottish Government funding support will enable Wheatley to provide 90 high-quality, energy-efficient homes in Wallyford.

“High-quality housing is a key pillar of ‘Housing to 2040’, whilst also eradicating fuel poverty and homelessness and ensuring everyone has access to green space and essential services.”