WORK has started on a £7.7 million project to deliver a range of affordable homes in a seaside village's housing development.

The 38 homes will be built by Cala Homes (East) as part of its Saltcoats Grange development in Gullane.

On completion, it will become one of the first affordable housing developments in the area to feature full provision of air source heat pumps (ASHPs).

Cala will then hand the properties to registered social landlord Places for People Scotland, which is designating 26 homes as available for social rent and a further 12 for mid-market rent.

A wide mix of homes is being provided at the site, including one to three bedroom apartments, cottage flats, semi-detached and terraced homes.

'Excellent, efficient homes'

Derek Lawson, strategic land director with Cala Homes (East), said: “This is our largest affordable housing project in Gullane over a nearly 10-year programme of building.

“Being able to start work on these homes takes increased significance given the current housing emergency and the shortfall of quality homes for social and mid-market rent.

“The air source heat pumps will bring meaningful benefit to the people that live here, complementing the wider energy-saving features of the homes and at a much lower carbon cost compared to a gas boiler.

“We look forward to working with Places for People Scotland and ensuring the 38 families that will move in can benefit from excellent, efficient homes.”

ASHPs are a low-carbon heating system for water and heating that uses the same technology in fridges and freezers, but in reverse.

Heat from outside air is gathered and absorbed into a loop with refrigerant fluid, compressing the air to create heat.

It is hoped that work will be complete to allow for full occupation by late next year, at which point Cala will have delivered 85 affordable homes to Gullane in recent years.

David Brotherston, senior development manager at Places for People, said: “We are delighted to be working with Cala to provide 38 new homes in Gullane, particularly at a time when there is a huge need for high-quality, warm and affordable homes to meet the requirements of those with the greatest need.”