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Councillor hits out at Langholm homes delay

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Councillor hits out at Langholm homes delay

A FRUSTRATED councillor has hit out at the delays to the long awaited Murtholm Farm housing development in Langholm.

Members of the Annandale and Eskdale area committee were this week given an update on the site, and also on Selkirk Road, Moffat.

A total of 35 supported housing units are planned in Langholm, by Loreburn Housing Association (LHA).

Approval was given for the scheme in December 2021 and infrastructure works started there last year but were paused after a month due to access issues. The contractors have not yet returned, but LHA say a tidy up has been done.

However, the organisation also announced last year that while Langholm remained a priority project for them, it could now be “delivered over a potentially longer timeframe”.

They have since told officials they are “still committed” to the housing plan but the pause gives an opportunity to review current demand for such housing.

At the area committee on Wednesday, elected members heard that LHA are still working on improving “financial capacity for new development” and, as such, there is no re-start date yet for Murtholm.

A report for that meeting said: “Significant investment has already been put into the development.

“All partners are now working together to ensure progress in as timeous a manner as possible.”

Meanwhile, they are close to signing a new model with a private developer that will also allow private homes to be built there too and it’s noted that the wider site is allocated for 200 units up to 2029.

At the meeting, Annandale East and Eskdale Cllr Denis Male stressed how much the homes are needed locally.

He said: “This is serious. It’s about elderly people being able to stay in their communities and not been farmed out all over this region.

“I find it absolutely disgraceful that this has been stopped. Both these sites need to be developed and as fast as possible. It’s a serious, serious situation.”

Meanwhile, committee chairman Cllr Ian Carruthers added: “We now have a clearer picture and I welcome the update.”

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