A DEVELOPMENT of ‘pioneering’ new homes in Langholm will take longer to complete than previously announced.
That’s the warning from social landlord Loreburn who say they remain committed to the Murtholm site but are planning to deliver it ‘over a potentially longer timeframe’.
It is one of three priorities for the organisation and involves the construction of 35 extra care bungalows in phase one, along with a new pedestrian footbridge across the River Esk.
The homes were expected to be ready for occupation by the end of 2024/2025. However, site ‘enabling works’ were paused earlier this month due to “challenges in the negotiation process”.
In a statement, Loreburn said: “This is very disappointing, as many will be aware, Loreburn had planned to deliver the enabling works contract this year paving the way for development of future phases of housing on the site.
“We are unable to proceed at this time without the appropriate agreements in place and cannot continue to incur substantial costs to keep works on hold indefinitely. The challenge of delivering houses on this site has been further compounded by an increase in the cost of private finance, resulting from recent interest rate hikes, which has exerted additional pressure on the project and Association. As a result, the subsequent phases of construction, which would see new extra care and general needs housing delivered on the site, will also be delayed.”
They explained that the recent surge in interest rates has escalated the cost of finance associated with the project, prompting them to review financial arrangements to ensure the project’s viability and long-term success.
The statement continued: “We understand the importance of this project to the local community, and we empathise with any concerns arising from the delay in progressing works on site. Our team is actively engaged in discussions with relevant stakeholders, including financial partners and local authorities, to mitigate the impact of increased finance costs and find suitable solutions to resume construction, as and when the business case supports investment.
“We assure you that we are dedicated to finding resolutions to the challenges we face. We remain optimistic about the future of the project and the positive impact it will have on community within Langholm once completed.”