PLANS are in place for a community development company to buy a redundant steading in the Ettrick Valley to ease housing pressures.

With many farm and estate cottages being sold over the past decade or so, affordable rentable accommodation in the rural valleys south of Selkirk has dwindled.

The Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company (EYCDC) hope to reverse the trend by buying Kirkhope Steading, outside of Ettrickbridge, and convert the buildings into inexpensive homes to rent.

EYCDC have also launched a housing survey to identify the demand for affordable housing in the area.

The group have commissioned Rural Housing Scotland to independently run the survey to gauge opinion on affordable rent, buying prices, size and type of home required.

A paper copy of the survey, along with a reply paid envelope, can be found in the Post Office in Selkirk, Honey Cottage Caravan Park shop in Ettrick, the Cross Keys pub in Ettrickbridge and from the Gordon Arms in Yarrow.

The survey form can also be filled in online at

In 2003, a full survey was carried out which highlighted a need for more affordable housing in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys.

And it is thought the need has increased significantly during the past 16 years.

Project Manager of EYCDC, Vicky Davidson said: “We are concerned that the lack of affordable housing is impacting on the number of children living in the valleys, with fewer families and young people able to find somewhere to live.

"We are urging anyone who might be interested in living in the valleys but do not think they are able to find a suitable house, at an affordable rent, to complete the housing survey as soon as possible.

"And to pass on the survey link to anyone who might like to return to live there now or within the next couple of years if there was an affordable option available."

The EYCDC's plans for Kirkhope Steading include some workspace areas and potential office units as well as rentable housing.

Funding has been provided by the Scottish Land Fund to carry out an independent valuation, get a structural engineers report and to prepare some architect options for the site.

This work is now complete and it was presented to a public meeting in Ettrickbridge on April 3.

The proposal is to start work on the site in the beginning of 2020 and be at completion during spring the following year.

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