New Energy Homes – Tarbat Park, Kildary

A new housing development in Easter Ross is the first of a number of developments delivering “New Energy Homes” across the Highlands.   The Tarbat Park development at Kildary comprises a total of 17, two and three-bedroom houses.   Five of the completed properties will be sold under the Low cost Initiative for First Time buyers (LIFT).  Prices for the open market properties range from £125,000 to £155,000.
The properties have been developed by the Highland Housing Alliance with loan assistance made available by The Highland Council  through use of the Council’s Landbank Fund which provides loans and grants to partner organisations, enabling strategic sites to be secured or prepared for development for housing purposes. The land bank fund has been an extremely useful tool in securing sites for new affordable housing which may have otherwise been lost or otherwise been delayed.  The Fund is a revolving facility with loans repaid as land and property is resold or developed.

Chairman of The Highland Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee, Councillor Margaret Davidson visited the site and was very impressed with how work was progressing.  “A lot of thought and care has gone into the design and layout of the whole site. The houses looked good in the landscape and the houses I visited not only looked very welcoming but are spacious inside and finished to a very high standard.  With the lack of affordable homes a real pressure for us in the Highlands, this certainly seems to be the way forward. I am very keen to arrange a presentation for all Members to see the great progress being made.”

Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee Councillor Ian Ross said:  “This partnership approach to development sets the standard for the Highlands and beyond - it allows us to deliver well designed sustainable houses, which can be constructed quickly and at a very competitive price. It demonstrates sustainable design and build can compare very favourably with traditionally building practices.  I was very interested to learn during my visit to the site about the various energy saving measures that have been incorporated into the houses - this will mean lower bills and reduced carbon living for the homeowners.  This is an excellent model which I would like to see rolled out to other areas.”

The houses are designed to new building regulation standards up to and beyond 2013.  They also:-
• Comply with all affordable housing standards and exceed private sector new build space standards. Can be built either as housing association or private housing.
• Use Air Source Heat Pump technology from Sweden to deliver energy efficient heating under floor heating and hot water.
• Have modern kitchens and bathrooms
• Are clad with Scottish Larch
• Have Supawall closed panels from Scotframe of Inverurie, using factory finished panels comprising 100% Scottish timber Norbord filled with eco friendly foam made partly from polyoils based on rapeseed oil.
• Have Supawall panels enabling Modern Methods of Construction – houses built wind and water tight within 3 days and completed within 6 weeks. Pre installed windows and doors (Nordan)
• Have exceptionally air tightness
• Aim for Level 4/5 Code for Sustainable Homes – initial assessment being carried out at present
• Are competitively priced - £125,000 for a 80 m2; 2 bedroom semi bungalow; £ 155,000 for a 120 m2 ; 3 bedroom detached house.

Construction of the homes is being carried out by Tullochs.

Local Councillor Alan Torrance who passes the site each day said:  “I have been amazed just how quickly the houses have gone up and the high quality of the new homes.  Once completed the development will be a bonus to the local community with new attractive, affordable and good value homes for families to enjoy.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Tarbat Park in Kildary and the low cost initiative for first time buyers should contact the Highland Housing Alliance on 01463 251133


27 May 2009