Under consideration PE1985: Evaluate Garage to Home Developments
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to commission an independent evaluation and provide national guidance on garages to homes developments.
Previous action taken
I have contacted my local MP, six local Councillor's, eight MSPs, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Borders Housing Association and the Scottish Government. I have submitted various Freedom of Information requests. I have contacted Citizens Advice Bureau. I am supporting a campaign group in relation to this issue. I have researched other such projects in England, and I am analysing various documents relating to this issue.
These developments are built in a way that means they are not classed as new builds, meaning that they are viewed as conversions and not subject to many planning regulations.
An independent investigation and evaluation of the conversion of garages to homes involving communities and taking all factors into account, including demand, rental income, social factors alongside cost and practicality is needed.
The Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA) in partnership with Berwickshire Housing Association and supported by Scottish Borders Council are planning to convert around 500 garages to 100 homes. I believe plans have been progressed without any community engagement and driven purely by financial considerations, offering cheap means of addressing the affordable housing crisis within Scotland.
Based on their UK Community Renewal Fund Bid, SBHA also view their plan as a potential pre-curser to a Scotland wide roll out.
This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee