A look at the work at the Chapelton development: how is the new village coming along?
There has been major housing development in recent years in the North East of Scotland, in order to meet the rising housing demand across the region. The most comprehensive in recent years has been the Chapelton Development by Elsick Development Company (EDC), which, when complete, will provide 4,045 houses according to the initial masterplan – it is expected that the site, just to the South of Aberdeen, will comprise 8,000 houses once completed.
Infrastructure work on the site began two years ago, with builders moving on site six months later, so we thought it was about time to catch-up with the development and hear how things are going.
Lady Caroline Southesk, EDC co-director, was kind enough to take some time to discuss with us how the development is progressing
She said that, at the moment, there are a lot of housing schemes that all look the same and could be anywhere: they could be in Aberdeen…or similarly they could be in Surrey! Her husband, also a director of EDC, wanted to create a development that that was a community for people to stay in that was homogenous with the surrounding area.
This means that the company has planned for schools, shops, parks and offices in its original masterplan, to make the development a real community. A nursery school will be opening in October and a dentist in January following the first wave of houses being sold.
Another part of the development which is a little different is the visitor centre. Normally, the visitor centre for a housing development will look like an office: here, it is a café where people can look over the next stage of development and the available houses with a cup of tea and some cake.
“In some shape, size or form, there needs to be a congregating point,” said Caroline.
“At the heart of our vision, it needs to be a community: there needs to be a place where people can meet, eat and chat.
“There’s no pressure on people who come for a look. The centre tends to have an interesting mix of people coming in from the local area, residents of Chapelton and people looking to buy a house.”
So far, 35 properties are occupied, with Caroline believing this is a great show of faith in the work that is set to continue for many years.
Of course, you may think that this is a slightly odd time to work on such a large development, given the drop in oil price.
Caroline said: “It’s a comfort to the Local Authority to know this is a planned project. The desire to buy is still there, and although we’re not selling as much at the moment, we are comfortable with the level of activity. If we were starting on the ground now, we’d be a bit more worried.”
The plans for the development were announced following news of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.
There are three house builders working on the project: ZeroC, AJC Homes and Stephen. You can see the available properties, as well as those with future availability, on the properties page.
It was originally expected that the first 4,045 houses would be built by 2023, but Caroline says that the company will move with the market, with perhaps 200 houses being built a year.
“We just keep making sure we’re moving on to the next stage,” she said.
The development is still continuing, and we at ASPC are looking forward to seeing the completed work.