Funding agreement gives green light for Countesswells

4th April 2016

Countesswells Development LTD, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Stewart Milne Group will start work on the first phase of a prestigious new community to the west of Aberdeen in April 2016, following HM Treasury’s (HMT) support for the project.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (part of HMT) has confirmed support for the development by issuing a UK Guarantee to the value of £86 million allowing Stewart Milne Group to raise the funds from the Capital Markets, issued as revolving Loan Notes, and funding the £1b infrastructure project at Countesswells.  The Funder for the Countesswells development will be Lloyds Banking Group, who has worked alongside SMG and HMT to create long term lending for the life of the project.

Countesswells will comprise 3,000 homes, of which 750 will be affordable, along with the infrastructure required to support the community that will include schools, informal and formal parks, leisure and healthcare facilities. The development will be phased over 15 years, boosting the local economy and supporting 1,000 construction jobs in the region.

The HM Treasury guarantee has been crucial to enabling the delivery of this strategically significant project, allowing CDL access to capital market funds that would not have been available through traditional funding methods. 

John Slater, Group Managing Director Homes: “We are delighted that through HM Treasury, we have been successful in securing a Guarantee to support the delivery of Countesswells. It is a critical project for the city over the next 15 years, delivering much needed homes and community facilities that in turn will compliment Aberdeen’s economic growth”. 

“We have worked for many years to bring Countesswells forward and the 3000 new homes will play a major part in meeting the housing needs of the city and the aspirations of the local community”.

“Countesswells is an important project that will deliver a vibrant new community for Aberdeen that will include 3 new schools, medical facilities, leisure, retail, commercial & business accommodation and a wide range of homes, from first time buyer apartments and young family homes to townhouses and executive villas, all contributing to Aberdeen’s attractiveness as a place in which to live and work,” said Mr Slater.

Planning permission in principle for Countesswells was granted by Aberdeen City Council in October 2014, subject to final agreement on developer contributions for infrastructure, and detailed planning consent for the first phase of infrastructure was subsequently granted by the local authority.

Mobilisation and compound facilities will start this month and Infrastructure works will begin in April with first homes available later this year.

The new settlement

The site area at Countesswells is 165.9ha (407acres). It measures 1.22miles north to south at it longest point and 0.88miles east to west at its widest.

Countesswells will create a new community that will accommodate 7,000 people in 400 acres  to the west of Aberdeen city.  Together with the construction of 3,000 new private and affordable houses, the new settlement will include the creation of local employment opportunities. The settlement will include:

  • 3,000 residential homes to attract all market including 750 affordable homes
  • Two primary schools
  • An Academy built to meet curriculum for excellence standards
  • Medical centre with GP and dental practices
  • Local retail, food retail, restaurant/café facilities
  • Central Park – the largest formal park to be created in Scotland in over a decade
  • Linear Park
  • Cults Burn
  • Play areas for children, both formal and informal connected through a network of green arteries
  • Cycle, bridal and footpaths connecting the green and leisure space with the extensive surrounding woodland and forest areas.
  • Commercial centre with office, workshop and local retail space

In addition to above, 1,000 construction jobs will be created and a further 1,000 long term new jobs as a result of this settlement. Substantial improvements to local roads, junctions and bus services will also take place.

Vision

Countesswells in Aberdeen is a wonderful and sought after place. It will be an exciting new destination to live, offering an inspirational way of life. It is a rural environment designed with varied lifestyles in mind, combining great homes with great recreational and business opportunities. 

It will be a vibrant, distinctive settlement, blended into the surrounding woodland landscape, set beyond the West End of Aberdeen. It will be designed for the 21st century encompassing traditional values with a sense of wellbeing core to the design of recreational choices. Woodland trails, cycle paths, green pathways, parks and sporting facilities will all play a part in providing leisure pursuits. 

Countesswells will offer new homes, jobs, education, retail, green spaces and leisure pursuits. A new academy will enable children to walk to school while the neighbourhood will be served by local buses and links to both the city and other local employment areas. 

In addition to great homes and superior lifestyle facilities, the settlement will incorporate business space with high specification, flexible office accommodation, supporting Aberdeen’s thriving economy. 

Individually designed neighbourhoods will meet the needs and aspirations of everyone from first time buyers and couples starting out, to growing families and retirees. 

A central park will be at the heart of the settlement. Tree lined avenues, leafy enclaves, and an elegant square to get together over a coffee or lunch, retail opportunities to make life easy, courtyards, unspoilt vistas and stunning surroundings - all the elements that make a location a great place to enjoy. 

In short Countesswells is where people will want to be.