By Ian McConnell

Wheatley Group has unveiled plans to build 5,500 new homes across Scotland by 2026, declaring this will be “one of the largest affordable housebuilding programmes in the UK over the next five years”.

The housing, care and property-management group said the homes would be “a mix of social housing and mid-market rent” properties.

Wheatley, which noted it had been named the UK’s largest builder of social-rented homes for four years in a row, highlighted the fact that it had built more than 4,000 homes in the last five years. It added that, in spite of lockdown restrictions on the construction industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it had last year completed 413 new homes across Glasgow, West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, and Dumfries and Galloway, with 329 homes for “social rent” and 84 for mid-market rent.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Brexit could have taken many forms. Cheshire Cat Boris Johnson chose this one

Wheatley noted that work is under way to build 1,229 homes on 25 sites. A further 16 sites are in development. It added that nearly 700 new homes are due to be completed this year across south and central Scotland, “from Glasgow to Dumfries, Edinburgh to Clydebank, and Livingston to Stranraer”.

Tom Barclay, Wheatley Group director of property and development, said: “We’re delighted with the progress of our new-build programme, especially during one of the most challenging years for the construction industry.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Antithesis of the Stepford-style corporates is breath of fresh air

“Our continued investment in affordable housing allows us to make a real contribution to housing at a national level. This type of investment is only possible due to our size and scale and by working with our strategic partners, including local authorities and the Scottish Government.”