News: Historic building gets luxury makeover in latest development from Carling Property Group

Dundee property and investment firm Carling Property Group is putting the finishing touches to its latest development project: a set of seven luxury apartments that will occupy a historic B listed building in Arbroath.

The Bank of Scotland building on Brothock Bridge dates back to the 19th century. In converting the upper two floors from offices into flats, Carling Property Group has retained all of the original features, as well as added upscale insulation, noise protection and heating systems. Bank of Scotland will continue to occupy the ground floor.

At the same time, Carling Property Group has just submitted plans to Angus Council for an upscale community for seniors in Inverkeilor. New Chance Inn Court will feature eight one-storey homes at the rear of the former Chance Inn, which itself is being converted into seven affordable housing rentals by CPG.

The Brothock Bridge and New Chance Inn Court developments mark a period of strong growth for the company, owned by husband and wife Graeme and Leanne Carling. They also signify a shift in the firms focus from providing primarily affordable housing, something the couple says was inevitable given the challenges of that market for private developers.

Plans for Carling Property Group to convert the former St. Stephens RC Primary School in Blairgowrie into affordable housing recently fell through after CPG’s application for £400,000 in funding from the Scottish Government’s Empty Homes Loan Fund was unsuccessful . CPG has now put the property back on the market.

Graeme Carling, co-founder of Carling Property Group, commented:

We still see a shortage of quality affordable housing in Scotland, but as a privately funded company we require some financial support to help us to do that. We’re disappointed we had to abandon the St. Stephen’s project because that means overall we are unable to supply 25 affordable housing units for the people of Perthshire, Dundee and Angus. We may never get to the bottom of why we didn’t qualify but what is absolutely certain is that these homes have been lost as affordable housing.

We had hoped to turn the Brothock Bridge flats into affordable rental properties too, but we can only do that if financial assistance is available through the Government, which in turn helps subsidise long-term discounted rent. So instead we will be putting them up for sale and positioning them for high-end buyers.

That said, despite these challenges, we continue to be highly focused on the section of the population that needs affordable housing. We continue also to be on the lookout for existing properties to renovate.

Carling Property Group owns and manages 200 rental properties all over Scotland, with most in the Dundee and Arbroath area. The company is on course to increase its portfolio to 1,000 properties within the next five years.