Leuchars MoD houses to be rented by public

Some homes at Leuchars are to be let to the public.
Some homes at Leuchars are to be let to the public.

Surplus housing at Leuchars Station is to be rented out to the public, as the Ministry of Defence looks to make the most of its empty properties.

A large number of homes in the town which are owned by the MoD are not currently in use due to the smaller number of personnel currently working at the base.

It is understood that three options were being considered, either using the homes for council housing, having them occupied by St Andrews University students, or letting the properties privately.

The MoD confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that the properties are being privately let on a short-term basis, meaning the housing could be made available for armed forces personnel if more were to be stationed there in future.

A spokesman said that 129 potential properties have been identified for letting at Leuchars, with 31 already let, and another eight under deposit.

Councillor Brett welcomed the move to bring more people to the town as it would help the local economy, but he said he would have preferred to see the homes used for council housing.

“There are a lot of MoD houses which are just lying empty,” he said. “I would have preferred to have them used as council housing to help people on the waiting list.

“But it’s good that they’ll be in use. What we are hopeful of is in future, Leuchars becoming the Army HQ for Scotland, with more staff coming here, so those properties could potentially be in use.

“But right now, where we have some MoD housing which is off-base, like the Hampden estate, there might be upto 100 homes lying empty.

“Businesses in the town saw a dramatic downturn after the RAF left. So I’m quite keen for the housing to be used and it’s good for the school too.”

An MoD spokesman said: “The MoD is undertaking a number of initiatives to address the issue of void properties. As part of this, a sub-let project has begun with the aim of generating income through short term lets, whilst providing flexibility to meet the future needs of defence.

“We can confirm that Leuchars is one of a number of sites across the UK where empty properties are being offered on a short-term let basis at full market rent in order to maximise value for money for the taxpayer.

“The properties are being made available to private tenants and are currently being let on the open market.”