You asked for the basis on which funding was allocated to Auchencairn Development Interest Group for feasibility for the development of a site behind Main Street, Auchencairn.
You noted also the following:
"1. The ADIG do not own the land and may never negotiate its purchase
2. My understanding is that funding is allocated for a residential development, but note that the feasibility included provision of workshops.
3. We only found out about the proposed development from a neighbour. Given we will be directly affected we are concerned that others may have been in the same position. Also not everyone has access to the internet to complete online surveys. Can you please advise how the criteria for community engagement was assessed."
The Scottish Government received an expression of interest for the Rural Housing Fund from Auchencairn Development Interest Group on 11th March 2019 for land identified in the Dumfries and Galloway Council Local Development Plan two and were invited to submit an application to the Feasibility Fund element.
Following an assessment of the application on 13th May 2019 and discussions with Dumfries & Galloway Council indicating their support for the application, offer of grant was issued on 29th May 2019 from the Rural Housing Feasibility Fund for the Auchencairn Mill Fields Project.
Information on what costs are eligible under the RHFF is available on the Scottish Government website: https://www.mygov.scot/rural-housing-fund/feasibility-fund/. The funding offered through the RHFF is solely for the purposes of determining the feasibility of a housing project, not for direct delivery. The workshops that you mention are not part of the RHFF work.
Costs related to direct delivery of the project may be obtained from the main Rural Housing Fund following an investigation of its feasibility.
As the feasibility funding is a precursory stage, the RHFF has a different set of criteria to that of the main Rural Housing Fund. Demonstration of community engagement is not a strict prerequisite of funding i.e whilst it might be considered beneficial, it is not mandatory indicator to demonstrate at this stage.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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