Council Approve Affordable Housing Plan for Gairloch
Highland Councillors have agreed to relocate a Council depot in a prime site in Gairloch to the former quarry site on the outskirts of the village, freeing the land for much-needed affordable housing.
The existing depot forms part of the Achtercairn development, which includes of the Gairloch Sands Hotel. The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust has over a number of years purchased parts of the site for use as affordable housing and other uses identified in discussion with the community.
Albyn Housing Society hopes to start on site during 2007, providing a first phase of 12 affordable homes.
To improve access to the wider village, discussions are taking place with the owners of the nearby Wildcat Stores to purchase and demolish the store so that the existing road junction serving Gairloch can be improved. The store would relocate to the nearby site of the former Nurses’ House, which has purchased by the Trust and demolished.
The monies received by the Council for the Achtercairn site will be spent on developing the new depot, which will be leased from a local landowner.
Local Highland Councillor Roy MacIntyre said: “It has taken us some time to reach this point because of the number of parties involved but I am delighted that we can now move forward. We have freed up a prime site in the centre of the village for much-needed affordable housing and will use the monies from the sale to relocate our depot to the outskirts of Gairloch. In the meantime, we would like to tidy up the proposed development site to improve the visual amenity.”
Plans for more housing in Gairloch are being progressed through the Achtercairn Development Group, which includes representation from the local Community Council, West Ross Alliance, Gairloch Business Association, the Highland Small Communities Housing Trust, Local Enterprise Company and Scottish Natural Heritage.
An architectural consultant was employed to assist in drafting proposals for the village.