The community-led development of 15 affordable homes, flats and self-build plots was granted full planning permission at the end of September.
The project above Kirkton Gardens was initiated by Lochcarron Community Development Company (LCDC) based on strong local need, and is being taken forward by Communities Housing Trust and The Highland Council.
The Communities Housing Trust will provide six homes for social rent and low cost home ownership, as well as three discounted self-build plots. The plots and homes for sale will be discounted using the Rural Housing Burden, which assures affordability in perpetuity for the local community.
The Highland Council will also provide six homes for social rent.
LCDC currently owns Kirkton Woodland, the land behind the development which was purchased with support from the Scottish Land Fund. Further funding has been provided by the Scottish Land Fund and The Highland Council to enable vehicular access to the site and the forest beyond making it more accessible to the community.
A building contractor will be appointed after the necessary consents are in place, and it is expected that construction work will begin on site in 2023.
“We are delighted to see the project going ahead,” said LCDC Chair Helen Murchison. “Demand for affordable housing in the Lochcarron area has been rising dramatically in recent years and this development will help provide a lasting solution for many young people and families, as well as help our local businesses create employment opportunities.”
Ronnie MacRae, CEO of the Communities Housing Trust, said: “Congratulations to the Lochcarron community for reaching the next milestone in this much-needed project. This development will provide homes for 15 families, helping keep people within the area and helping the local economy and wider community to thrive. The strong local support is worth mentioning, as it demonstrates the will of communities to take their future into their own hands which is commendable.”
Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair of The Highland Council, Cllr Ken Gowans said: “Affordable, sustainable and energy efficient housing is a priority for The Highland Council as it enables people to stay within rural communities, allowing them to prosper and grow and in turn support wider economic growth. The Council commend the efforts of the Lochcarron Community Trust and look forward to working in partnership with them and the Communities Housing Trust to deliver 15 new affordable homes.”
On Wednesday 12th November, we held an Open Day to showcase our Rent to Buy and Greener Homes projects which have been taking place in the village of Lochcarron.
The development incorporates two Rent To Buy units, and two Greener Home units. While the two Rent To Buy properties have been assigned, the Greener Homes are still available for anyone who is interested in applying. (Application instructions can be found towards the end of this blog post).
The Greener Homes Scheme aims to help people who would like to become home owners by providing them with the opportunity to purchase new homes that are sustainable, energy efficient and affordable. Like the Rent To Buy scheme, these properties are available to rent for a 5 year period before the tenant is given the opportunity to purchase the house at a discount of around 20% below the open market value as a Rural Housing Burden is attached.
These contemporary homes built by Highland based contractors, MAKAR Construction, are all single story, 2 bedroom, semi-detached properties with each incorporating a very open-plan layout, while allowing stunning views over the hills and water.
As with all our Greener Homes projects, the units aim to meet the highest of environmental standards, with each house having a very low total of embodied energy. Through the use of locally sourced timber and the natural non-toxic insulation and other materials, the development looks to meet top environmental standards. The air-tight structures includes wood burning stoves to create a warm and and economically sustainable home for each family.
Yesterdays Open Day was a great success, allowing us to showcase these great new sustainable homes to the local community as well as others involved in the project. We were there from the afternoon to the early evening, with many visitors deciding to swing by to learn more about the project as well as get to see inside the modern timber properties.
As we head into the colder winter months, many visitors to the properties commented on how the houses proved to great at keeping the heat in, with the wood burning stove warming up the house.
Prospective tenants who were at the open day were also able to start the thought process of how they are going to furnish their new homes in an attempt the create great new personal living.
We are still accepting applications for the two remaining Greener Home properties, so if you are interested in applying, or would simply like more information, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Alternatively, just give us a call on 01463 233 549.
To find out more about the contractors of this project, head over tohttp://www.makar.co.uk and have a look at some of the other great work they do.
This blog features a variety of CHT’s developments and projects located throughout the central and northern Scotland. It also includes the latest news and updates regarding the Trust.