Scourie Community Development Company (SCDC) plans to purchase almost three acres of land in Scourie near the primary school, with grant support from the Scottish Land Fund.
The purchase, from landowner Alan Balfour, which will take place later this year, and will allow the community to build a number of affordable homes as well as new commercial space.
The project follows a survey on housing need undertaken last year by the Communities Housing Trust on behalf of SCDC, which showed high demand for affordable homes. In particular, businesses are struggling to house staff, impacting on the local economy.
Communities Housing Trust further supported SCDC with a feasibility study in 2021, and is continuing to help facilitate the development process.
The first phase to build eight affordable homes of different sizes and tenures and two commercial work units should begin next year. The site is currently common grazings and permission will be sought for a change of use. Planning permission will also have to be granted before construction can commence.
A future phase providing homes of mixed tenures, including private and affordable homes, will also see wide benefits for the whole community.
Angus Mackay, vice chairman of SCDC said: “The lack of locally affordable housing has contributed to the declining numbers of children in the school and to the decline in the number of economically active people in the area. For the community to be sustainable and thrive, the population needs to grow. The award from the Scottish Land Fund will enable SCDC to move our exciting project nearer to reality. We also would like to thank the Communities Housing Trust for their tremendous support.”
Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be working with SCDC to provide not just affordable housing, but wider social and economic benefits too. This community-led, mixed development model is often so much more suited to smaller, more rural communities and we are extremely pleased to continue working with SCDC to further develop the site. We’d like to thank the Scottish Land Fund for their support, and congratulate the community on getting to this stage. Well done!”
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