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.”
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