MSP Kate Forbes visits Plantation’s problem properties

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Lochaber MSP Kate Forbes was in Fort William at the end of last week, spending time in the town’s Plantation estate to see for herself the issues with unsightly staining to the cladding of some properties.

Ms Forbes told the Lochaber Times: ‘I have been informed about the stains on external cladding on housing in the Plantation in Fort William and promised to meet some of the residents.

‘I was joined by Councillor Niall McLean, after Councillor Andrew Baxter arranged the meeting.’

More than 20 Plantation residents met with Mr Baxter last month to highlight the long-running saga of problems in the local area, including the staining of walls on certain homes.

A number of the properties belong to Lochaber Housing Association. A spokesman recently told us: ‘For clarity there is not an issue with the wall cladding in the Plantation – the issue is with algae growth on the surface of the render which we are experiencing on most of our properties in the Lochaber area.

‘The issue is we can’t power wash as you would normally due to the construction of the external wall insulation.

‘We have applied different products on different areas to assess what product gives the best result. With some of the products it takes three to six months to have full impact.

‘We also have had an external consultant take a look and give guidance on the best way forward with algae growth and removal. Once we have this information pulled together we will commence with the best suited product.’

Ms Forbes says the matter needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.

‘Cladding has been installed on thousands of homes in the Highlands in an effort to improve insulation, reduce bills and thereby start to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty across the region,’ she said.

‘I am disappointed that residents are unhappy with the work and it’s important that this is resolved as soon as possible.

‘I intend to pursue the issue and try to rectify as much as possible on behalf of the residents.’



Lochaber MSP Kate Forbes joined local councillor Niall McLean to inspect the problem cladding in Plantation, Foprt William, last week.

NO F38 Kate Forbes and cladding 01