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The site for a long-awaited housing, health and business development on Skye has finally been purchased by a community organisation.
And it is hoped the construction of six new homes, a health centre and business
premises in Staffin will start in the coming weeks.
Staffin Community Trust (SCT) is working in partnership with the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) and Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association (LSHA) on the project.
It is the first affordable housing development in Staffin for 21 years. SCT bought the site, near Bun-Sgoil Stafainn, from the Stenscholl Township and Kilmuir Estate (Scottish Ministers) for £70,000, using a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.
It followed the conclusion of the Resumption process, removing the development site
from crofting tenure, which was approved by the Scottish Land Court earlier this
The site is now owned by SCT in its very first land purchase, although it has not yet
received the title deeds as the Registers of Scotland was closed because of the
They will be the first affordable homes built on a common grazing in Staffin, which
avoids the loss of better quality in-bye croft land.
SCT and its partners are hopeful of appointing a contractor, once the project is fully
funded, with a start on site to follow.
SCT was delighted to secure a £99,000 grant from the SSE Sustainable
Development Fund last month and hopes to confirm the final funding package as
soon as possible.
SCT director Calum MacDonald said: ‘The progress made is a great achievement for
the community. I know that the community recognises that affordable housing is long
overdue. Welcoming families in need of such accommodation, and who are very
keen to live in Staffin, will be a great boost to our village.’
Lachie MacDonald, LSHA chief executive association, added: ‘We are delighted that
this rural mixed-use development is about to start on site. Staffin Community Trust
is to be applauded for its vision and determination to drive forward this project.
‘This builds on Staffin Community Trust’s successful track record of economic
regeneration within a rural community.’
It was a major 2014 housing needs report on Staffin, which was funded by Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which identified the need for new homes to retain and attract families and young people.
SCT said it is grateful to the Stenscholl crofters and the estate for its support over the last six years.