Work starts on Staffin construction project

Turf is cut by local MSP Kate Forbes, with from left, Calum MacDonald, Angus Murray, SCT; Audrey Sinclair, LSHA; Michael Downes, James MacQueen Builders; Susan Hunter and John Laing, HSCHT.

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Construction work is underway on a £1.6million housing, health and economic project on Skye.

The eagerly-awaited site start in Stenscholl, Staffin by island-based James MacQueen
Builders comes 21 years after the last affordable housing development opened in the
north-east Skye community.

Six three-bedroom homes, a health centre and two business premises will be built in the
next 12 months, with the investment a welcome boost for Skye’s economy following the
impact of Covid-19.

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) has developed the project for six years after concerns
about the lack of available accommodation locally for young people and families, the
falling roll at Bun Sgoil Stafainn and the declining population.

It will be the biggest capital project SCT has been involved in to date, with significant Scottish Government support.

The common grazing land was previously owned by Scottish Ministers and tenanted by the Stenscholl Township.

Donald MacDonald, a founding member of SCT, was delighted at works starting, but said it was extremely frustrating it had taken six years to build only six houses.

‘This community has seen a decline in population due to existing policies and planning
regulations which deter development. Surely, in these challenging times, it is time to
relax the rules and the public purse to allow communities to thrive and for people to have confidence in their ability to deliver,’ he said.