Staffin housing development shortlisted for national award

The new housing at Staffin. NO F23 staffin
The new housing at Staffin. NO F23 staffin

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A new community-led housing, health and business development on Skye is in the running for a prestigious national award.

Families moved into six, three-bedroom homes at Taighean’ Chaiseil in Staffin earlier this year which have now been shortlisted in the Scottish Homes Awards 2022.

The awards recognise excellence in the new build housing industry and the judging panel assessed more than 130 entries in 14 categories from across Scotland.

The Community Contribution Award recognises the efforts of ‘delivering a significant
contribution to a local community’ and the Staffin project is the only Highland entry in the category. It comes as NHS Highland has taken over the new Staffin health centre at Taighean a’ Chaiseil.

It was the first affordable housing development in Staffin since 1999 and was led by
Staffin Community Trust (SCT) amid concerns about the lack of available accommodation locally for families, a falling roll at Bun Sgoil Stafainn and the declining population.

SCT worked in partnership with the Communities Housing Trust (CHT) and Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association (LSHA).

SCT director Angus Ross said: ‘SCT was pleased to lead this important community
development with the CHT and LSHA. We have achieved our aims of providing much
needed housing, business units and a new medical centre and are delighted our
efforts have been considered worthy of a nomination for a prestigious national award.’

Ronnie MacRae, CHT chief executive, said: ‘CHT is delighted to have been able to
support this community-led project from beginning to end, developing the concept of a
mixed-use, mixed-partner site including the innovative business plan and helping to
acquire the land.

‘It’s an example of true community development, not just housing development, and has involved many local and regional partners over several years. This mix of partners and facilities is a real model for rural communities across Scotland.

‘It’s brilliant that this project in Skye – led by the needs of the community itself – has been recognised nationally and we’re proud to have helped make it happen.’

Dr Audrey Sinclair, LSHA chairwoman, said: ‘I congratulate Staffin Community Trust and all the partners involved in this unique mixed-use development.

‘SCT rose admirably to the many challenges from inception to completion of this project and the housing association is pleased to have played a part in assisting SCT achieve its vision.’

James MacQueen, director of James MacQueen Building Contractors Limited, added: ‘We’re delighted that the Staffin development, such an important housing, health and business project in north Skye, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Scottish Home Awards.

‘This project has been achieved as a result of the dedication of Staffin Community Trust
supported by the Communities Housing Trust, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association and project funders – demonstrating what can be achieved when we work together.

‘We are immensely proud to have been involved in delivering the much-needed
affordable housing, creating homes for future generations and reinvigorating the
community.’

The Taighean a’ Chaiseil architect Rural Design ensured the development complemented the Trotternish landscape which is protected by National Scenic Area designation.

The development includes the use of timber, slated roofs, whitewashed homes and traditional stonework. The award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow on June 23.

Meanwhile, SCT is delighted that NHS Highland took over the new Staffin health centre last month.

Work is under way to ensure the building is fully operational as soon as possible
with NHS Highland staff delivering furniture and organising other logistics. A weekly GP clinic is currently run from the nurse’s cottage.

Local aquaculture firm Organic Sea Harvest is also hoping to have the internal fit-out work of SCT’s two business premises, next to the health centre, carried out this summer after a tendering process.

Income from all three properties will allow SCT to manage and maintain the development and any surplus will be spent on other community projects.

 

CAPTION:

The new housing at Staffin.

NO F23 staffin