Highland is bucking national trend in house building industry
6th June 2013
The Highland Councilís Leader Councillor Drew Hendry says the Highlands is bucking the trend of declining house building in Scotland, with a very encouraging delivery of new homes throughout the region.
Councillor Hendry was speaking in the wake of reports that the building of new homes in Scotland has hit a 65-year low caused by the recession in the construction industry over the past few years.
He reports that a total of 833 new homes were built in the Highlands in 2012/13 as a mix of private and affordable housing and the growth is continuing, with confidence high in the Highland economy.
The Council was playing its part, with plans to complete 100 new council houses in this financial year, while a further 25 are to be built by housing associations over the same period.
Tulloch Homes, for example, had built more homes in the first third of this year than in any four-month period since 2008, selling a house per day.
Councillor Hendry said: ďIn no way are we complacent, but we are bucking a trend of decreasing house building. This is really good news for the Highlands, where confidence in our economy is high.
ďThe Council is fully committed to stimulating the house building industry in the Highlands through delivery of its council house build, with an agreed programme of 688 new council houses and its wider enabling role. In addition we have committed to build 200 temporary accommodation units to meet the needs of single homeless people.
ďThe council house programme has already delivered high quality housing from Portree to Kingussie with new houses delivered recently in Kessock Court North in Inverness and Curling Court, Muir of Ord with new starts on site this week in Nairn, Ardersier and Tain. We have had extremely positive feed back from elected Members and new tenants about the quality of these new homes.
ďIn our wider enabling role, the Council is bringing forward stagnant development sites, for example; Westercraigs with a proposed 90 unit mixed tenure development, regeneration of the Tawse Yard in Merkinch, redevelopment of the lnverlochy Distillery site in Fort William and a derelict hotel site in Ullapool.
ďThe proposed National Housing Trust funding of Am Camas Mor, Aviemore, will enable the first phase of the strategic development to commence in the Cairngorms National Park with the potential for more than 1,000 homes there in time.
ďAt the same time, The Council is working with the private sector to unlock the constraints for other strategic sites throughout the Highlands, using our own Landbank Fund Vacant and Derelict Fund grants and any other opportunities that become available.Ē
The Council has a legal duty to provide certain advice and information services on debt, welfare and housing for local residents. Employment rights advice is also provided but there is no statutory duty on the Council to provide this.
Highland Council is fully supportive of the aim to close the poverty-related educational attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most disadvantaged communities. In Highland, 1537 Primary and 1006 Secondary School children live in the most deprived data zones.
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands. This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises. We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road. Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road. A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.
A chance to have your say. Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.
The Scottish Government is allocating ¬£1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years. Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.
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