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Highland is bucking national trend in house building industry

6th June 2013

The Highland Councils 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: In 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.

The 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.

The 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.

In 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.

The 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.

At 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.


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