Highland is bucking national trend in house building industry
6th June 2013
The Highland Council’s 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.”
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, has announced his intention to retire from The Highland Council. Bill commenced with the Council in 2000, in a joint post with NHS Highland as Head of Children's Services.
Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be the Telephone Preference Service warns Highland Council Trading Standards. Highland Council Trading Standards wish to warn consumers not to fall for a new telephone call scam in which fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Telephone Preference Service (or TPS).
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: â€¢ B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores â€“ Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and â€¢ B851 Errogie â€“ Strathnairn â€“ Daviot Bridge â€“ Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of Â£482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under Â£2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an Â£80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a Â£200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another Â£80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
The Â£48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018. The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.
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