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Highland Council Rural Housing Supplementary Guidance

2nd September 2021

Photograph of Highland Council Rural Housing Supplementary Guidance

The Highland Council, Economy and Infrastructure Committee has yesterday (1 September 2021) approved an updated Rural Housing Supplementary Guidance.

The guidance aims to support Highland's recovery from the COVID pandemic, promote community-led housing and woodland crofts, and to strengthen rural communities and deliver on the Scottish Government re-population agenda.

The revised guidance sets a positive approach to rural housing across the whole of the Council area, particularly in support and protection of rural businesses and farming.

This updated document replaces the Housing in the Countryside Supplementary Guidance adopted in 2013 and has been prepared in collaboration with a range of stakeholders.

The guidance has been aligned with the Climate and Ecological Emergency Declaration made by the Council in May 2019, by seeking to prevent biodiversity loss and deliver positive enhancements on site.

Trish Robertson, Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee welcomed the Member's approval of the document, commenting we are delighted to be publishing updated guidance that continues to support our rural communities and their special character.

Work will now progress on the final adoption process with Scottish Government and it is anticipated this will take approximately 2 months. In the meantime, the new Supplementary Guidance will start to be used as a material consideration in the determination of rural housing planning applications. The guidance is being added to the Council website. See

As part of this work the Council has launched its Self-build Register, one of the first authorities to launch such an initiative. Homes built this way, offer a unique alternative to standard market housing, and offer the opportunity to create innovative, greener, and more affordable homes than currently offered through standard housing options.

By signing up, you will help the Council find out more about the demand for self-build plots across Highland, where people would like their plot to be and the type of house that they would like to build.