Community-led affordable homes given planning permission on Raasay
The community-led development of five homes and five self-build plots on Raasay has been granted full planning permission.
Raasay Development Trust (RDT) is leading the project in the main village of Inverarish with support from the Communities Housing Trust (CHT).
The development will include two homes for social rent with Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association, and three community-owned homes for affordable rent with RDT. There will also be five affordable self-build plots, two with RDT and three with CHT. All the plots will be discounted through the Rural Housing Burden, which assures affordability in perpetuity for the local community.
Raasay has seen an increase in demand for affordable housing. A recent review of the Highland Housing Register’s demand and supply tool indicated that at least 32 people are on the waiting list with Raasay as a preferred choice. These new and much-needed homes will prioritise people with a link or need to live on the island.
The land was purchased by RDT from North Raasay Sheep Stock Club, with funding from the Scottish Land Fund, and with CHT’s support.
Further key funding has been obtained from the Scottish Government’s Rural & Islands Housing Fund, and the Ecology Building Society.
Skye-based James MacQueen Building Contractors has been appointed, and it is hoped the work will start on site in spring.
Chair of Raasay Development Trust, Iain Hector Ross, said: “Raasay has a clear and present need for new affordable housing stock to meet the growing demand from young islanders choosing to stay and others wanting to move to the island for increasing work opportunities. We are fortunate that the island is enjoying an era of growing economic confidence and opportunity, where young people now see a long-term future for themselves here. Quality housing is vital to support that future and we hope that the delivery of these new homes is just the first step towards providing every young islander with an affordable option.”
Ronnie MacRae, CEO of CHT, said: “Congratulations to the Raasay community for reaching the next milestone in this project. This development will provide homes for 10 families and help stop outward migration from the island, as well as helping the school and wider community to thrive. We’d like to thank the Scottish Government for their funding support through which local businesses and the economy can also benefit and is therefore creating more resilient island communities.”
Dr Audrey Sinclair, chairperson of Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association said: “I am delighted that this project will start in Spring this year. The joint working amongst RDT, CHT and Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association has to be applauded in reaching this stage. It is so important for our communities to achieve their visions and affordable housing has a fundamental part to play in making a positive impact on community sustainment.”