New £500m Inverness development set to begin in weeks

Hazledene GroupThe Scottish Government and Highland Council have given approval for a £500 million development by Hazledene Inverness which will feature 1,500 homes, surrounding a new town centre with retail, leisure and community facilities.

Minister for local government & housing, Kevin Stewart MSP, visited the site at Stratton today with Brian Clarke of the Hazledene Group and Councillor Helen Carmichael, Provost of Inverness and Area, to announce that the first construction work will begin this August.

The new community at Stratton will be located on the outskirts of Inverness, on land adjoining Inverness Retail Park and will be closely linked to existing communities at Culloden, Smithton and Balloch.

Work on the major infrastructure associated with the project will begin at the end of August and is in part being financed by an infrastructure loan provided by the Scottish Government.

Hazledene Inverness, the developer behind the proposal, has agreed to make a major investment to deliver this significant project and is delighted to confirm that 400 homes will be delivered by Barratt Homes. In addition, Hazledene Inverness has completed the sale to Highland Council of land sufficient for an additional 150 homes.

The Stratton site will create up to 1,000 permanent jobs in addition to 1,200 temporary construction jobs.

In the first phase 550 homes will be built, all retaining the key characteristics of architecture in the region. At least a quarter of these are designed to help meet Highland Council’s affordable housing targets.

Brian Clarke of the Hazledene Group said: “This is a strategically important site for the city of Inverness, reflecting the buoyancy of the Inverness economy and in keeping with Highland Council’s development objectives. It complements many of the wider initiatives contained in the City Region Deal and we are pleased to have the support of Scottish Government by way of the Infrastructure Loan facility. We have worked with Highland Council over the past five years to align our proposals with their goals and we are delighted that we have reached an agreement to move forward to delivery.”

Sustainable development is a key feature of Stratton, with attention given to habitat diversity, green spaces, woodland areas bordering the development and the creation of a network of cycle paths and footpaths.

A £10m fund has been announced today by the Scottish Government, aligned to the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The region will benefit from a £135m Scottish Government investment into its infrastructure, following the award of a City-Region Deal in March 2016.

Kevin Stewart MSP said: “Increasing the supply of affordable homes across Scotland is our key aim and today we have made a significant commitment to supporting the delivery of new housing in The Highland Council area.

“The jointly supported £10m Highland Infrastructure Fund means the council can plan for new affordable homes now and will provide all housing developments, including small or rural schemes with an equal opportunity to apply.

“Today’s announcement will provide the certainty that The Highland Council and the housing sector need to deliver their housing priorities in the area. It also reflects the strong partnership between the council and the Scottish Government to better meet our joint objectives on housing.”

Councillor Helen Carmichael added: “Availability of affordable housing is fundamentally important to the sustainability of communities in the Highlands. The Highland Council is committed, with our partners, through the City-Region Deal, to provide quality affordable homes which will help to retain a young and vibrant workforce and give our young people the best possible opportunities.”

The first construction work at Stratton is scheduled to begin in August 2017.

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