Permission granted for first new Highland homes since Freeport award for Inverness & Cromarty Firth

Permission granted for first new Highland homes since Freeport award for Inverness & Cromarty Firth

Plans for 66 new homes on land on the edge of Easter Ross town, Invergordon, have been given the green light by the Highland Council’s North Area Planning Committee.

The consent for the much-needed housing is the first granted in the area since the nearby Inverness and Cromarty Firth was awarded Green Freeport status.

The newly formed Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport company - incorporating Port of Nigg and Port of Cromarty Firth - places the Highlands at the heart of the drive towards net zero and is expected to create over 10,000 new jobs locally in the coming years.

Rhona Donnelly, managing director of developer Capstone Construction, said: “Capstone Construction is delighted to have been granted approval at The Highland Council North Area Planning committee on Tuesday 16th April for the first housing development since the official award of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport announcement. This is an exciting opportunity for Invergordon and the Highlands.

“Capstone is not only looking forward to delivering a housing development which Invergordon can be proud of but also working with the planning department and the local community together with their representatives to safeguard the ancient woodland at Rosskeen for future generations.”

Calum MacPherson, chief executive of Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, commented: “The granting of permission to this much needed mix of affordable and private housing is an extremely positive statement from the Highland Council and is further testament to their commitment to growing the Highland economy and maximising the once in a generation opportunities that the Green Freeport will bring. Not only will the new development in Invergordon mark a significant step in providing housing for skilled workers moving to the area - importantly, it will also provide affordable housing for those that wish to stay and work in the region.”

Capstone Construction - along with the Highland Council - will build 66 new homes at a site near Rosskeen on the northern edge of Invergordon. The 6.2-hectare development will comprise a combination of affordable housing and private dwellings as well as associated infrastructure and outdoor recreation areas.

The ramping up of activity at the Port of Nigg and Port of Cromarty Firth - as well as in the supply chain for the two industrial sites - resulting from Freeport status is expected to lead to an influx of skilled workers putting pressure on an already stretched Easter Ross housing stock.

Plans for woodland neighbouring the new housing scheme will see quality open spaces developed for the expansion of recreational pursuits for new and existing residents. Informal links will be provided from the developed neighbourhood areas to permeate into the woodland with active travel links for walking and cycling.

Capstone Construction also has plans in place for the long term protection and enhancement of the areas of ancient woodland to the north east and south of the site with the intention of placing the area under community ownership such as that enjoyed at nearby Evanton Community Woodland.

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