The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Build better roads before new homes, say residents
Construction: Community council wants approved plans revoked
People are demanding plans for new homes be revoked until proper roads and schools are built to cope with the development.
Muir of Ord Community Council, which represents approximately 3,000 residents in and around the large Ross-shire village, has been left angered after planning in principle was granted for 104 homes on Black Isle Road.
The group has raised concerns over the proposed development numerous times in regards to safety on approach roads and the demands it will place on local infrastructure.
The community council
“I feel we have been let down by Highland Council”
argues nothing has changed since the plans were proposed in 2017 and thrown out by Highland Council’s north planning committee.
Group chairwoman Frances MacGruer said: “I feel we have been let down by Highland Council because the planning has been refused previously and nothing changed in the application.
“There are no plans for a new school or plans to change the junction and these are both vital parts of the growth of the village.”
Under the proposals, 25 of the first properties built would be affordable homes and 15 are to be single occupancy properties.
Only after the initial 40 are built will access via roads and paths be improved, something Muir of Ord Community Council says should happen before any development begins.
Mrs MacGruer has said the local primary school is “already bursting at the seams” and in need of upgrade.
She added: “We are not shut off to the idea of new homes but the infrastructure needs to match.
“The planning should never have been granted.
“I would like to see this revoked until such time as the conditions they wish to apply after the 40 houses are implemented at the start.
“I don’t think any house should be built without a safe route to the village and neither do I feel they should force new houses upon us when the school is not adequate to deal with more children.”
The plans for 104 new homes form one of three developments in Ross-shire which will result in 316 homes created in the villages of Evanton, Contin and Muir of Ord.
A Highland Council spokesman said the application was “fully considered with extensive consultations”.
He added that recent improvements in the area, such as a weight restriction to divert heavy goods vehicles away from Black Isle Road, will allow for further enhancements to be undertaken.
The spokesman said the phased approach will allow for infrastructure improvements to be implemented.