The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Build bet­ter roads be­fore new homes, say res­i­dents

Con­struc­tion: Com­mu­nity coun­cil wants ap­proved plans re­voked

- BY CHRIS MACLEN­NAN

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.

 ??  ?? AN­NOYED: Frances MacGruer and Dun­can Chisholm of Muir of Ord Com­mu­nity Coun­cil at the Black Isle road junc­tion in Muir of Ord
AN­NOYED: Frances MacGruer and Dun­can Chisholm of Muir of Ord Com­mu­nity Coun­cil at the Black Isle road junc­tion in Muir of Ord

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