April decision for Portree supermarket proposal

The developers seeking to build a new supermarket in Portree have said that its creation would help stop the “current leakage” of money to the mainland.

Following several years’ work pursuing the project, Edinburgh-based Oatridge Ltd submitted a planning application to Highland Council at the end of last year. The council are due to make a decision by 17th April.

The application seeks permission to create a two-phase development at Home Farm in the town. Phase one covers a 3,350-square-metre supermarket with petrol station, parking and new access road which will complete the link-up to Staffin Road and has been estimated to cost £1 million. The second phase will see the development of a mixed non-food retail, industrial and leisure site.

A spokesman for Oatridge said: “Support for the projects, phase one and two, would create further jobs and prevent current leakage of the economy of Skye to the mainland.

“Improvement to the road infrastructure is seen as a huge benefit to the whole of the island particularly to Portree and the north end of Skye as it will allow for safer movement of public transport, commercial and heavy goods vehicles as well as private cars, releasing pressure on the town centre traffic, in particular during the summer months.

“Both developments will open up new opportunities for national and local businesses that will sustain existing employment and create further work opportunities and allow expansion for existing businesses which is being stifled at the moment due to lack of suitable land availability.”

He added: “Oatridge are looking forward to working with both national and local enterprises together with the local landowner, who has been most supportive of the project.”

So far the application has received only one comment, in favour of the development, while Scottish Natural Heritage have said there are no “natural heritage issues of national significance” associated with the application.