Applecross Community Company welcome Highland Council backing for land-use plan

The Applecross Community Company have welcomed the support of the Highland Council for its community projects

A new collaborative approach to community projects in and around Applecross has yielded positive results, the area’s local development officer said this week.

Roslyn Clarke, who is employed by the Applecross Community Company, also said the directors were “really pleased” with the decision by Highland Council’s Ross and Cromarty area committee to endorse a new land-use plan for the area.

She added: “It is great to have their support for community planning. We have several projects underway, including feasibility studies into affordable housing and community woodlands. We believe the development of this plan and the collaborative process between community and key stakeholders has enabled the community to progress these projects.”

The projects include the acquisition of 10 electric bikes which the community company have bought with £16,706 from Cycling Scotland (£2,688) and the Energy Saving Trust (£14,018). The community company provided matching funding of £3,976 for the project.

The project, Active Applecross, aims to promote cycling in the community by increasing access to bikes and opportunities to cycle. It will include maintenance training and engagement activities to encourage the uptake of cycling.

An affordable housing project is also said to be progressing well, with joint funding from the Scottish Land Fund of £23,348 and Rural Housing Fund of £8,300 being used to conduct a feasibility study. Three potential sites are being looked at: one in front of the hydro project field, one at Clachan and the other at Smiddy Wood.

Ongoing work on this project includes a design feasibility study, a housing business plan, a topographical survey, a geological site investigation, an archaeological investigation, site valuation, and pre-acquisition legal check.

The community company are also to conduct a feasibility study into the potential of community woodlands at Torgarve woods.

Meanwhile, the community company and the Appleseed allotments group have made it through to stage two of the Climate Challenge Fund.

The application to the fund is for development of the allotments site, including growing spaces, a polytunnel, community shed, composting facilities and associated tools. The community company wants to employ someone to develop the project.

Article by Michael Russell.