Affordable homes boost: Community housing plan for north Skye could start within weeks

An artist’s impression of the plans in Staffin, north Skye. Pic, SCT

The site for a long-awaited housing, health and business development in Skye has finally been purchased by a community organisation.

And it is hoped the construction of six new homes, a health centre and business premises in Staffin will start in the coming weeks.

Staffin Community Trust is working in partnership with the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust and Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association on the project.

It is the first affordable housing development in Staffin for 21 years and already there has been 10 expressions of interest from families or individuals keen to live in the new homes.

SCT was delighted to secure a £99,000 grant from the SSE Sustainable Development Fund last month, and hopes to soon confirm the final funding package.

SCT bought the site, near Bun-Sgoil Stafainn, from the Stenscholl Township and Kilmuir Estate (Scottish Ministers) for £70,000, using a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.

It followed the conclusion of the Resumption process, removing the development site from crofting tenure, which was approved by the Scottish Land Court earlier this year.

SCT director Calum MacDonald said: “The progress made is a great achievement for the community. I know that the community recognises that affordable housing is long overdue.

“Welcoming families in need of such accommodation, and who are very keen to live in Staffin, will be a great boost to our village.”

HSCHT chief executive Ronnie MacRae said: “The health, economic and social benefits of this scheme will undoubtedly give Staffin strong foundations to build on.”

Lachie MacDonald, LSHA chief executive association, added: “We are delighted that this rural mixed-use development is about to start on site.  Staffin Community Trust is to be applauded for their vision and determination to drive forward this project. This builds on Staffin Community Trust’s successful track record of economic regeneration within a rural community.”

SCT added that it is grateful to the Stenscholl crofters and the estate for its support over the last six years.