Highland village in line for housing boom

The population of the Highland village of Evanton could potentially double in the coming years after councillors approved plans for a 160-home development and were informed of another 150 new homes in the pipeline.

Building firm Makar Limited is to build the mix of semi-detached, terraced and town house properties on the north east side of the village.

Makar managing director Neil Sutherland said the 160-home development was first tabled in August 2009, but the effect of the global economic recession on the property market in the Highlands delayed construction.

He said: “It’s still an exciting project and we hope to be on site at the end of the year. It is about time. The housing market is not as volatile as elsewhere in the UK and we feel it’s picking up.

“Back in the 1950s there were 20 shops in Evanton and there is just one now (and a post office) and there’s been a gradual erosion of services. This development will lead to the village being more viable.”

Mr Sutherland said there will also be opportunities for a new shop or small businesses as part of the development.

The first phase will involve building 30 houses, with a total of another six or seven phases, he added.

Highland Council’s north planning applications committee was also notified of plans for 150 new homes on the west side of the village proposed by the Highland Housing Alliance (HHA).

More detailed plans for this project are expected to be submitted to the council at a later date.

Evanton is currently home to just over 1,100 people – and the population could theoretically double if all the properties are built and filled with families.

HHA will be holding a drop-in session for their development at Diamond Jubilee Hall in Evanton from 12pm to 4pm on April 21, allowing the public to discuss proposals with the design team.

A public exhibition will also be held at the Cornerstone Cafe in Evanton during normal opening hours, between April 23 and April 27.

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