Land deal could see affordable homes built on Fort William hospital site

highland councilNew affordable homes could be built in the centre of Fort William after the Highland Council agreed a deal to buy surplus land from Tesco.

The local authority purchased a site surplus to the supermarket’s requirements in Fort William for £2 million to make provision for a new hospital for NHS Highland.

The eight acre site at Blar Mor would serve as a replacement site for the existing Belford Hospital and potentially a new science academy for the West Highland.

As part of the deal, once funding is in place to build the new hospital, NHS Highland will transfer the existing hospital site to the council to deliver affordable housing in the centre of Fort William.

The Highland Council worked in collaboration with NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), West Highland College UHI and the Scottish Government, to secure the site for the new hospital.

Chair of planning and development at the local authority, Cllr Audrey Sinclair, said: “This is a tremendous and long awaited success for the Lochaber area. It is a good example of partners working together to achieve success. The deal will enable the area to flourish with the prospect of a new much needed hospital and additional facilities for the West Highland College.

“I would like to add recognition for former Council Leader Michael Foxley who was a significant force behind this project and worked to get Scottish Government support to make this happen.”

Tesco said it was pleased at selling the land.

A spokesman said: “Since we took the difficult decision not to build a new store, we have been actively seeking a purchaser.

“We have concluded a deal which will hopefully benefit the local community in Fort William, bringing the land to economic use and building new community assets.”

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