Almost 250 new homes could be built in Portree over the next 20 years if councillors approve a major planning application this week.
Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association have applied for planning in principle for a mixed-use development on the Isle of Skye, which features hundreds of new homes set to be delivered in stages over the next two decades.
As part of its master plan, the developer hopes to create three new business units, a community shop and a care village at the rural site in Sraid An Eorna, just north of an existing NHS dental clinic.
While there’s already some development in the area such as an SSE substation, it’s also home to wetlands and peat bog.
The developer has protected a large area to the west of the site for greenspace, drainage and active travel.
As a result, both SEPA and the council are happy with the environmental impact of the development, however a road network could prove to be a sticking point.
Highland Council is preparing to submit plans for a new Portree Link Road, and said the developer must contribute to the cost of the road. The council’s planning report states that phases one to four of the development use the existing roads network.
However, later phases rely on a new roundabout, which means the Link Road will need to be completed before the next batch of houses can be built.
Portree and Braes Community Council has objected to the plan, saying the new road should be complete before any work starts, however there were no other objections.
While 248 homes is double the amount in the development plan, the council believe the designs work.
Planning officials have suggested higher density housing in the lowland parts of the site, with sensitively-designed homes in the high ground.
The more dense layout will be in keeping with the nearby Home Farm development. The developer plans to create ‘neighbourhood clusters’ each with their own distinct identity.
Site work for Home Farm unearthed three historic artefacts dating back to the Iron Age, indicating the site has potential archaeological interest. Historic Environment Scotland has also asked the developer to minimise impact on Dun Gerashader, an Iron Age stone fort.
Lochalsh and Skye will return to the planning committee with more detailed designs as part of its full planning application. This will include details of how and when each batch of new Portree homes will be delivered.
The proposed care village would include supported housing and the developer has also tabled plans for significant landscaping and active travel opportunities, as well as a community orchard.
Council planners have recommended the application for approval. If it gets the green light, it will become the largest housing development in Portree.