Community plans buyout of £2.7m estate with popular beach

The 9,000 acre Badentarbat Estate could soon come into the hands of the community with the help of a financier.

A Highland community are planning the buy-out of a local 9,000 acre estate with the help of a philanthropist.

Badentarbat Estate on Wester Ross, which includes Achnahaird beach and four of the neighbouring Summer Isles, has come onto the market for £2.7m – with philanthropist Ian Wace offering to buy the land for residents.

Community leaders say securing the purchase – a significant portion of the Coigach peninsula – would help them build much-needed affordable homes to retain the lifeblood of the area.

A public meeting to consider the millionaire’s offer to the Coigach Community Development Company, hosted by the charity at Achiltibuie in Wester Ross, drew a gathering of 100 people.

It ended with a vote overwhelmingly in favour of accepting financier Ian Wace’s offer.

CCDC chief executive Laura Hamlet said the charity’s vision is to improve facilities for the local primary school, playgrounds, sporting facilities and events.

“We’ve got a list of almost 40 projects on the wall in the community hall, so there’s a lot,” she said.

“The main priority for our community is housing, as it is in many places.

Badentarbat Estate could come into the hands of locals after buy-out plan
Ian Wace owns the largest of the Summer Isles, Tanera Mor

“But currently in Coigach there’s no affordable housing available. That’s why we’re building ten units on the Achagarry site which is a brand new housing development.

“We could fill the site ten times over, in my opinion.”

The listing includes a six-bedroom lodge and four of the Summer Isles — Eilean a’Char, Eilean Chonaid, Eilean Fada Beag and Eilean a’Ehuic.

Ian Wace, a financier who owns the largest of the Summer Isles – Tanera Mor – has offered to donate the £2.75m asking price for the family-owned estate, on behalf of the Coigach community. He would retain the 12% not in crofting tenure.

In a long battle for survival, the pro-active community has reaped financial rewards from a wind turbine. It campaigned for 12 years to obtain the Achagarry site.

The outcome of the offer will be announced in due course.

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