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Plan to build flats on 'eyesore' site in Dornoch welcomed by community council – though reservations voiced

By Caroline McMorran

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A PLAN to build 10 flats on a patch of land in Dornoch described as an “eyesore” has been welcomed in principle by community councillors.

However, members of Dornoch Area Community Council have voiced a number of reservations over the development, earmarked to go on an overgrown and unsightly area of land next to Bishopfield Play Park.

The area of land identified for the flats is next to the Bishopfield play park.
The area of land identified for the flats is next to the Bishopfield play park.

And it was agreed at their December meeting that an objection should be lodged with Highland Council to the flats plan in the hope that their concerns would be addressed.

Drumnadrochit-based firm Highland Alba Joinery Ltd is seeking planning consent to erect five blocks of two, two-bedroom flats with 15 car parking spaces on the 2095 square metre area of ground to the north west of Stafford Court.

But community councillors are concerned that it will mean a “loss of amenity” to the occupants of two homes on Stafford Road, opposite the proposed new entrance to the development. The residents would no longer be able to park their cars on the street outside their homes.

There is also concern at the lack of a construction transport plan and that no electric car charging points have been included in the design.

The community council is also seeking clarification over how many - if any - affordable houses would be created in the new scheme.

Referring to the loss of parking for the Stafford Road residents, community council chairman Patrick Murray said at last month’s meeting: “They have traditionally parked outside their homes and that is not unreasonable and to suddenly not be able to do that is a shame and something we have to consider.”

Community councillor Genevieve Duhigg felt the number of parking bays being provided were too few and that it was highly likely each flat would require two parking bays.

But she added: “We are very supportive of the idea of that site being developed because it is an eyesore and has been vacant for a long time, but it is about getting the balance right."

Treasurer Jerry Bishop said: “I am concerned that no consideration has been given to the two houses opposite. It is adding more and more traffic to the Stafford Road area with no mitigation. There has to be a limit at some point as to the number of properties that going along there without improvement to the roads infrastructure.”

He added: “Objecting to the plans is not an objection to the development. We are objecting to the design and asking that these things be considered.”

It was suggested that Highland councillors should a site visit before deciding on the application.

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