Highlands & Islands

'Final touches' to plan for 800 new homes in Inverness

West Link road construction in Inverness
Image caption The new housing is associated with the construction of the new West Link road

Eight hundred new homes are to be built on land alongside Inverness' controversial West Link road.

Tulloch Homes said it was putting the "finishing touches" to the plan for its £250m construction project.

Homes would be built in phases over 10 years on land at Ness-side which Highland Council has zoned for housing.

Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie said homes were needed for people on the region's waiting list, but said they should be spread out across the area.

Highland Council's West Link road, which is under construction, is to ease traffic congestion in Inverness. Opening up land for new housing forms part of the overall road-building project.

The West Link will eventually connect to a network of roads linking the A96, A9 and A82 trunk routes.

The West Link project was opposed by a local campaign, which was set up to fight what was seen by campaigners as the loss of large areas of green space to the route of the new road.

'Sprawling suburbia'

Tulloch Homes chief executive George Fraser said the planned first phase of the company's 800-home development would involve 50 affordable properties.

He said: "This is, of course, a long-term project but, given a fair wind in the planning process, our intention is to begin construction during 2018.

"With the road infrastructure in place, the first phase of 50 affordable homes will commence on receipt of planning permission, helping the council achieve their aspirations in the affordable sector."

Image caption The West Link is under construction on the west side of Inverness

Mr Fraser added: "We are doing everything in accordance with the council masterplan."

Mr Finnie told BBC Radio Scotland there was a need for affordable homes to meet the needs of up to 1,100 people who are waiting for housing.

But he said development should not be focused on just Inverness.

He said: "The reality is that a small number of houses in many rural locations would have a better social impact than a sprawling suburbia in Inverness."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Construction of a first phase of the development could start next year

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