Are you aware of the proposals to identify future housing sites within the village of Strathpeffer?

You’ll be aware of the current housing development being constructed adjacent to Kinellan Drive at the west end of the village. The Highland Council as part of their forward planning process has identified a number of other sites within the village that they are suggesting should be designated for housing.  These sites are shown on the map below:

  • SP01 is the current housing development being built at Kinellan Drive.
  • SP02 is a new site adjacent to the existing housing development.
  • SP03 is also adjacent to the existing housing development but was identified for housing in the previous development plan published in 2015.
  • SP04 is a site at Nutwood which already has planning permission but no construction work has started on it yet.

If you would like to express your views on these proposals then please either go to the Highland Council website www.highland.gov.imf or follow the advice on how to comment on the Inner Moray Firth Development Plan, details of which are shown on this website – www.Strathpeffer.org.
Alternatively you can contact one of our four ward councillors.

2 thoughts on “Are you aware of the proposals to identify future housing sites within the village of Strathpeffer?”

  1. After attending the virtual meeting regarding the Loch Kinellan sites SP1,SP2and SP3 for consultation I had to make comment.

    First, I would like to commend the team who have been working to create the wonderful Nature Reserve we have and for continuing to think of future proofing this precious resource for all the inhabitants of Strathpeffer.

    I now understand from Dr Cockburn’s comments that the stage for these sites are at Development Plan stage only, apart from the site which is now well under construction. However I am not so naïve as to think that this does not mean the next stage would be to move towards eventually planning application. So, at this early stage it is of upmost importance to look at alternatives.

    The present development has increased the housing capacity of Strathpeffer by 11%, that is very significant. The usual allocation of Social Housing per development is well below that of this one and therefore the number of Social Houses will be 21, 50% in fact, of the houses being built.

    The present site land space taking away natural water shed will increase the volume of water shed down to the lower end of the village which already has pluvial flooding risk. The existing Victorian drainage on road sides does not cope at present.

    The local school already close to full capacity and the local services has limitations.

    Most homes these days have 2 cars, working on that assumption, this will increase the cars going in and out of the village by 80!

    The narrow, old, part of the village is bounded tightly with houses close to the road side and this increase in traffic will create more noise, pollution and danger to pedestrians at its present speed limit. It is a very unpleasant experience walking along the narrow footpath from Castle Leod to the village with the speed and volume of traffic that exists already, not to mention how difficult and dangerous it is with little ones, pushchairs or for the Elderly. Visitors to the village comment frequently that the speed and volume of the traffic spoils the visit to such a unique Village.

    The preservation of the land around Loch Kinellan has to be the very best solution for local residents and some of the wilding, planting and educational ideas were exactly in keeping with the Victorian ideals of years ago for this special place in the Highlands. The ideas put forward were not Victorian by any means but fit well with why the village was built in the first place. The lockdown has made everyone more appreciative of the outdoor spaces and fresh air and preserving such a beauty spot as a nature reserve seems the most important way to keep us all healthy.

  2. Until recently I hadn’t heard the news regarding the additional development areas that had been proposed for Strathpeffer in the  Inner Moray Firth Development Plan. I am sure that I like many others hadn’t realise the importance of the plan in this process.

    As a couple we moved from Devon over two years ago, and part of the reason we chose to live in such a lovely Victorian spa was how it nestled between the Cats back to the south and Loch Kinellan and Ben Wyvis to the north. In my opinion extending the current housing development at SP01 into SP02, and in time that proposed in SP03 will further mar one of Strathpeffer greatest assets. The village simply does not have the infrastructure to support any extra housing. It’s been devastated by the closure of two of its hotels and building more houses simply won’t help bring these back, and only add an extra burden to its roads and infrastructure. These new developments don’t bring anything extra to the village, they simply put more pressure on it. Despite what Highland Council thinks is best for Strathpeffer what I think the village is sorely in need of at the moment is some TLC and not even more housing. 

    Here are ten important questions I think need answering before any decision is made about any additional housing:-

    (1) Have any estimates of the extra number of journeys eastward through the village this new development will bring been made?

    (2) Has there been a recent road traffic survey done recently in regard to the A834 through the village concerning the mix of traffic and the number of journeys that are currently being made to it or onward to Contin?

    (3) Are there any plans to widen the pavements to allow local people and visitors to walk safely through the village?

    (4) Are there any plans to place a weight restriction on the A834 to prevent it’s continued demise into a rat run/ shortcut for heavy goods vehicles to and from the west?

    (5) Are there any plans to introduce traffic calming in the village to enforce the existing 30 mph speed limit either by means of speed humps, rumble strips or road narrowing as has happened in Dingwall?

    (6) Can we please have advisory speed cameras installed at both ends of the village as most other villages in the region have?

    (7) Are there enough places in the Primary school for the extra pupils that this new development will bring?

    (8) As a technical report been commissioned into the state and capacity of the old Victorian drainage system in the village to see if the burn can cope, not only with the extra amount of water that the new roads and hardened surfaces the new development will mean, but also the increased frequency of flash flooding like we saw on the 6th of August 2019 due to global warming?

    (9) Are there any plans to replace the Victorian drainage system along the A834 and clear the numerous blocked and collapsed drains along it?

    (10) Have Highland Council considered building a new town like Devon have done with new town of Cranbrook? They certainly have the land. Cranbrook is built from the ground up with all the benefits of a well thought out road network and now even boasts its own rail link. It has its own schools, shops, doctors and church. All we seem to have in the Highlands is the offloading of even more housing to small towns and villages that simply don’t have the infrastructure to cope, and is the likely reason you see so much strip development across the region.

    Bruce Messer

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