New group opposes eco-homes
A PROTEST group has been formed to oppose plans to build eco-houses in an amenity woodland near Nairn.
Locals claim proposals by the Forestry Commission Scotland will mean the felling of up to 70 trees in Kilnhill Wood, Lochloy. They say the plans for 32 houses and eight chalets go against the local structure plan and will create an “unacceptable increase” in traffic on Lochloy Road.
The commission lodged a planning application with Highland Council in February.
The protest group, known as Friends of Kilnhill Wood, has gathered 400 signatures for a petition against the development and has commissioned an ecologist to look at the site, which they claim is home to various animals and birds.
Spokesman Terry Cowan, 41, of Maviston Steading, Lochloy, said: “A lot of people use that wood for walking, cycling and horse riding. It is an amenity woodland.
“The Forestry Commission are selling it as a ‘new community’ but it will be at the detriment of the existing community.”
Ecologist Gus Jones found evidence of bats, badgers and red squirrels living in the wood, while owls and other birds of prey are also thought to roost there.
Mr Cowan said that with the A96 corridor proposals due out soon, there were other more suitable sites.
The Green Party recently pledged their support for the Kilnhill Wood development, saying it would give people the chance to live and work in a woodland setting. They also called for more emphasis on affordable housing and for an environmentally friendly way of dealing with sewage.