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Invergordon homes development to go before planning committee

Castle Avenue, Invergordon. Picture by Gordon Lennox.
Castle Avenue, Invergordon. Picture by Gordon Lennox.

Invergordon could benefit from 93 new homes if a large-scale housing development at Cromlet gets the green light.

Plans for a major new housing development in Invergordon are among the applications at next week’s north planning meeting.

The proposal, brought by the Highland Council, is for 93 homes off Cromlet Drive, north west of the town centre.

The site will be accessed from Castle Avenue and includes a mix of one- to five-bedroom houses, along with flats, bungalows and self-build plots.

The development is spread across three phases, with the first phase to include 35 social houses. The remaining site will feature 50% affordable housing.

New use for green space

The large plot is now mostly scrub land, but formerly served as a military depot.

Before that, it was a naval base and army camp. Although one resident raised concern about a loss in green space, planners claim the development actually delivers more.

The development takes a ‘holistic approach’, and the council’s access officer praised the generous open spaces and play parks.

On the advice of the access officer, the council added ‘bell mouth’ junctions to paths.

A large number of mature trees line the site boundary at Gordon Terrace and Castle Avenue, and most of these will be protected.

Active travel

Invergordon Community Council did not object to the development, but did raise concern about traffic congestion on Castle Avenue on rugby match days. However, the council believes the access route is manageable.

The development itself will feature offstreet parking at every home, and courtyard parking at the flats.

The council hopes this will encourage active travel by keeping the streets clear of parked cars.

The approach is one of ‘shared spaces’ to encourage driver awareness and reduce driving speed.

The plans also include electric vehicle charging points.

If given the green light, the council will need to contribute towards the costs of expanding capacity at Invergordon Leisure Centre.

It will not, however, pay developer contributions to the new Park Primary School or Invergordon Academy, as the new homes won’t push either school beyond 90% capacity.

The north planning committee meets on January 25 to decide on the overall development and phase one planning application.

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