JPlans have been submitted for a new hostel and self-catering “pods” to meet increased demand through the the North Coast 500.
Crofter Alex Munro wants to build the 32-bed hostel at Kinlochbervie on his land.
The aim will be to encourage travellers to stop over in the area which, in turn, would have a positive knock-on effect on local businesses.
A supporting information statement from applicant reads: “There are currently no facilities in the Kinlochbervie and Oldshoremore district able to cater for the increased number of tourists visiting the area and subsequently they tend to move on.”
A letter submitted with the plans from Tom Campbell, chief executive of NC500, states: “With the increasing popularity of the North Coast 500, accommodation is in high demand, especially during the summer months.
“We therefore welcome your propositions to create additional accommodation at Oldshoremore and provide visitors with an additional stopping point and thereby creating additionality to the local economy.”
A Kinlochbervie Community Council letter states: “There is a shortage of such facilities in the area for which there is growing demand.
“They should be an asset to the community and help to further economic development in the area.”
There will also be a 36-space car park as well as a charging unit for electric cars and a holding tank for camper van wastewater.
And the proposal for new tourist accommodation at Drumbeg is also sited on croft land and would involve three luxury self-catering pods.
In their supporting statement the applicants, Jason Andrews and Jacqueline Rose, state: “The location of the croft is in an area popular with fishermen, walkers, nature lovers and part of the NC 500 route.
“We are planning to promote extended stays (ie 3 nights minimum self catering). This will encourage people to use the local facilities of Drumbeg, Kylesku and Lochinver.
“We want the development to be low key, with a minimum impact. We feel the wooden pods give a sense of space and luxury whilst keeping guests close to nature.
“The development of the NC 500 has seen an increase in visitors to the area and in peak months a shortage of suitable accommodation.
“Focusing on couples wanting a luxury back to nature experience, we feel the higher disposable income that this demographic presents will benefit the local businesses.”
The plans at Drumbeg were validated by Highland Council’s planners on July 22, and those at Kinlochbervie were validated two days later.