Plans for a small housing development in a former village hall car park in Durness have been approved by Highland councillors, despite objectors’ fears that the loss of parking would affect business and tourism.
Local joiners K MacRae & Son now have the go-ahead for a terrace of three single-storey, two bedroom houses in the footprint of the old village hall.
Objectors claimed the loss of parking on the site would adversely affect businesses relying on their customers being able to park close by.
Tourism will also be affected they claimed, at a time when the NC500 is bringing unprecedented numbers to the area.
The space is also used by the mobile bank, library and cinema, another factor put forward in the five letters of objection submitted to the council.
The council’s transport planners had also objected, stating: “Demand for parking within the public car park is already high. The development would only exacerbate the situation.”
At yesterday’s North planning applications committee, councillor Angela Maclean pointed out that transport planning still had their objection in place.
North West and Central Sutherland councillor Kirsteen Currie said the car park in question wasn’t the only one in the village and she was not concerned ‘whatsoever’ about losing a few parking spaces at that end of the village.
She said: “I know it will be a pain for the hotel but I have to balance up the future economics of that area. Three houses would be an absolute godsend. I’ve know people who have been waiting three years, who’ve been in caravans and got babies. The housing is desperately needed.”