Work has begun on creating one of the largest housing developments to be built in the Highlands for years.
A ground-breaking ceremony marked the beginning of construction on a 757-home scheme near the West Link route into Inverness, dubbed Ness Side.
The £90 million project will eventually include 200 affordable homes as part of the 35-acre site.
The work is being carried out by Inverness-based Tulloch Homes over the course of the next 10 years, and has been designed to address the shortage of affordable homes in the region.
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The firm’s chief executive, George Fraser, and depute provost of Inverness, Bet McAllister, braved torrential rain to perform the ceremonial turf-cutting.
Mr Fraser said: “This has been a long time in the making, we are delighted to get to this stage.
“Machines will be on site in the next couple of weeks and we are excited that we will start to see the hard work from everybody come to fruition in the next few months.”
He added: “This site is not dissimilar to what we have done at Milton of Leys where there are 900 houses, and we are just coming to the end of that after 20 years.
“Inverness and the Highlands has a great future ahead of it and we are responding to a demand in the area as far as housing is concerned.”
The development is expected to create between 40 and 50 houses on an annual basis, with work on the first phase of affordable housing due to begin in September with 54 being built.
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A team of about 300 workers, comprising employees and subcontractors, are involved.
Mrs McAllister said: “It is a great venue for the development and I am so delighted that there are people out there – and a lot of young people – who are going to get the opportunity to get on the housing ladder.
“Families being able to move into the 200 affordable homes here is just absolutely fabulous.”
The development has largely been welcomed by the community following extensive consultation with the developer.
Murray McCheyne, chairman of Holm Community Council, said: “There is understandable concern in some parts of the community about the change of an environment that has been very familiar for lots of years, but the community council is very excited at the prospect of so many quality new homes.
“This is a really good development and it will assist in addressing the housing shortfall.”