Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Inverness residents celebrate council U-turn on housing proposals near nature reserve

The Merkinch Nature Reserve in Inverness.
The Merkinch Nature Reserve in Inverness.

Residents of South Kessock and Merkinch in Inverness are celebrating after a council U-turn on plans to build houses next to the local nature reserve.

Highland Council was proposing to build 35 affordable homes in the recreational field behind Carnac Crescent and Merkinch nature reserve as part of efforts to regenerate the area.

But yesterday, officials announced they and listened to the community and the plans wouldn’t proceed.

Local campaigner Caroline Snow said she was wearing the biggest smile ever, “and so is everyone else who has heard the news.”

The development formed part of the council’s Muirtown and South Kessock development brief, outlining future prospects for housing and employment across the area.

The site involved is currently empty and run-down, and the council said it had potential to improve the local environment and regenerate the area.

But angry residents formed a campaign, holding public meetings and launching a petition to oppose the proposals.

Earlier this week 100 people packed Merkinch Community Centre in a meeting with local councillor Ron MacWilliam to discuss how their campaign would be most effective, and agreed to form a steering committee to fight the proposals.

Mr MacWilliam said he was delighted at the council’s turnabout.

He said: “Inverness desperately needs affordable housing but new developments can’t just be imposed on any community where the council has identified a parcel of land.

“The Merkinch Nature Reserve is one of the greatest unsung assets of Inverness and it must be protected from development of any kind.

“This plan should never have seen the light of day and I’ll be joining the residents of South Kessock in celebrating this victory for common sense.”

Caroline Snow of the Merkinch Nature Reserve.    Sandy McCook.

Mrs Snow, project manager of Merkinch Nature Reserve praised the local community for coming out and expressing their views.

She said: “I’m delighted people were listened to.

“This has had a wonderful way of bringing the people of South Kessock and Merkinch together.

“The outcome is people are going liaise with the nature reserve and work together and clean up the area to get it looking the best they can.”

A council spokesman said: “The delivery of much needed affordable homes remains a priority for Highland Council and we will continue to investigate alternative proposals elsewhere in order to meet the Scottish Governments housing targets.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]