Highland Council will explore the possibility of installing district heating systems in future developments, councillors agreed today.
Lochaber councillor Denis Rixson raised an unopposed motion asking the council to explore opportunities for raising from the Scottish Government’s new Heat Networks Early Adopters Challenge Fund to look at installing district heating systems – where one system powers a group of properties – in the Highlands.
He said: “Highland Council have declared a climate and ecological emergency.
“The public expect the council to follow that declaration with practical measures.”
Mr Rixson said Phase 2 of the Blar Mhor development in Fort William presents possibilities to explore.
He said: “This is probably the largest area of flat land in Lochaber. It is already home to our biggest secondary school, a health centre and the police station.
“We are planning two phases of housing there, each of over 100 units. This is also the projected site for our new hospital, the only large hospital between Oban and Inverness, plus a new STEM centre for West Highland College/UHI.”
Other councillors pointed out previous disastrous schemes, including council convener Bill Lobban who said some such schemes in his Badenoch & Strathspey constituency didn’t work, with one having to be ripped out.
Mr Rixson acknowledged the problems, but said: “Heat networks are coming. There is no reason for us to wait.”