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New look at plans for new town near Nairn

Artist impressions of the plans for Tornagrain
Artist impressions of the plans for Tornagrain

The latest plans for a new town between Inverness and Nairn have been unveiled to local residents.

A detailed planning application for Tornagrain is expected to be lodged later this year and it is hoped that work could start next year.

The new settlement will be developed over a period of up to 50 years and will eventually be home to 10,000 people.

Artist impressions of the plans for Tornagrain
Artist impressions of the plans for Tornagrain

It will include nearly 5,000 homes, three primary schools, shops, churches and community facilities.

Scottish Gas Networks are already on site to divert a gas pipeline to the south.

Developers, Moray Estates, held a meeting with local communities at Croy Village Hall this week to give an update on progress.

Andrew Howard, managing director of Moray Estates, said: “We have always been committed to ensuring that the local community are kept fully informed of our plans. This is a long term project and we hope to have regular meetings of the local liaison group as we progress.

“We aim to start building early next year, with infrastructure first and then housing, but there is still some way to go yet and the planning applications will be submitted in stages.”

More than 20 community representatives heard that a series of planning applications for the infrastructure and roads would be submitted over the coming months, followed by an application for the first phase of housing.

The detailed planning application for the first part of the first phase will be for 190 homes with a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, as well as flats. At least a quarter of the houses in the development will be affordable homes.

One of the first stages in the construction process will be improvements to the main road between the A96 and the development, as well as the roads within the site itself.

A major upgrade to the Ardersier wastewater treatment plant will be carried out by Scottish Water. It will serve Inverness Airport Business Park and Castle Stuart Golf Links, as well as the existing airport and industrial estate.

Outline planning permission was granted by Highland Council in 2013 despite local concerns about education and infrastructure.

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