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Blueprint for Muir of Ord expansion given go-ahead

The masterplan for Muir of Ord
The masterplan for Muir of Ord

A job-creating blueprint for the expansion of a Highland village was approved by councillors yesterday.

Landowner Iain Elliot wants to build houses, a garden centre and other retail units on a 50-acre site on the edge of Muir of Ord.

Around 100 jobs could be created by the plans, which include 60 homes, more than a dozen offices and parkland.

It is expected that around 25 of the 60 homes will be affordable housing.

The plans also include 13 office units suitable for smaller firms with between five and 10 employees, a large garden centre with cafe, and four small shops suitable for grocery shops, newsagents or other businesses.

There is also the possibility of incorporating public art in the scheme, and employing a dry stone wall artist to work on landscaping.

The Windhill standing stone, which is on the site, will be protected.

Historic Scotland is being consulted about the possible impact of the development.

Planner Dorothy Stott told yesterday’s north planning applications committee that the first phase would include the garden centre, landscaping and a handful of houses.

The second phase will comprise the business units, with most of the housing in the third phase.

The development is not estimated to be complete until 2019.

Councillors were unanimous in approving the masterplan.

More detailed plans will be submitted in due course.

Councillor Margaret Paterson, Dingwall and Seaforth, said: “It is not often you see a major application coming in with very few objections.”

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