We recognise the need for housing in Highland, and especially the need for affordable housing. We are therefore disappointed that the proposal as it stands includes only the standard proportion of 25% affordable housing. We feel that the real local need is for genuinely affordable self-build and rented housing. We urge the Forestry Commission to increase the proportion of affordable housing in the proposal and to look at the possibility of property to rent as well as to buy — perhaps to replace the proposed holiday accommodation.
We support the idea of a community trust to manage the woodland in common and urge that the terms of the trust are drawn up in such a way that future trustees would not be able to alter the ethos of the trust and the community.
We fully support the idea of making this a sustainable development in terms of materials used, innovative architecture, communal transport solutions and use of local materials where possible. We would add that we urge the Forestry Commission and Highland Council to work with SEPA to find sustainable, environmentally friendly on-site solutions to treating the development’s sewage rather than piping it into the Nairn system.
We also urge that care be taken that this does not become simply a nice place to live in a woodland setting for those who can afford it, but a genuine opportunity for people to live and work using the forest for materials where appropriate.
We believe that if this development is done sensitively there should be no adverse effect on biodiversity and indeed the environment in what is currently mostly conifer monoculture could be enhanced.