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Golspie housing plan set to be decided next week

By Caroline McMorran

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A plan by Highland Council to build new homes in a field beside Golspie Primary School is set to be decided next week.

The North Planning Applications Committee will consider at its meeting next Wednesday an application to build 17 new homes in a field opposite Golspie Primary School and to the rear of Sibell Road.

The area earmarked for new housing at Golspie is to the rear of Sibell Road.
The area earmarked for new housing at Golspie is to the rear of Sibell Road.

The proposal has attracted four objections and one petition with seven signatures. It also has five comments in support. Highland Council planning officials are recommending that it be approved.

Highland Council hopes to use 1.8 acres of the field to build 13 houses and four cottage flats with the main access from South Argo Terrace.

However, in proposing the application, the council has gone against its own Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan which designates the field as green space.

But the authority’s housing team and supporters of the plan say the village needs affordable housing and has plenty of green space already.

Objectors say they don’t want to lose green space in the village and that other nearby housing sites are not yet fully developed.

Golspie Community Council has opted not to pick a side, instead noting the valid concerns of some residents. In particular, they said that other sites such as Drummuie, Woodland Crescent and Sibell Road should be considered before developing the field.

Highland Council says there are drainage problems at Sibell Road which rule it out, while Drummuie is “car dependent”.

The housing team says that policy 75 of the CASPlan does allow some flexibility for development on green space, provided it is not currently in use.

The field in question was once used as a hockey ground, but records show it has not served that purpose for more than 20 years.

Next Wednesday’s meeting is webcast and open to the public to view.

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