Expansion for major tourist attraction, Nairn housing development promises ‘better quality of life’ and hope for new Wester Ross jobs

The Press and Journal Evening Express – Stuart Findlay

It’s time for Planning Ahead – our weekly round-up of the latest proposals lodged across the Highlands.

Among this week’s potential developments is a new shopping precinct next to a prominent tourist attraction.

There are new houses and woodland restoration planned in Nairn and a Wester Ross fish farm which could bring new jobs to the community.

And as The Press and Journal revealed last week, a major supermarket chain has pulled out of its plans for a new store in Inverness.

Shops at the Old Man of Storr

The Old Man of Storr is one of the most famous walks on the Isle of Skye.

The large pinnacle of rock stands high above the ancient landscape, attracting 200,000 visitors each year.

It’s also a popular destination for wedding venues and a favourite with filmmakers.

In recent years, Highland Council has invested more than £2 million in tourism at Storr, including car parking, toilets, path improvement and habitat restoration.

And now a fresh planning application has been lodged by the council to build a retail unit next to the car park.

According to the papers, it will be around 1250sqft in size.

The move is one step of the council’s plan to a build on the destination’s potential.

There was minimal parking at the site before its car park was completed in 2021.

Before then, the area was overrun with vehicles left at the side of the road.

Nairn housing development with a twist

In Nairn, William MacLeod has applied for planning permission to build 15 houses at Sandown Farm Lane.

The Fort Reay development would sit on the outskirts of the town. It is described in the papers as a “place-led, nature-positive” proposal.

Woodland restoration is a key part of the plan.

The existing property at the site is in poor condition and the woodland there has been neglected for years.