Bays of Harris residents to be asked views on estate buyout

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Residents of the Bays of Harris Estate are to be asked their views on a possible community purchase of the land.

The Bays of Harris Steering Group sent a letter to the owner of the Estate in January informing them of the community’s wish to investigate this move and now report that the response to their letter has given them ‘cautious optimism’.

A meeting of the group on March 11th was attended by Sandra Holmes and Ingrid Galbraith of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Community Assets Team.

A statement from the group said: “Following a very informative meeting, our next step will be to seek the views of the entire community and discuss with them the kind of future they would like to see for the estate. Their responses will form the basis of a feasibility study.”

Consultation forms will be made available throughout the Bays of Harris Estate, in local shops and post offices. The form will also appear in local papers and comments may also be posted online on the soon to be launched Bays of Harris website and Facebook page.

“We will be contacting Grazings Clerks to take on board any concerns crofters may have in relation to any proposed buyout and to gain knowledge of any assets they may know of on the estate,” the Group said.

“In the coming months we plan to hold further public meetings where all members of the community will be invited to discuss the various suggestions and comments brought about as a result of the consultation project. Present at the meetings will be one or more members of other community steering groups who will relate their experiences of the buyout process.”