New houses for the Western Isles

Former Gibson Hostel site
Former Gibson Hostel site

The Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) are planning to build new homes in Leurbost, Balivanich and Barra.

The proposed plans are for four houses on each of the sites.

Planning applications for the builds were submitted last week and Calmax have been award the project contracts for both Leurbost and Balivanich, subject to Planning and Scottish Government approval.

The Balivanich homes will be built on part of the old school site and work on these projects is expected to begin in September.

HHP are currently negotiating with a contractor for the build in Barra, which is to be located on the site of the old Craigston School and School House. The former building will be demolished to make way for the project.

The Barra build is also subject to Planning and Scottish Government Approval.

All the properties will be fitted with air source heating.

The plans have developed in partnership with the Comhairle. Cllr Kenneth Murray, chair of the Environment and Protective Services Committee, explained that the Comhairle have a strategic housing plan - looking into the needs of all areas in the Western Isles.

He said that there is a strong demand for new houses in the areas chosen.

Speaking about the Barra development, Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, a former pupil of Craigston School, commented: “Something has to be done with the site, hopefully this is the best approach.”

Meanwhile HHP are also hoping to develop a site at Crowlista, Uig, which has been identified by the Comhairle as a priority for rural development.

A spokesperson explained: “Discussions on this with the community and preferred contractor are at an early stage.

Pictured are the new flats at Gibson Gardens, Stornoway which are nearing completion.